On World Theatre Day, it is worth celebrating the countless actors who honed their craft on stage before making their mark in the world of cinema. From the likes of Manoj Bajpayee, and Pankaj Tripathi to Sunny Hinduja. There are several exceptional actors who began their careers in theatre before transitioning to the big screen. These actors are a testament to the fact that theatre provides a solid foundation for any actor looking to develop their skills and build a successful career in the performing arts. Their performances continue to inspire audiences and serve as a reminder of the power and magic of live theatre.
Let’s take a look at a few actors who started their journey with theatre and continue to shine at the films
Manoj Bajpayee is a critically acclaimed actor who started his career in theatre. During his time at the National School of Drama, he developed his craft and acted in several plays, and earned critical acclaim for his performances. Manoj Bajpayee has always maintained a strong connection with his roots in theatre. He has often stated that theatre is his first love. His breakthrough role in Ram Gopal Varma’s crime thriller ‘Satya’ (1998), won him a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor. He showcased his versatility and nuanced performances in films like ‘Shool’, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, ‘Aligarh’, and ‘The Family Man’ Rajneeti, Aarakhshan, Special 26, Gali Guleiyan, Gulmohar, and many more.
Rajkummar Rao is one of the most talented actors in the Indian film industry. His body of work in films like Newton, Omerta, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Shahid, Bheed, Stree, and Badhaai Ho has showcased his versatility. He began his acting journey in theatre, where he performed in numerous plays and honed his craft. He was associated with the Delhi-based theatre group, “Act One,” where he acted in several productions and earned critical acclaim for his performances. Rajkumar Rao has always remained connected to the theatre. He has often mentioned that theatre has helped him evolve as an actor and has been instrumental in shaping his career. He has started his own theatre group named “Actor’s Truth.”
Pankaj Tripathi has become a household name in the industry, the artist with his impeccable acting has created a huge fan base in the country. Before entering the world of cinema, Tripathi was actively involved in theatre. He started his career in acting in the late 1990s and became a prominent figure in the theatre circuit of Bihar, his home state. His powerful portrayal of Sultan Qureshi in the movie “Gangs of Wasseypur” brought him into the limelight. He has also gained recognition for his work in web series like “Mirzapur” and “Sacred Games”. He has often credited his theatre background for his ability to bring depth and realism to his characters. Today, he is considered one of the most versatile actors in the Indian film industry and has won several awards for his outstanding performances. His contribution to Indian cinema has been significant, and his journey is an inspiration to aspiring actors.
Manav Kaul before entering the world of cinema, Kaul was actively involved in theatre. He started his career in acting in the late 1990s and became a prominent figure in the theatre circuit of Mumbai. However, it was his portrayal of the villain in the movie “Kai Po Che!” that brought him into the limelight. Since then, he has worked in several critically acclaimed movies like “Tumhari Sulu”, “Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai?”, and “Ghoul”. He has also gained recognition for his work in web series like “The Verdict – State Vs Nanavati” and “Ok Computer”. Manav has often credited his theatre background for his ability to bring depth and authenticity to his characters. Today, he is considered one of the most versatile actors in the Indian film industry and has won several awards for his outstanding performances.
Sanjay Mishra, who studied National School of Drama, is a favorite amongst independent filmmakers, starring in movies like ‘Ankhon Dekhi’, ‘Masaan’, ‘Vadh’, ‘Anaarkali of Aarah’, ‘Kamyaab’, and many more. His theatrical background, which includes the discipline of doing theatre and extensively preparing to get into character, has also helped him in cinema. Mishra made his debut with a minor cameo in Ketan Mehta’s ‘Oh Darling Yeh Hai India’ (1995) and then became a recognizable face on television with ‘Office Office’. He also delighted audiences as Apple Singh, an “icon” used by ESPN Star Sports during the 1999 Cricket World Cup. Nowadays, he is a creative force being offered lead roles in brave, independent films, and he is finally receiving the recognition he has always deserved.
Sunny Hinduja is a talented Indian actor who has made a name for himself in the industry with his exceptional acting skills in projects like Aspirants, and Thai Massage, Before he entered the world of cinema, Hinduja was actively involved in theatre. He started his career in the theatre circuit of Mumbai. He has worked in several critically acclaimed web series like “The Family Man” and “Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare”, Inside edges, and Bhuakaal. He received accolades for his work in “Shehzada” and “Mardaani 2”. He has often credited his theatre background for his ability to bring depth and authenticity to his characters.