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THE Outsiders.

A fresh lot of young talent is making a mark in Bollywood without bloodline or filmy connections.

IT'S always difficult for outsiders to make a mark in any industry, more so in Bollywood where bloodline towers over all.

The world of showbiz, where glamour is often synonymous with surname, has forever been dominated by the industry kids, while newcomers trying to make a mark without a prominent name tag have never had it easy.

For those who do not have a godfather, a dad, mom, uncle or an aunt, breaking the glass ceiling is often as tough as surviving the rat race. Numerous aspiring actors arrive in Mumbai every week, many of them manage to get a launch but very few survive the game.

Take a random look at the lot of newcomers we have had in recent times and you realise how much bloodline rules in Bollywood. Forget Ranbir Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Imran Khan or Sonakshi Sinha, even the likes of Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Esha Deol, Tusshar Kapoor, Uday Chopra, Tanisha and Mahaakshay Chakraborty -- who have failed to deliver repeatedly -- keep getting new films primarily riding their bloodline.

You could, of course, cite Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan, Kangna Ranaut or Bipasha Basu as examples of those who made it despite being outsiders. These stars, however, made their debuts almost a decade ago, if not more. With competition now becoming tougher than ever, the deal is next to impossible for the current crop of outsiders.

Most newcomers would also tell you they have no one to guide them. " I was wary of doing the wrong films out of ignorance.

Outsiders don't get a second chance," Minissha Lamba, an outsider, said.

Conversely, when Sonam or Sonakshi wanted to make a debut, all they had to do was hit the gym and shed their puppy fat. The deal is simple: all it takes to bag the right big project if you have the right bloodline is a sexy look.

For the likes of Minissha or Aditi Rao Hydari, who starred in her first solo lead role in last week's London Paris New York after several supporting acts, it is quite a grind.

Aditi, despite being hailed by critics and the audience alike for her bit roles in Delhi- 6 , Yeh Saali Zindagi and Rockstar , had to wait for years before London Paris New York happened.

In fact, in Delhi- 6 she was cast as Sonam Kapoor's aunt!

MAHIE Gill's story has been more or less the same.

Despite a resounding debut in Anurag Kashyap's Dev. D in 2009, she had to resort to a blink- andmiss role in Dabangg where she played sidekick Arbaaz Khan's love interest. After proving herself in small but significant roles in films such as Gulaal and Mirch , Mahie is finally taken seriously now after last year's Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster . Among the boys, Rajkumar Yadav was noted in Dibakar Banerjee's Love Sex Aur Dhokha . Although the film was applauded, Rajkumar's characters were not considered prominent. It was only after last year's Ragini MMS that he shot to prominence.

The battle between the outsiders and the insiders has been going on for decades in Bollywood. Besides handling the pressure of surviving without connections, newcomers with no bloodline also have to compete with the glamour that star kids naturally inherit. For instance, the Kapoor dynasty has been ruling the industry for decades and any Kapoor kid, entry into Bollywood is a cakewalk. While launching Ranbir Kapoor, grandson of showman Raj Kapoor, in Saawariya , director Sanjay Leela Bhansali had to keep his budding hero's pictures under wraps and monitor his public appearances to avoid over exposure.

As Akshay Kumar once rightly said: " Shah Rukh Khan and I are only actors in current times have attained this level of success all on our own, without any godfather backing us. We came without any connections in Bollywood and still managed to reach this stage thanks to sheer hard work and determination." While researching for this story, it was quite an effort for us to find a few prominent names in recent times of actors who entered the industry without bloodline. He is our list of promising selfstarters who we should look forward to.

priyanka. srivastava @ mailtoday. in

ADITI RAO HYDARI

CLAIM TO FAME

Playing Sonam Kapoor's elderly, saree- clad Ramaa bua in Delhi- 6 marked her Bollywood foray, but the film that got her noticed was Sudhir Mishra's Yeh Saali Zindagi . She played a housewife and mother and was paired opposite Arunoday Singh in a small but vital role. After a bit role in last year's Rockstar , which won her more acclaim than the film's heroine Nargis Fakhri, Aditi got her first starring role in London Paris New York .

QUICK CHECK

Half Konkani, half Hyderabadi Muslim Aditi is great- granddaughter of Akbar Hydari, Prime Minister of the Hyderabad state in pre- Independent India. She is also the grand niece of former Assam governor Saleh Akbar Hydari. Aditi is married to actor Satyadeep Misra. She trained in Bharatnatyam under Leela Samson.

COMING UP

London Paris New York producers Shrishti Arya and Goldie Behl may cast her in a new production, though nothing is confirmed as yet.

Bloodline duds

STAR kids have traditionally had a smooth launch in Bollywood, though the going afterwards hasn't always been rosy. The likes of Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor, Esha Deol and Uday Chopra keep getting re- launched almost every year thanks to their bloodline. Many others such Sonakshi Sinha in Dabangg garner a hit debut, but are unduly hyped to superstardom solely based on that one film long before fully proving themselves.

New- generation industry kids who have failed to make a mark include Mithun Chakraborty's son Mahaakshay and Zoya Morani, daughter of bigwig producer Ali Karim Morani, said to be a close friend of Shah Rukh Khan. The superstar incidentally backed Zoya's debut dud last year, Always Kabhi Kabhi . The trend was never different in Bollywood.

We had the likes of Kumar Gaurav, son of superstar Rajendra Kumar, Dev Anand's son Suniel Anand, Raj Kapoor's sons Randhir and Rajeev Kapoor, Manoj Kumar's brother Rajiv Goswami and son Kunal, and Rajkumar's son Puru Rajkumar -- all of whom failed to make a mark despite the hype.

THE ONES WHO MADE IT

SHAH RUKH KHAN

THE role model for all outsiders, is the biggest phenomenon to have risen to superstardom without a bloodline in recent times. The boy from Delhi's Rajinder Nagar started off doing theatre before TV serials such as Fauji , Dil Dariya and Circus . SRK made his debut with Deewana in 1991. The rest history.

AKSHAY KUMAR

BORN Rajeev Bhatia in Ludhiana and bred in Chandni Chowk, he worked as a waiter in Bangkok to afford martial arts training. Initially panned as a nonactor with a weak voice, Akshay is a self- made superstar.

PRIYANKA CHOPRA

DAUGHTER of an Army doctor from Bareilly, Priyanka was crowned Miss World in 2000. She made her debut with The Hero in 2003 and has risen to the top lot without any godfather or bloodline.

She won the National Award as Best Actress for Fashion in 2008.

KANGNA RANAUT

HAILING from a modest family in Bhambla, Himachal Pradesh, she briefly worked with the Asmita theatre group in Delhi before Anurag Basu spotted her at a coffee shop while scouting for a heroine for his 2006 film, Gangster .

VIDYA BALAN

VIDYA struggled as a sidekick on the television sitcom Hum Paanch and featured in music albums for a while before Pradeep Sarkar gave her a break in his 2005 film Parineeta . With Ishqiya , Paa , No One Killed Jessica , The Dirty Picture and this week's Kahaani , she has carved her niche. Vidya has won this year's National Award as Best Actress for The Dirty Picture .

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Mar 10, 2012
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