10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions

The journey to becoming a Bollywood star is often paved with rejection. Here are 10 individuals who faced failed auditions.

10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions - f

This rejection did not deter him.

In the dazzling world of Bollywood, the journey to becoming a household name is often paved with rejection and failed auditions.

It’s a tale as old as Indian cinema itself—talented actors and actresses facing the harsh realities of the film industry, only to emerge stronger, and eventually, victorious.

DESIblitz delves into the inspiring stories of 10 Bollywood stars who once faced rejection, showcasing that a failed audition is not the end but a stepping stone to box office glory.

From the initial heartbreak of being replaced to ultimately ruling the silver screen, their journeys illuminate the unpredictable path of Bollywood success.

Let’s dive into the resilience and determination that transforms rejection into triumph, proving that every setback in the film industry can pave the way for legendary success.

Ranveer Singh

10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions - fRanveer Singh has become synonymous with some of the most iconic roles in recent Bollywood history.

His captivating performances in blockbusters like Padmaavat, Simmba, and Gully Boy have not only earned him critical acclaim but also a massive fan following.

However, the journey to stardom was not a bed of roses for this powerhouse of talent.

In the early days of his career, Ranveer faced his fair share of setbacks and rejections, a testament to his resilience and unwavering spirit.

It was during an enlightening interview that acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap shed light on one such instance.

Ranveer, who was then a budding actor filled with dreams and aspirations, auditioned for a role in the movie Shaitaan.

Despite his potential, he was not selected for the part, a decision that could have disheartened many.

But for Ranveer, it was just the beginning.

Adding to the list of early career setbacks, Ranveer also auditioned for a role in Bombay Velvet, another project associated with Anurag Kashyap.

Unfortunately, he faced rejection once again, with concerns being raised about his bankability as an actor.

Alia Bhatt

10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions - 2Alia Bhatt has firmly established herself as one of Bollywood’s brightest stars.

With her remarkable performances in films such as Udta Punjab, Raazi, and Gully Boy, Alia has not only won the hearts of millions but also garnered respect as a serious actor.

Her journey, however, is a classic tale of turning rejection into a stepping stone for success.

At the tender age of 17, long before she became the household name she is today, Alia faced one of her first major setbacks in the industry.

She auditioned for a role in the 2009 coming-of-age film Wake Up Sid, a movie that would go on to become a cult favourite among the youth.

Despite her enthusiasm and the raw talent she possessed even then, Alia did not cut the part.

This rejection could have been a discouraging blow to any young aspirant in the fiercely competitive world of Bollywood. Yet, it was anything but the end for Alia.

A clip from this audition surfaced online a few years ago, offering a glimpse into the early days of Alia’s career.

The video showcased a young, determined Alia, brimming with the potential that would soon make her one of the most sought-after actresses in Indian cinema.

Vicky Kaushal

10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions - 3Vicky Kaushal has carved a niche for himself in the hearts of cinema lovers.

His journey, marked by an unwavering passion and relentless hard work, is a source of inspiration for many.

From his breakout role in Masaan to his endearing performance in Raazi, and his commanding presence in Uri: The Surgical Strike, Vicky has demonstrated an impressive range and depth in his acting.

However, the road to success did not have hurdles for this talented actor.

Before the accolades and the acclaim, Vicky faced his share of rejections that tested his resolve.

A lesser-known fact about his early career is his audition for the film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, a biopic on the legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh.

Despite his potential, Vicky Kaushal was not selected for a role in the movie.

This rejection could have been a setback for any aspiring actor, but for Vicky, it was a learning experience that only fuelled his determination to succeed.

Vicky’s rejection from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a testament to the unpredictable nature of the film industry, where talent alone does not guarantee success.

It underscores the importance of perseverance, resilience, and the ability to learn from every experience, be it positive or negative.

Deepika Padukone

10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions - 4Deepika Padukone has etched her place not only in the heart of Bollywood but has also made significant inroads into Hollywood, captivating a global audience with her compelling performances.

Her roles in films like Chhapaak, where she portrayed an acid attack survivor and Piku, where she brought to life the everyday struggles and joys of a modern woman, have solidified her status as a cinematic powerhouse.

Deepika’s journey is a beacon of inspiration, illustrating her ability to breathe life into diverse characters, making each role memorable and impactful.

Despite her towering success and massive fan following, Deepika’s journey in the film industry is a narrative of perseverance and resilience.

A lesser-known chapter in her illustrious career is her audition for the critically acclaimed film Beyond The Clouds, directed by the renowned Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi.

In a surprising turn of events, Deepika, despite her proven potential and popularity, did not cut the role.

This moment, though seemingly a setback, underscores the unpredictable nature of the film industry, where every audition can be a gamble, irrespective of one’s achievements.

The rejection from Beyond The Clouds serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges and uncertainties that even the most successful actors face.

However, for Deepika, it was far from a deterrent.

Instead, it exemplified her unwavering spirit and commitment to her craft.

It’s a testament to her character, showcasing her readiness to embrace rejection, learn from it, and move forward with even greater determination.

Ranbir Kapoor

10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions - 5Ranbir Kapoor has carved a niche for himself with his unparalleled talent and charisma.

Known for his ability to dive deep into the psyche of his characters, Ranbir has delivered some of the most memorable performances in recent Bollywood history.

His roles in films like Barfi!, where he played a lovable mute and deaf man and Sanju, a biopic where he transformed into the controversial Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, have not only entertained millions but also earned him critical acclaim.

Ranbir’s journey, however, is a testament to the fact that the path to success is often paved with challenges and setbacks.

One lesser-known chapter in Ranbir’s illustrious career is his audition for Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

The film, which went on to receive widespread acclaim for its storytelling and performances, could have featured Ranbir in a leading role.

However, in a turn of events that highlights the unpredictable nature of the film industry, Ranbir was not selected for the part.

Mira Nair, a director known for her discerning eye for talent, felt that Ranbir did not fit the bill for the character she envisioned.

This decision, while undoubtedly a setback for any actor, especially one as passionate about his craft as Ranbir, did not deter him from his path.

This rejection is a poignant reminder of the realities of the film industry, where not every audition turns into a role, and not every role turns into a success story.

Sara Ali Khan

10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions - 6Sara Ali Khan has quickly captured the hearts of audiences across India with her charm, wit, and promising talent.

As the scion of the Pataudi lineage and the daughter of actors Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh, Sara entered the industry amidst high expectations and a spotlight that scrutinises every move.

Her journey, marked by both anticipation and the inevitable challenges of Bollywood, reflects the resilience required to carve a niche in this competitive field.

In her relatively short tenure in the film industry, Sara has already experienced the highs and lows that come with the territory.

Her candid revelations about facing rejection early in her career shed light on the realities of the film industry, where success is as much about perseverance as it is about talent.

One notable instance of this was her audition for the role in the high-profile film Thugs Of Hindostan, a project that boasted names like Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan.

Sara auditioned for the role that eventually went to Fatima Sana Shaikh.

According to reports, Sara was not selected for the role after failing the look test, a decision made by none other than Aditya Chopra.

This rejection, however, did not deter Sara. Instead, it served as a stepping stone, teaching her valuable lessons about the industry’s workings and the importance of resilience.

Varun Dhawan

10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions - 7Varun Dhawan has firmly established himself as one of Bollywood’s most beloved actors.

With a fan base that spans across the country, Varun’s brand of entertainment, combining impeccable comedic timing with emotional depth, has won hearts and box office success.

His filmography, featuring a diverse range of roles from the intense Badlapur to the dance-centric ABCD franchise, showcases his ability to slip into any character with ease and conviction.

Varun’s journey, however, is a classic tale of perseverance, marked by initial setbacks that eventually led to his rise as a luminary in Indian cinema.

Before the glitz, the accolades, and the adulation, Varun Dhawan, like many aspiring actors, faced the sting of rejection.

His early foray into the world of acting was met with challenges that tested his resolve and dedication to his craft.

Notably, Varun auditioned for two significant roles that would have marked his entry into Bollywood but was not selected for either.

He was rejected for Suraj Sharma’s role in the critically acclaimed Life of Pi, a film that went on to gain international fame and accolades.

Additionally, Varun also auditioned for Prateik Babbar’s role in Dhobi Ghat, a movie directed by the renowned filmmaker Kiran Rao, which was well-received for its narrative and performances.

These rejections, while disheartening at the moment, did not deter Varun from pursuing his dreams.

Instead, they fuelled his determination to prove himself, to hone his skills, and to prepare for the opportunities that lay ahead.

Anushka Sharma

10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions - 8Anushka Sharma’s journey in the Indian film industry is a compelling narrative of resilience, talent, and eventual triumph.

Before she became one of Bollywood’s most beloved actresses, Anushka faced her share of challenges and rejections that tested her mettle.

A notable moment in her early career was her audition for the blockbuster film 3 Idiots, a project that sought to cast the role of Pia, which ultimately became one of Kareena Kapoor’s most memorable performances.

Directed by the acclaimed Rajkumar Hirani, the film was a critical and commercial success, and not landing the role could have been a significant setback for any aspiring actress.

However, Anushka Sharma’s story did not end with this rejection.

In an interesting twist of fate, her path crossed with Director Rajkumar Hirani’s once again, but this time, it was for a role in the film PK.

Anushka’s portrayal of Jagat “Jaggu” Janini in PK not only won her critical acclaim but also showcased her versatility and depth as an actress.

This collaboration marked a significant milestone in her career, proving that initial rejections could indeed lead to greater opportunities.

Anushka’s career trajectory since then has been nothing short of remarkable.

With a diverse portfolio of roles in films that span a wide range of genres, she has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in Bollywood.

Vijay Varma

10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions - 9Vijay Varma’s path to recognition in the Indian film industry is a compelling narrative of persistence, resilience, and eventual triumph.

Before becoming a familiar face with his performances in Darlings, Baaghi 3, and Gully Boy, Varma navigated through the challenging waters of Bollywood, marked by a series of auditions, minor roles, and numerous rejections that tested his resolve.

A pivotal moment in Vijay Varma’s early career was his audition for the film Kai Po Che, a project that would go on to garner both critical and commercial success.

The role he auditioned for, however, was ultimately secured by Sushant Singh Rajput, marking another setback in Varma’s journey.

Yet, this rejection did not deter him; instead, it fuelled his determination to persevere in an industry known for its unpredictability and fierce competition.

Vijay Varma’s breakthrough came with his role in Gully Boy, where he portrayed the character of Moeen with such authenticity and depth that he left a permanent mark on the audience and critics alike.

This role not only showcased his acting prowess but also his ability to bring complex characters to life, earning him widespread acclaim and a more substantial foothold in Bollywood.

Following the success of Gully Boy, Varma continued to captivate audiences with his performances in Darlings and Baaghi 3, further establishing himself as a versatile actor capable of handling a range of roles.

Tiger Shroff

10 Famous Bollywood Stars Who Once Failed Auditions - 10Tiger Shroff once harboured dreams that reached beyond the Indian film industry, all the way to the high-octane world of Hollywood.

Known for his dedication to martial arts and ability to perform stunts without a double, Tiger Shroff revealed a chapter of his career journey during a conversation with Connect FM Canada.

He shared his attempt to don the suit of Spider-Man, a role he auditioned for with the unique pitch that Marvel could significantly cut down on visual effects costs given his proficiency in performing stunts in real-time.

Tiger’s pitch to Marvel wasn’t just about showcasing his stunt capabilities but also stemmed from a deeper aspiration.

He expressed a fervent desire to become a global superstar in the action genre, akin to legends like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

His admiration for these icons isn’t just about their global fame but their unparalleled contribution to the action genre, something Tiger aspires to emulate.

Despite the setback of not landing the role of Spider-Man, Tiger’s resolve and ambition remained unshaken.

He viewed this experience not as a rejection but as a stepping stone, fuelling his determination to make a mark on the global stage.

In his conversation, Tiger also hinted at encouraging discussions about potential Hollywood projects.

As the curtain falls on our exploration of Bollywood’s most famous faces who once faced rejection, it’s clear that the road to success in Indian cinema is fraught with challenges.

Failed auditions and the sting of being replaced are all part of the script for these actors and actresses.

Yet, their stories are a testament to the power of perseverance in the face of rejection.

They remind us that in the film industry, every setback can lead to a greater comeback.

These 10 stars overcame their initial failures and became box office sensations, beloved by millions and integral to the fabric of Bollywood.



Ravinder is a Content Editor with a strong passion for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. When she's not writing, you'll find her scrolling through TikTok.




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