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From Stage to Screen: Bollywood’s Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkummar Rao, and Mahesh Shetty Celebrate World Theatre Day

As the world celebrates World Theatre Day on March 27th, 2024, it’s a chance to reflect on the lasting influence of theatre in shaping the careers of some of Bollywood’s most talented performers. Several well-known performers, including Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkummar Rao, and Mahesh Shetty, began their careers on the stage before making their impact on the big screen.

Manoj Bajpayee

Actor Manoj Bajpayee is among Bollywood’s most successful celebrities. Though he delivered some outstanding performances early in his career, it took him some time to receive his fair share of professional recognition. Manoj Bajpayee came back as ‘Manoj Bajpayee 2.0’ with the online series ‘The Family Man’ (2019), and he currently rules the OTT space. But did you know he began his acting career in theatre? Before making his Bollywood debut, an alumni of the National School of Drama performed in various plays. Manoj made his feature film debut and then appeared in Shekhar Kapur’s ‘Bandit Queen’. ‘Satya’, ‘Kaun? and ‘Shool’, ‘Raajneeti’, among others, are some of the films where he showed his range.

Rajkumar Rao

Rajkummar Rao is one of the most remarkable actors in the Hindi cinema business. Despite beginning his career with minor roles, he established himself in the industry through hard work and perseverance. Rajkummar says Manoj Bajpayee inspired him to become an actor. During his scholastic years, the ‘Stree’ actor took part in plays. While attending The Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College (University of Delhi), he performed with the Kshitij Theatre Group and the Shri Ram Centre in Delhi.

Mahesh Shetty

Mahesh Shetty’s career in entertainment began on the theater stage, where he refined his abilities and found his passion for performing on the stage. With hard work, he moved to television, winning hearts with his parts in popular serials like Pavitra Rishta. His outstanding performance and versatility were noticed as he entered the film industry, showing what he could do in a variety of roles. From the little screen to the big screen, Mahesh’s dedication to the industry he loves is unshakeable. His entry into the cinema industry with movies like Fighter proves that he is more than just a star, but also a versatile actor capable of making an indelible mark across various mediums.

Jaideep Ahlawat

Jaideep Ahlawat rose to fame with the role of Hathi Ram Choudhary in the web series ‘Paatal Lok’ (2022). He has worked with several A-listers and delivered some stunning performances. Jaideep, who wanted to become an Army officer, became a member of a theatre company when he was in college. He did several stage plays in the states of Punjab and Haryana. Ahlawat then enrolled in acting at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in 2008. Later, he moved to Mumbai and did several projects in Bollywood.


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