TV actors who made the switch to movie stardom

Ayushmann Khurrana
Ayushmann Khurrana



TIME magazine recently named Ayushmann Khurrana as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and he was the only actor from India to make it into the famous annual list.

It was a giant leap for a popular movie star who started his career on TV and slowly worked his way upwards. With a number of popular TV stars now taking their first steps towards cinema, Ayushmann is one of the role models they will be looking up to.

Eastern Eye decided to do a rundown of top 10 TV stars to make it big in films.

10. Vikrant Massey: The versatile star has had a steady rise in cinema since making his big screen debut in Lootera and shown off his impressive range in diverse film projects. A sign of how in demand the actor has become is that he will have at least four film releases in 2020. The journey started with him acting in television serials, including Dharam Veer, Balika Vadhu, and a whole host of other small screen projects.

9. Satish Shah: The most successful supporting actor to make a move from TV to film is terrifically talented funny man Satish Shah. He struggled for many years, including bit parts in films, but first found big success on classic TV sitcom Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, which astonishingly saw him play 55 different characters in 55 episodes. This made him massively popular and led to a very prolific film career, which included up to 20 film releases in a year.

8. Sushant Singh Rajput: The late actor first had a taste of films when he worked as a backing dancer, but got noticed as an actor on TV drama serials Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil and Pavitra Rishta. He then became a huge cinema star after commercially and critically successful film Kai Po Che. The actor had a rollercoaster career, including big successes M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story and Chhichhore, which showed his brilliance as a performer.

7. Yami Gautam: Today, Yami Gautam is one of the most versatile cinema stars working in India and has delivered winning performances in multiple languages, including last year’s biggest sleeper hit Uri: The Surgical Strike. She has a very impressive cinema success rate, but did actually start on television with drama serials like Chand Ke Paar Chalo, Raajkumar Aaryyan and Yeh Pyar Na Hoga Kam.

6. Ayushmann Khurrana: No one has been on a bigger roll in Bollywood in recent years than Ayushmann Khurrana and today, he is seen as one of the most bankable movie stars in India. He started off on radio before making a move to hosting television shows, including on MTV and the first two seasons of India’s Got Talent. He made a winning film debut with hit comedy Vicky Donor and after a slight dip rose to the top with big blockbuster hits like Bareilly Ki Barfi, Badhaai Ho and Andhadhun.

5. R Madhavan: The actor had a prolific career on television during the 1990s, with lead roles in popular drama serials like Banegi Apni Baat, Ghar Jamai, Sea Hawk and Saaya. He then delivered a star-making turn in super hit film Alaipayuthey in 2000 and hasn’t looked back since. The actor has successfully balanced Bollywood with commercial movies in South Indian cinema, which has resulted in a massively impressive body of work.

4. Smita Patil: The first television personality to make it really big in the movies was newsreader turned actress Smita Patil. She made an instant impact with her first major film role in Bhumika by winning a National Award for Best Actress and would follow that up with unforgettable performances in a wide array of big screen successes. The legendary star is widely regarded as one of India’s greatest actresses of all time and delivered an incredible body of work before tragically dying aged just 3l.

3. Vidya Balan: The most successful female to make a move from TV to film is the multi-award winning actress. She started off with a starring role in legendary TV serial Hum Paanch and then after a lot of false starts, commenced a career in cinema. She hasn’t looked back since her award-winning Bollywood debut in Parineeta and has since become one of the most successful Indian film stars from modern day.

2. Irrfan Khan: The late actor spent most of the 1990s acting on television in diverse projects, including legendary serial Banegi Apni Baat. He almost quit acting, but then landed a lead role in British film The Warrior and became the most successful Indian actor in Hollywood of all time. He balanced commercial Bollywood projects, with meaningful cinema and high-profile Hollywood films like Inferno, Jurassic World and The Amazing Spider-Man.

1. Shah Rukh Khan: By far the biggest small-screen success story is the superstar actor, who went from acting in TV drama serials like Fauji and Circus to becoming the king of Bollywood. The massive success attained by one of the biggest global movie stars of the modern era has been a shining beacon of light for aspiring actors, who use him as their role model, and makes them believe anything is possible.