Bollywood stars who Were Assistant Directors before making their acting debut

Most young actors in Bollywood are star kids, but still, they were not handed their debut film on a platter. Most of them spent years working as Assistant Directors (AD), assisting the top filmmakers, and learning how films get made.

The young Bollywood stars you see today, worked behind the camera, before facing the camera as an actor.

Most star kids are quite clear about what they want in life; most of them want to join the film industry right from a young age (while some manage to finish their formal studies, most are not bothered). However, a lot of these young film aspirants do courses in film schools nowadays, and some go on to assist leading filmmakers.

“Bhansali sir beat the craft out of me. He also taught me everything I know about films today. My experience of the best teachers is that they can detect potential – even when a student, and in my case an actor, with the many glittering distractions of youth, is doing their best to waste or ignore their talents. Without teachers much of this potential would go unused,” says Ranbir Kapoor.

Here are the top Bollywood celebrities who started their career as assistant filmmakers, before becoming actors.

Sidharth Malhotra

Bollywood actor Sidharth Malhotra worked as an assistant director to Karan Johar on the film My Name Is Khan (2010).

Loading...

Varun Dhawan

He is the son of (comedy) filmmaker David Dhawan. Before making his acting debut, Varun worked as an assistant director to Karan Johar in the film ‘My Name Is Khan’ (2010).

Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra were not given any special treatment, and had to work hard, assisting Karan Johar on the sets of My Name Is Khan (featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the lead).

It also proves that Karan Johar makes you go through the grind, before giving them bigger opportunities. Karan Johar, impressed by Varun & Sidharth, later launched them (along with Alia Bhatt) in the film ‘Student of the Year’ (2012)

Ranbir Kapoor

Ranbir Kapoor has worked as an assistant director on several films such as PremGranth, Aa Ab Laut Chalen and Black (2005) before making his acting debut.



Ranveer Singh

The flamboyant Ranveer Singh worked as an assistant director for filmmaker Shaad Ali on films like Bunty Aur Babli and a few ad films, before making his acting debut in Band Baaja Baaraat.

Sonam Kapoor

Bollywood fashion icon Sonam Kapoor worked as an assistant director to Sanjay Leela Bhansali in the film Black (2005).

Arjun Kapoor

The dashing actor worked as an assistant director for many films such as ‘Shakthi: The Power’, ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ and Salaam-e-Ishq, before completely transforming his body to make his debut as an actor.

Sooraj Pancholi

Bollywood actor Sooraj Pancholi (who made more headlines because of actress Jiah Khan’s suicide) worked as an assistant director to Sanjay Leela Bhansali in the film Guzaarish (2010), before making his acting debut.

Emraan Hashmi

Bollywood serial kisser Emraan Hashmi worked as an assistant director to Vikram Bhatt for the horror film Raaz (2002).

Hrithik Roshan

Bollywood Greek God Hrithik Roshan worked as a child actor in several films, and also assisted his father Rakesh Roshan on several films such as King Uncle, Karobaar.

Kunal Kapoor

Kunal Kapoor, who’s married to Naina Bachchan (niece of Amitabh Bachchan) worked as assistant director on films Aks (2001) and for filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, before making his acting debut.