How often have you heard of actors, who gave up their studies or jobs, to pursue a career in Bollywood? While Sushant Singh Rajput dropped out of a prestigious engineering college, in order to participate in the Gladrags Manhunt Contest, John Abraham quit his job as a media planner. The same goes for some of our directors, too. It’s not uncommon to see many advertising guys enter the Hindi film industry. Take R. Balki as an example. The director, known for films like Cheeni Kum and Paa, worked in the advertising industry for years. His next film, Ki and Ka, is slated to release on April 1st. Apart from R. Balki, here are some others who left the ad world for Bollywood.
Like her husband R. Balki, Gauri too used to work in advertising. In fact, the couple met while working at the same ad agency. Gauri’s directorial debut English Vinglish marked the comeback of Sridevi and was a hit. Her next film stars Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan, and the casting has got everyone talking.
Nitesh is currently busy with his film Dangal. The movie stars Aamir Khan and is based on the lives of the Phogat sisters. Nitesh also worked on Bhoothnath Returns and Chillar Party. Before making films, he worked at the ad agency Leo Burnett.
Director Ram Madhvani may have received rave reviews for his recent film Neerja, but his Bollywood debut, Let’s Talk went unnoticed. Apart from these two films, he has also directed a song in Aamir Khan‘s Taare Zameen Par. Ram is an advertising veteran, and in 2006, he won a Cannes Lion for the Happy Dent White commercial.
After working on various ad campaigns, Vinil decided to make a film. Having worked with Karan Johar on a coffee ad, Vinil approached the Bollywood powerhouse producer for his first film. Vinil’s debut movie, Hasee Toh Phasee starred Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra. Even though the film met with a lukewarm response at the box office, it won praise from the critics. Mathew hasn’t announced his next project yet.
Rensil is known for working on the screenplay of many Bollywood hits. After being a successful ad filmmaker and screenplay writer, Rensil tried his hand at direction. Unfortunately, both his movies, Kurbaan and Ungli were box-office disasters.