The First Salaries Of These Bollywood Celebs Will Surprise You

Written by Chaitra Krishnan, MA (Journalism & Mass Communication)  • 

Swanky bungalows, shiny cars, and super expensive designer outfits are common for most of the big players in Bollywood. While some of them are lucky enough to be born into families that are already rich, some others earned the life they live today by giving in their blood and sweat to their work. We’ve always focused on the luxury side of their present lives and never thought about the struggle they must’ve gone through to reach where they are. Most of these wealthy celebrities started off with very low salaries when compared to what they are earning today. It’s hard to imagine our favorite stars who we see surrounded by all things luxurious, living a normal life just like us, Isn’t it?

The journeys of these stars often become the inspiration for millions of common folks to try their luck in the glamorous world of Bollywood. They prove that you can make it big in life even if you’ve started from the scratch. Speaking of starting from the scratch, ever wondered that their first salaries looked like? They definitely weren’t an 8-figure number. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the first salaries of these big names.

Amitabh Bachchan- 500 Rupees

Image: Instagram @amitabhbachchan

Big B is an irreplaceable gem of Bollywood but had he continued his work as an executive in a shipping company, he wouldn’t have been the star he is today. His first salary at the company that was located in Kolkata was just 500 Rupees a month! Needless to say, his journey from 500 Rupees to 400 million dollars is as iconic as the legend himself.

Shahrukh Khan- 50 Rupees

Image: Instagram @iamsrk

If you haven’t heard the story of the Delhi boy who stood in front of a hotel in Mumbai wishing to buy it someday, are you even an SRK fan? Bollywood’s King Khan had only 1500 Rupees in his pocket when he came to Mumbai to build his career. He was paid 50 rupees as his first salary and today he’s one among the highest paid actors in the whole world. Like the protagonist in Om Shanti Om played by SRK says, “Agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho to puri kayanat usey tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai”(If you desire for something from the depth of your heart, the whole universe will try to help you achieve it). SRK’s net worth is estimated to be around $600million! (FYI)

Irrfan Khan- 25 Rupees

Image: Instagram @studiopankh

Irrfan Khan, one of the finest actors of Bollywood worked as a tuition teacher to meet his ends. He charged 25 Rupees per student as the tuition fee and now his net worth is $50 million. Well, life is definitely what we want it to be and Irrfan Khan’s life is a true testament to it.

Aamir Khan- 1000 Rupees

Image: Instagram @aamirkhanactorx

The perfectionist actor of B-town had a humble beginning even though he is from a family familiar to the film industry. His first salary was just 1000 Rupees when he worked as an assistant director. We know how picky the man is and how long we have to wait to see him on the big screen every time. Despite the very few films he does, his net worth is over $200 million!

Rohit Shetty- 35 Rupees

Image: Instagram @itsrohitshetty

Rohit Shetty is one of those directors who have their own signature style of movie making. If you’ve paid attention to the style of his direction, you must’ve noticed how every movie of his has action packed scenes right from cars exploding to breath-taking stunts. But there was a time when he earned just 35 Rupees per day. Rohit and his family had a prolonged financial crisis after his father, Mudhu B Shetty died.He was a renowned actor and a fight director. Rohit got his first salary when he started working as an assistant director under Kuku Kohli. Today, Rohit Shetty’s net worth is around $38 million.

Akshay Kumar- 1500 Rupees

Image: Instagram @akshaykumar

Did you know that Bollywood’s most popular action hero was a waiter and a chef at a Bangkok restaurant before he entered the industry? His first salary was 1500 Rupees and now his net worth is estimated to be more than $150 million. With back to back blockbuster movies, we’re sure he’s going to earn a lot more.

Kalki Koechlin- 40 Pounds

Image: Instagram

Kalki is yet another actress who is very selective about her movies. With movies like Dev D, Shanghai, and That Girl In Yellow Boots, she drew her own territory among the actresses who are content with commercially successful movies. As a student, Kalki used to wait on tables to pay her bills. Her first salary was 40 pounds which she spent on her rent right after she got it. Now she owns $20 million!

Naseeruddin Shah- 7.50 Rupees

Image: Instagram

The veteran actor of the Hindi film industry earned his first pay by acting as an extra in a funeral scene behind actor Rajendra Kumar. He was only 16 at that time and got Rs 7.50 for the scene. Today, his net worth is around $30 million!

No matter where they have reached today, all of these humble actors remember their journey to fame and their first salary. They never forget their roots and that’s probably why they are so good at handling their success. Whose first salary story surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments section below.

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