From Twinkle Khanna to Shilpa Shetty - Bollywood celebs who chose alternative careers

Having an alternative career to rely on can be a boon, even for the most famous of the lot. Meet Bollywood celebs like Shilpa Shetty, Twinkle Khanna, who are pursuing careers outside of acting.

23rd Aug 2019
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Having a Plan B is always a good idea, even if you’re a superstar and have all the financial security in the world. While giving up on your first choice of career right off the bat may not seem like the best idea, taking it slow and exploring other options certainly is. And for these five Bollywood celebs, choosing alternative careers proved to be the right choice.


Bollywood celebs alternative career

(L-R) Twinkle Khanna, Shilpa Shetty, Karisma Kapoor, Lara Dutta, Sushmita Sen


Twinkle Khanna


Born to superstar parents Dimple Kapadia and Rajesh Khanna, it was obvious that Twinkle Khanna was destined for the big screen. She made her debut with the film Barsaat alongside Bobby Deol in the year 1995, but her Bollywood career did not last long. She eventually left the industry in 2001, with just around 15 movies under her belt.


Twinkle Khanna 2.0, is known more for her wit and humour than her acting chops. And she has spun a career out of her natural ability to make people laugh. Post a tepid stint in Bollywood, she began writing features for newspapers giving her hilarious take on a range of subjects, from motherhood to Modi.


This led to the moniker of ‘Mrs Funnybones’ in 2014, which was followed by a book in the same name. Her personal branding helped her launch her own production house - Mrs Funnybones Movies – in 2016.


In 2018, Twinkle Khanna produced the award-winning movie Padman, which starred her husband, Akshay Kumar.


Karisma Kapoor


Karisma Kapoor began her career in Bollywood with Prem Qaidi in 1991, and went on to star in some of the biggest hits of the industry. With around 60 films in her repertoire, she took a break from full-time acting in the year 2004.


In 2011, she invested in the kidswear brand Babyoye, and owns a 26 percent share in the company. Although she made a comeback in acting with the film Dangerous Ishq in 2012, she has not returned to the silver screen at a large scale.


This year, Karisma Kapoor is expected to make her web series debut with Ekta Kapoor's Mentalhood.


Shilpa Shetty


Shilpa Shetty has perhaps the most impressive comeback story. She had entered the film industry in 1993 with the film Baazigar alongside Shahrukh Khan and Kajol. She acted in various other movies, but failed to impress at the box office. She took a break from acting in 2007.


In 2007, she became a contestant and the winner of the UK show Celebrity Big Brother, being the first Indian to take part in it. She rose to international prominence and garnered support from people across the UK and India when it became apparent she was being targeted by other contestants.


Shilpa took the hostility in the house on the chin and with much grace managed to turn a low moment in her favour and made a great comeback. The next year, she hosted the show Bigg Boss in India. In 2009, she and her husband, Raj Kundra, bought stakes in the IPL team Rajasthan Royals and became part-owners.


Shilpa, who began practising yoga back in 2001, launched her own yoga DVD in 2014. This year, she launched an app for fitness complete with over 15 programmes and a 21-day weight loss plan.


She is expected to return to movies with the film Nikamma, slated to release in 2020.


Sushmita Sen


Sushmita Sen, who is best known for winning the Miss Universe contest in 1994, made her Bollywood debut in 1996 with the film Dastak. She went on to act in many more, including in various regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali. She was last seen on the silver screen with the movie No Problem, in 2010.


Alongside her acting career, she launched her production house, Tantra Entertainment, in 2005. In 2010, she established I AM She, a platform to select the next Miss Universe contestants. The company, however, stopped operations in 2012.


In June this year, Sushmita Sen revealed that she would be making a comeback in her acting career through various digital platforms such as Netflix and Amazon.


Lara Dutta


Lara Dutta, of Miss Intercontinental and Miss Universe fame, made her entry into Bollywood with the 2003 film Andaaz, which won her a Filmfare award for the best female debut.


She soon began racking up a number of films, and was last seen on the big screen with Welcome To New York, in 2018. She has also acted in Tamil and Telugu movies.


Alongside acting, she established her production company, Bheegi Basanti Entertainment, in 2010. In 2012, she launched a prenatal yoga film, encouraging women to stay fit during pregnancy. In 2013, she launched her own designer saree line through Chhabra 555.


Lara Dutta is expected to make her digital production debut with an upcoming web series based on The Meadow, Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark's 2012 book.



(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)




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