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Living the Dream: The Life of the 'Bollywood' Actor

Struggling actor Nitin Gupta working out at Diljit’s Gymko in Seven Bungalows section of Mumbai. "I want to work but never did the casting couch, even though I faced it in the early days. When I went for auditions, some male coordinators called me to their places and said, “Okay, you sleep with me and I’ll give you work.” Just like that. I came here in 2009 and never went to acting class. I just did the Bollywood dance classes and joined the gym. It’s very competitive here, but at the gym I feel like I’m the best."

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Shayan Munshi: ©MarkBennington

Shayan Munshi sits at a traffic light in Mumbai. "Life comes with a mixed bag of luck... I've had my ups and downs, but isn't that all a part of life? I could've perhaps rethought my move to the UK after Jhankaar Beats, but that wasn't to be. My choices have had their own positives and have been instrumental in shaping me and my understanding life and seeking inspiration... I'm moving forward and don't ever want to look back."

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Nargis Fakhri: ©MarkBennington

New York City native, Nargis Fakhri is a highly recognized model, who made her acting debut opposite Ranbir Kapoor in the film “Rockstar". Seen here, in her bathroom, getting ready for a promotional event at Shoppers Stop in the Juhu Beach section of Mumbai.

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Living the Dream: The Life of the 'Bollywood' Actor

Pushttie Shakti at home during a tarot reading for a friend. “Life is a fairy tale, if you can see the magic in it… and when you don’t make the connection, life is drab. [Life] is what you make of it. I think people are jealous of me because they think I know something they don’t… but actually, I think we all know it, we just have to get into our unconscious mind.”

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Shilpa Shetty: ©MarkBennington

Shilpa Shetty outside her vanity van after a commercial ad shoot at Mehboob Studio in the Bandra section of Mumbai. She shot to fame in the early 1990s and stayed on top for more than a decade. "In Bollywood (as a heroine) you lead a fairytale life on screen for your fans. It’s so colorful and you have the songs and the dances. You are their fantasy. So when a heroine gets married in real life, the audience, who have been fantasizing about her, suddenly no longer can. It’s over. That’s how it works. That’s Indian mentality!"

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Living the Dream: The Life of the 'Bollywood' Actor

Saurabh Shukla outside his office, waiting to start rehearsal.

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