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Swara Bhaskar: ©MarkBennington

Swara Bhaskar reviews a script on the local train from Andheri to Churchgate (before her breakout success in "Tanu Weds Manu" and “Raanjhanaa"). ‘Being in Bombay, wanting to be in this business is like falling for someone you know is bad for you. It’s going to screw with your head and heart and it’s going to make you a little mad, but you’re in it. There’s a saying, “Dil laga bhains se, toh pari kya cheez hai,” meaning, “If you fall for a buffalo, then even a fairy will not seem attractive to you.” It’s an addiction!’

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Shivam Bhargava: ©MarkBennington

Relatively new actor, Shivam Bhargava, rehearses a dance sequence with well-known Bollywood dance instructor Shakur Shaikh. After working as a casting assistant to Shanoo Sharma at YRF, he acted in his first film, Siddhartha: Love, Lust, Peace. "I used to be very lazy. I used to sleep eighteen hours a day. But now working towards my career seems very easy because I love every bit of it…even though I hardly get any sleep!"

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

Struggling actor (and notorious street performer) Gabbar Singh enacts a scene from the classic film “Sholay" at the Gateway of India.

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Ranbir Kapoor: ©MarkBennington

Ranbir Kapoor pauses between takes for a commercial ad shoot at the Yash Raj Films studio in Andheri. He is from the fourth generation of the Kapoor acting family dynasty and has been starring in films since his debut in 2007. He is one of Bollywood’s biggest new wave of stars. ‘If you are rude to a fan, you lose that fan for life. As a kid, I used to watch my father and how he was with his fans. He was a bit short-tempered. So if he was eating dinner and a fan came for his autograph, he would shoo him away and I would always look at the fan’s face and think, “That person is never going to watch my father’s movies again.” So I don’t take it for granted.’

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

Struggling actor Kanan Chakor outside an audition site in Versova. “Giving auditions for us strugglers is hard. There are thousands of guys giving auditions every day. On days when I want to give up, I just push myself saying, ‘No, you have to do it!’. I give 3 to 5 auditions each day.”

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Vijay Raaz: ©MarkBennington

Vijay Raaz, behind the set at Kamlistan studio, “I have never understood insecurity. That’s the only thing I never understood. The nature around you is so perfect why is there any need to go against it? The truth is, there is so much uncertainty… so what is it that I want to make certain? Certainty is a joke...It can never happen… as there is no certainty. So, just let things be.”

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

Mithun “Dada” Chakraborty on set outside his vanity van. “I think we are bigger than Hollywood, so we should be called ‘Hollywood Plus!’

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Kareena Kapoor: ©MarkBennington

Kareena Kapoor: On a commercial ad shoot for sunscreen on Madh Island. “Yeah everyone gossips but I’m not really affected by it, I think it’s much different here than it is in Hollywood… See, I come from a film family and a tradition… so it’s more intimate and never vindictive... most everyone from here is pretty good natured."

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Kareena Kapoor: ©MarkBennington

Kareena Kapoor, of the Kapoor acting family dynasty, between takes at a commercial ad shoot for sunscreen at Madh Island. She is easily one of the reigning queens of Bollywood. "Yeah, everyone gossips but I’m not really affected by it,’ she says. ‘I think it’s very different here from Hollywood. I come from a film family and a tradition, so it’s more intimate and never vindictive. Almost everyone here is pretty good-natured."

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Ranveer Singh: ©MarkBennington

Ranveer Singh on the balcony at the 2011 Global Indian Film and TV Honours ceremony, a month after his debut in the hit film "Band Baaja Baaraat", and just moments before dramatically flying down on stage using a harness. He has since become one of the most celebrated actors in Bollywood.

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Naseeruddin Shah: ©MarkBennington

Naseeruddin Shah, best known to international audiences for his work in Mira Niar’s hit film “Monsoon Wedding" and his wife Ratna Pathak Shah watch a rehearsal in progress from the lighting booth at Prithvi Theatre in Juhu. Mr. Shah is known in the industry as the "greatest actor in India."

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Sonakshi Sinha: ©MarkBennington

Sonakshi Sinha, rehearses for Stardust Awards. “Everyone was expecting me to get into acting because of my dad, but I was so overweight, I never even thought about it. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see an actor, I just saw a fat girl.”

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Salman Khan: ©MarkBennington

On location in Pune, crowds gather at dusk on nearby buildings to get a glimpse of one of the country’s biggest and most beloved stars, Salman Khan.

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Chitrangada Singh: ©MarkBennington

Model turned actress, Chitrangada Singh during a press conference for the film "Yeh Saali Zindagi" in 2011. She is known as one of the most beautiful actresses in Bollywood, who, although having done few films, has multiple brand endorsements. "I don’t like watching myself on screen. I just cringe (because) I find too many faults."

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Prem Chopra: ©MarkBennington

Prem Chopra at home overlooking Bandra. “When I was 21, after being here a few months I was riding on the train and someone asked me if I was an actor, I said, ‘Yes’ and that was it. I got my first job.”

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

Hundreds of young struggling actors move to Mumbai everyday. "I want to try it... It's my dream to be the next Salman or Shah Rukh Khan."

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

Young actress at a ‘commercial ad’ audition at Studio 7000, Andheri. “You have to love auditioning to do this (job)!”

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

Relatively new TV actress Pooja Verma in a typical dressing room she shares with three other actresses on the sets of the soap opera “Bhagyavidhaata" in Film City, Mumbai.

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