Getting a break in Bollywood is not easy. That's why they call it a struggle. The things actors have done to get a role in a film can be a movie in itself. Few make it, and even fewer flourish. All actors go through their own struggle.

Akshay Kumar has been the embodiment of a self-made man. Without a godfather, mentor, or any connection to make it in Bollywood, and make it big is close to impossible. When Akshay Kumar began and was struggling to get a role in a film he came knocking on Rajesh Khanna's door but was turned away.

Rajesh Khanna and Akshay Kumar

Rajesh Khanna refused to meet Akshay Kumar

To get one door to open you need to knock on many more, that's how it is in Bollywood. Akshay Kumar as a struggling actor tried to do everything in his power in order to bag a film and get a chance in Bollywood. We tend to see a star only in their glory, never before that or after that and that's why their stories feel almost like fiction when we hear about them.

Rajesh Khanna was India's first superstar with numerous hits to his name. Forget new actors, known producers and filmmakers would be waiting to meet the actor. In the late 80s and early 1990s, Rajesh Khanna dabbled in producing and was planning to make a film Jai Shiv Shankar (1990). 

Rajesh Khanna
Rajesh KhannaMail & Guardian

Akshay Kumar came to meet Rajesh Khanna and audition for a role in the film in which Rajesh Khanna would be starring in himself. He was turned away being told that the superstar was busy. According to a media report, he still got to meet Dimple Kapadia instead who gave him some advice and words of encouragement. 

While the film proceeded without Akshay Kumar and Chunky Panday bagged the role, till this date it remains unreleased. It was supposed to mark the first time Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia would appear as a couple on-screen. Interestingly, Akshay not only went on to become a celebrated superstar, but he also married Rajesh Khanna's daughter, Twinkle