Netflix’s The Fame Game has everything that makes for a hit mystery thriller– the suspense, the drama, nostalgia, and of course, the mind-blowing glitz and glam.
The addition of Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit in the starring role makes this Netflix series one of the most popular shows on the streaming service in the last two years.
There are striking similarities between Madhuri Dixit and the fictional Anamika Anand in the series. Both are big-time Bollywood stars but have a dynamic family life behind the scenes.
So, one can’t help but wonder: is The Fame Game based on a true story? The answer might surprise you– read on to find out!
Whose Life Story is Fame Game?
If The Fame Game feels intriguing, it is because it is based on the day-to-day experiences of mega-celebrities and the film industry that we mere mortals never fully understand.
According to the series filmmaker Karan Johar, the show takes the viewers behind the scenes of the glamorous world of movie stars and the entertainment industry. These celebrities are incredibly famous but also real people, and their lives are full of secrets the rest of the world doesn’t know about.
The fictional narrative tells the almost real story of a Bollywood megastar, Anamika Anand, who is kidnapped, and her disappearance launches a police investigation. Amid all the drama, Anamika’s seemingly glamorous life unravels, and it is not all as rainbows and butterflies as she had portrayed it to be.
“The Fame Game unveils the lives of movie stars and shows fans that these lives are more than they appear to be. The lives of actors have so much grandeur, glitz, and glamor, but people do not know what happens behind the scenes, behind the perfect life,” Johar explained.
Johar, whose production company, Dharmatic Entertainment, directed and produced the family thriller, said that although Anamika Anand is a fictional character, the show explores themes relatable to every movie star worldwide.
Sri Rao wrote the hard-hitting narrative for The Fame Game. Other supportive directors include Karishma Kohli and Bejoy Nambiar.
According to Rao, the Indian series is unique in that despite all the fame and glitz, the story eventually boils down to that of one family.
“Although the show is set against the background of the glitzy and glamorous Bollywood and stars the iconic Madhuri Dixit, in the end, it is a familiar story about a family, including the husband, wife, and children, and the dynamic relationship between them.
He emphasized the fictional series is about the games celebrities play.
“They show a certain face to the world. But, there is another face they only show their family or no one at all. That is what the show is all about; it is about the games famous people play with their fans and the secrets they hide.”
Is Fame Game Based on Madhuri’s Life?
Bollywood megastar Madhuri Dixit Nene is popular for a reason. Her acting talent is unmatched, and her dancing skills are the envy of many. Despite leaving Bollywood for nearly a decade to start her family in the United States and later returning to India, Dixit has appeared in more than 70 movies, spanning more than three decades.
Undoubtedly, the Bollywood movie star’s life resembles that of Anamika Anand. Both are famous and amazing actors and dancers. Anand’s fictional life is full of glitz and glam, but everything starts to fall apart when the show she’s been putting up for her audience is suddenly cut short by her kidnapping.
In an interview with The New York Times, Dixit said, “On the surface, I and Anamika are quite similar. We are both superstars; she has also had plenty of experience in an industry I have worked in for a long time. Like Anand, I have a family and kids.”
She added, “However, her experiences are also very different from mine. My mom was very caring and protective; I was very sheltered. On the contrary, Anamika has a more domineering mother. Still, despite our differences, I loved playing her.”
Another difference between Dixit’s real life and Anand’s is that Anand is caught up in an era where she is told what to do, look, and behave.
”I think with me, I had more freedom to choose what I wanted to do. In my career, I got the opportunity to work with excellent scripts and directors who were very progressive for the time,” she added.
In contrast to the liberal world that Madhuri grew up in, Anamika’s world is patriarchal. She tries to create more freedom in her personal life while struggling with her family issues.
So, is Sri Rao’s The Fame Game based on Madhuri Dixit’s life story? The answer is no. But, as the famous female actor admits, her life and Anand’s share some similarities. Still, there are also some major differences, as seen throughout the entire series, and the contrast made it so interesting for her to play the role.
Anamika Anand and Manish Khanna Are Not Real People
Another misconception people have about The Fame Game is that the characters of Anamika Anand and Manish Khann are based on real Bollywood actors.
The truth is these are fictional characters. But writer and showrunner Sri Rao used inspiration from the Bollywood industry to develop these characters so that the story feels real and relatable.
Rao’s main goal in creating the series was to portray the behind-the-scenes reality of movie stars that we often do not get to see. He also wanted to explore Dixit’s incredible talent, which this series succeeded in doing.
That said, in an interview with The Hindu, Rao emphasized that the characters of Anamika Anand and Madhuri Dixit are different.
“Anamika Anand is not Madhuri Dixit. They are different, and each has their own story,” he stated.
Right from the get-go, Rao knew he wanted to create the show with Madhuri.
“When creating the show, I immediately knew that I wanted to work with Madhuri. I was really excited to work with her so much that the story almost came second to wanting to create with Madhuri, ” he added.
Manish Khanna, whose character Manav Kaul plays, is also based on fiction. But, there is no denying that Khanna embodies the many extremely handsome Bollywood characters whose acting has shown us the mental health, relationship, and family struggles that are a reality for many movie stars.
The Fame Game feels eerily familiar and relatable, meaning that Sri Rao successfully created a storyline and fictional characters that depict the dynamic, fast-moving Bollywood industry. Through the character of Anamika Anand and Manish Khanna, Madhuri Dixit and Manav Kaul embody the many entertainers who’ve had to battle the complex reality of their fame.