Hollywood films and American television are teeming with extraordinary talent from all over the world. Actors of various origins need appropriate opportunities to present themselves internationally, and cinema and television have tried for several years to be more inclusive.
Several Indian actors have been part of famous movies and shows coming out of Hollywood. From renowned Indian actors such as Irrfan, Om Puri and Nasiruddin Shah, to younger actors such as Kal Penn, there is no shortage of brilliant talents from India.
ten Surah Sharma
A young actor of Indian origin who is trying to be successful in Hollywood is Suraj Sharma. Fans will remember Sharma as the rustic young man who played the young Pi in the gorgeous movie The life of Pi.
After her formidable debut, Sharma appeared on shows such as Showtime’s Country and he’s on the right track for what all fans hope will be a prolific career.
9 Amitabh Bachchan
Bollywood superstar of yesteryear and still very active and beloved today, Amitabh Bachchan has also had her share of roles in Hollywood projects, although perhaps not as many as her fans would like.
Bachchan starred in the film with Leonardo DiCaprio and Toby McGuire, The Great Gatsby, an adaptation of the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He plays the flamboyant player Meyer Wolfsheim, who crosses paths with Gatsby and becomes his business partner.
8 Shabana Azmi
Yet another prominent Indian actor, Shabana Azmi has been a part of Hollywood projects, such as Midnight children, which was an adaptation of the acclaimed Salman Rushdie novel of the same name, and The reluctant fundamentalist, alongside Riz Ahmed.
Azmi is a respected actress in India, having worked with some of the country’s most renowned filmmakers. She is known for playing intensely realistic roles, much of it in quirky cinema, and has an impressive repertoire of films over her decades-long career.
seven Anupam Kher
Veteran Indian actor Anupam Kher has appeared in a few Hollywood projects, such as Oscar winner Silver Linings Playbook and Midnight children.
Kher also appeared in Bombay Hotel, based on the real events of the horrific 11/26 attacks in Mumbai when terrorists took control of several key locations in India’s financial capital, including the famous Taj Mahal hotel. In the movie, Kher played the chef who decides not to escape the hotel when the window of opportunity presents itself and stands back to help the guests who are still trapped inside. He also appeared in the Gurinder Chadha films, play it like Beckham and Bride & Prejudice.
6 Aishwarya Rai
The charming Aishwarya Rai was one of the first of her generation of Indian actors to turn to Western projects, starring in films like Gurinder Chadha. Bride & Prejudice, Provoked, The last legion starring Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley, and as femme fatale in the comedy-drama, The Pink Panther 2.
Rai is presented as one of the most beautiful actresses in Indian commercial cinema and has been on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival for years.
5 Ali Fazal
Handsome Ali Fazal is slowly but surely making his mark in Hollywood with his landmark role with none other than Dame Judy Dench in Stephen Frears’ historical drama, Victoria and Abdel.
Fazal will next be seen in Kenneth Brannagh’s highly anticipated adaptation of Agatha Christie’s bestselling novel, Death on the Nile.
4 Kunal Nayyar
Kunal Nayyar is a household name for fans of the hit American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. While the actor was born in England and is British, his family moved back to India when he was only four years old and he grew up in New Delhi. Nayyar played the lovable Rajesh Koothrapalli, a shy young astrophysicist suffering from the inability to speak to women and who managed to overcome the problem, although unfortunately he was still celibate by the end of the series.
Nayyar then got out of his comfort zone and took a spooky ride in the Netflix crime drama Criminal like manipulator Sandeep Singh, a cold-hearted murderer who ends up caught up in his own web of lies and deception. Fans can’t wait to find out what Nayyar has up his sleeve next.
3 Om Puri
Another veteran Indian actor was Om Puri, known for his roles in Indian arthouse films. The actor has appeared in a number of Hollywood films, from films with Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts, Charlie Wilson’s War, The hundred foot journey, where he starred alongside Dame Helen Mirren, and the comedy-drama, East is East.
One of his last appearances before his tragic death in 2017 was that of Gurinder Chadha Viceroy’s House.
2 Irrfan Khan
The most acclaimed Indian actor in Hollywood, with an impressive array of roles in a number of high-profile films, was Irrfan Khan. The beloved actor passed away in April 2020 after battling cancer, but not before giving the world incredible roles in several different languages.
Irrfan has appeared in films like Mira Nair’s Namesake, Slumdog Millionaire, a mighty heart, alongside Angelina Jolie, Hell with Tom Hanks, and of course, as an adult Pi in Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning film Pi’s life.
1 Priyanka Chopra
Perhaps the one Indian actor who has found the most popularity in recent years is Priyanka Chopra, who has made waves in Western films and on television. Chopra recently added another feather to her cap when she and her husband Nick Jonas announced the nominees for the 93rd Academy Awards for 2020.
Chopra got her big chance on western television with the lead role in the crime drama, Quantum. She has appeared in movies like Baywatch, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Zac Effron, A child like Jake, starring Claire Danes and Jim Parsons, and was recently seen in the original Netflix film, The White Tiger, which landed an Oscar nomination. Chopra will next be seen in the highly anticipated sequel to the phenomenal success. Matrix series.
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