These 5 Bollywood stars were given a chance to truly showcase their talent.
Not all Bollywood actors get the chance to perform in Hollywood movies and as a result, it is usually considered a great feat. From time to time Hollywood likes to cast Indian actors in small roles. And it is unusual for them to be cast in significant roles. Only a handful of Bollywood stars have managed to land a significant part in Hollywood.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
One of the biggest Bollywood stars of her time and former Miss World was at one point was ruling Bollywood with back-to-back hits. After her commercial and critical success in India, Aishwarya was cast in an International film. She played the lead role opposite Martin Henderson in Gurinder Chadha’s British film Bride and Prejudice, a Bollywood-style adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. Rolling Stone, an American pop magazine, noted that “she is a world-class hottie with the talent to match, as she proves in her first English-speaking role”. The movie was a commercial success. Aishwarya also had significant roles in The Mistress of Spices and Provoked but the movies failed at the box office. She also had comparatively smaller roles in International movies like The Pink Panther 2 and The Last Legion.
The Padma Shree awardee was fairly successful in Bollywood but she always had bigger dreams. She made her international debut with ABC’s Quantico. Priyanka Chopra starred as Alex Parrish, who joins the Federal Bureau of Investigation after graduating from the FBI Academy and becomes a prime suspect in a terrorist attack on Grand Central Terminal. The show aired from 2015 to 2018 and received mostly positive reviews from the critics. With the series, she also became the first South Asian to headline an American network drama series. Her Hollywood debut came with Baywatch in which she played the role of an antagonist. The movie starring Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson got unfavourable reviews, but Priyanka’s performance was appreciated. IGN declared Chopra as the highlight of the film, noting she “outshines pretty much anyone she’s in a scene with” and wrote “Chopra’s engaging and interesting and is the only character that speaks with any kind of distinctive cadence. She later did some small appearances in Isn’t It Romantic, We Can Be Heroes, and A Kid Like Jake. Her latest significant role came in Ramin Bahrani’s The White Tiger, which was released in 2021.
Irrfan’s first big lead had come from an International film The Warrior was highly acclaimed. Then he made it big in Bollywood with his effortless and flawless performances. That brought him more international attention and he starred in movies like The Namesake, A Mighty Heart and The Darjeeling Limited. The Namesake was highly acclaimed and so was his performance. In 2008 Khan played a police inspector in the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire. The role was not of the lead but it was quite significant. His performance in the film was widely acclaimed and brought him quite a lot of attention. He did multiple small roles in big movies like The Amazing Spiderman in 2012, Life of Pi and Inferno.
Ali has acted in no more than a dozen Bollywood movies, but he already managed to land himself roles in 2 Hollywood movies. His first Hollywood movie was Furious 7. Furious 7 was a big-budget action movie that was a big commercial success. But he had only a small part in the movie. He was later cast in the movie Victoria & Abdul. The movie was about the relationship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and her confidant, Indian servant Abdul Karim (Fazal). The movie received mild reviews from the critics but the Ali got to work closely with the Academy Award-winning legendary actress Judi Dench.
In his 40-year acting career, Anil Kapoor has starred in dozens of movies. One of the biggest Bollywood stars of his time, Anil has also been a part of Hollywood. He starred in the 2008 movie Slumdog Millionaire. Like Irrfan, Anil too has a significant role in the movie. He played the character of the host of a quiz show that the protagonist wins despite never going to a proper school. Anil’s character was a negative one but he received positive feedback for his performance. He also appeared in the movie Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (released in December 2011). The role was quite short.
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