What is common between Irrfan Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Ali Fazal and Nimrat Kaur? Well, all these Bollywood actors will be seen in films and TV shows in America this year. While Khan, who has already been seen in Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Life of Pi (2012), will play the role of the owner of Jurassic Park in the next installment of the popular franchise, PeeCee will debut alongside Sofia Vergara, Kerry Washington and Sandra Oh in a TV series. Kaur, who was seen in The Lunchbox (2013), has bagged a role in the popular American thriller television series Homeland, after the success of her film.
Actors and experts attribute this growing demand for Indian actors to various things. “Thanks to technology, people now know of the work that actors around the world are doing. Also, the stories that are being written in Hollywood now demand actors from different origins and ethnicities,” reasons Kaur who plays an ISI agent in the TV series, Homeland.
Tena Desae who will be seen in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, agrees with Kaur. “I think American and British cinema are looking for better global representation. So they are casting people from across the globe.” Actor Ali Fazal, who will be seen in the seventh installment of the Fast and Furious series, believes that actors from India are being cast because of their talent. “I am not even playing an Indian (in the film). I have an accent. I mean they know we have talent in India and that’s why they are coming here,” he says. However, trade analysts believe that it is the presence of a large Indian audience abroad that is prompting Hollywood to take interest in Indian actors. “It is a simple way to tap the Indian audience, both in India and abroad,” says trade analyst Atul Mohan.