Call of the West: Priyanka Chopra, Nimrat Kaur and other Indian actors on Western TV

  • Kavita Awaasthi, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 24, 2014 12:12 IST

Years ago, Indian actors such as Dalip Tahil (EastEnders), Kabir Bedi (The Bold and the Beautiful and several Italian TV shows), and Saeed Jaffery (Coronation Street) played significant roles in western television.

And now, there seems to be a second wave of Indian actors making their mark on telly in the west. We look at some recent Indian faces on American TV shows.

Priyanka Chopra

After a hit music career, Priyanka has been roped in by TV network, ABC, for a lead role in a TV series. The fictional show will revolve around her and is currently under development. The actor will soon fly to the US for a narration. Priyanka had told HT Café earlier, "I am honoured and excited to have inked this deal with ABC. The fact that the network will be developing customised TV content, specifically with me in mind, is amazing. I am looking forward to this endeavour."

Rahul Khanna

After a brief stint in the second season of The Americans, Rahul will return to the series for its third season. He played a suave Pakistani spy working for the erstwhile KGB. In the third season, his role is touted to be racy with some sex scenes in the pipeline too. An excited Rahul told a daily, "I had an amazing time working on The Americans."

Jyoti Amge

After her stint on Indian reality show Bigg Boss 6, the world’s shortest woman, Jyoti Amge is currently starring in the fourth season of the popular series, American Horror Show. She plays a character called Ma Petite. "She [Amge] didn’t have any reservations because even though the name of the show is Freak Show nobody is a freak here," Amge’s translator told an international publication.

Nimrat Kaur

Having won international acclaim with her film, The Lunchbox (2013), Nimrat was only too happy to bag the role of an ISI agent in the fourth season of the American series, Homeland. The show stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin in major roles. Nimrat told HT Café, "It’s a different world for me. It does make me anxious and you do get in self-doubt mode sometimes, but then, it’s a challenge. The people on the sets are very warm and helpful, and despite all the cultural differences, they try to make me comfortable."

Anil Kapoor

Post films such as Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011), Anil Kapoor’s stint in Kiefer Sutherland’s hit thriller, 24, was much appreciated. "Not only was I excited to be doing TV for the first time, but anxious as well," said an excited Anil in a video interview talking about his experience. "My son, my daughter, and friends told me no matter what, you have to take up 24. I will cherish all my life (sic)," he added.

Desi actors on American screens

Kunal Nayyar:
Dr Raj Koothrappali in The Big Bang Theory

Sakina Jaffrey: Linda Vasquez in House Of Cards

Parminder Nagra: Dr Neela Rasgotra in ER and Agent Meera Malik in The Blacklist

Mindy Kaling: Kelly Kapoor in The Office and Dr Mindy Lahiri in The Mindy Project

Archie Panjabi: Kalinda Sharma in The Good Wife.

Naveen Andrews: Sayid Jarrah in Lost

Danny Pudi: Abed Nadir in Community

Maulik Pancholy: Jonathan in 30 Rock

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