What Priyanka, Freida and Nimrat have in common?
While she’s making India proud with her performance in ABC’s ‘Quantico’, there are others too who have awed the global audiences with their work…
She is the toast of two countries right now -- one, from where she hails, and the other where her oeuvres are making waves. And looking at the way Priyanka Chopra’s performance is being applauded in ‘Quantico’ (and the amount of eyeballs the ABC show has garnered), it won’t be an exaggeration to say that this Indian beauty is soon going to take the world by storm, at least the small screen world.
It has been a long journey, but PC (as she’s fondly known as in Indian media) in her 15-year career as a beauty pageant, actress, singer never let tough times hold her back. Be it comments on her changing appearances or acting calibre, Piggy Chops gave it back to her critics with powerful performances and public appreciation. Chopra is a queen of social media. She has more than 11 million Twitter followers (among top 10 Indian users actually), more than three million fans on Instagram and her Facebook page is replete with love messages and questions from fans and followers.
For any Indian actor it has always been a big deal to make a name in Hollywood. While actors like Om Puri, Kabir Bedi, Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and directors like Shekhar Kapoor have already awed global audiences in the past, the new generation too is not far behind. And PC wins hands down with her confidence and talent. Though she’s making India proud at the moment, Priyanka is not the only actress to make it big in the West. Here are a few who have made it to Hollywood screens in the recent years…
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Perhaps the first Indian actress to garner such frenzy and appreciation in the West because of her Miss World crown and being voted among the top beautiful actresses in the world, Aishwarya has been seen in many Hollywood films like ‘Bride and Prejudice’, ‘Mistress of Spices’, ‘The Pink Panther 2’ and ‘Provoked’. An inspiration to Priyanka Chopra (in her words), Ash is an international face and a regular at the Cannes Film Festival.
While Bollywood turned a blind eye to this petite beauty, she is nothing short of a superstar in Hollywood. Her career in West, which started with ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, has seen no bad day since the Danny Boyle movie was released in 2008. She has been seen in films like ‘You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger’, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, ‘Immortals’ and ‘Trishna’. A style icon and a talent to reckon with in the West, Freida Pinto has made India proud in her own way.
Her performance in critically acclaimed ‘The Lunchbox’ made her a toast of the town and stage in India and international film circuits. But if you think that Priyanka is the first one to make it big on small screen in the West, you’re wrong. Nimrat garnered a lot of appreciation in a role in ‘Homeland’ international television series where she plays an ISI agent.
Fakhri’s Bollywood debut was nothing less than a fairytale. This US-born beauty was cast opposite heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor in Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Rockstar’, a celebrated director who knows the pulse of young audiences. She went on to work in movies like ‘Madras Café’ and ‘Main Tera Hero’.
But the good looking actress is returning to her native US roots with Paul Feig's Bond spoof ‘Spy’ where she will be seen alongside Jude Law, Melissa McCarthy, Miranda Hart and Jason Statham.
This feisty actress forayed into Hollywood with ‘The Namesake’ opposite Irrfan Khan where she played the role of Ashima Ganguli, an immigrant to America and the struggles she faces with her husband. Later she was seen in Oscar winning director Ang Lee's film ‘Life of Pi’ where she played the role of Gita Patel.
Though now he’s a regular at international film fests like Cannes and a name to reckon with in Hollywood, Irrfan Khan attracted attention only with Mira Nair's ‘The Namesake’ where he plays an immigrant from West Bengal who moves to America with his wife (Tabu) and the struggles they undergo. Danny Boyle's ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ had changed things for many actors, and Irrfan was one of them. The film won an Oscar for best Ensemble Cast. He also played a prominent role in ‘A Mighty Heart’ and worked in HBO series ‘In Treatment’. He played a villain in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ and was also seen in Ang Lee's ‘Life of Pi’.
He ventured into Hollywood with ‘The Mistress of Spices’ which also featured Aishwarya in the lead role. In Gurinder Chadha's ‘Bend it Like Beckham’, Kher was shown as a typical Indian father but it was in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, where he shared screen space with Hollywood A-Listers Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, that Kher was able to break from Indian stereotype image performing as Dr Cliff Patel.