The atrocious attack on Uri just few weeks back by terrorists has left too many bitterly enraged by the increasing presence of artists from across the border in the Indian film industry. Currently, internet is aflood with scathing and derogatory comments directed at Pakistani actor Fawad Khan for appearing in Karan Johar’s upcoming romantic drama, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
While others dive into heated debates about the legitimacy of making the actor the target of animosity for the acts of his country’s government, let us take a look at some other foreigners who enriched our Bollywood experience with quality performance(if you are looking for Sunny Leone, you won’t find her here):
1. Sir Ben Kingsley
When the epic biographical movie Gandhi released in 1982, most viewers couldn’t have guessed the lead actor to be a foreigner. The legendary British actor who was made a Knight Bachelor at Buckingham Palace in 2002, won the Academy Award for this role. His other notable achievements include a Grammy, BAFTA, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He appeared again in a bollywood thriller, Teen Patti, in 2010.
2. Rachel Shelley
In the penultimate scene of Ashtosh Gowarikar’s mammoth sports-drama Lagaan (2001), people cried for Elizabeth Russel’s broken heart than rejoice in Gauri and Bhuvan’s success in love. Apart from the directorial skill, the acting chops of the widely acclaimed British television and film actress had much to do with this impact.
3. Mehdi Nebbou
Another instance in cinema when we wanted the protagonist not to end up with their set spouse was in Sridevi starrer English Vinglish (2012). Given Adil Hussain’s convincing act of a chauvinistic husband who overlooks his wife’s potential it wasn’t a wonder the audience expected Shashi to replace him with the charming Laurent, played by the French superstar of Algerian descent who also starred in blockbusters like Munich, Body of Lies, and Sleeper.
4. Kal Penn
The face to pop in our mind when someone says ‘the Indian guy in Hollywood’, or simply ‘Kumar’. He made it to the list of commendable actors that every film aficionado maintains with his portrayal of Gogol in Namesake(2006), not letting the presence of veterans like Tabu and Irfan Khan overshadow his performance.
5. Sarah Thompson
Agreed that she wasn’t given enough screen time in the critically acclaimed political drama, Rajneeti (2010), her acting skills towered over that of the leading lady Katrina Kaif. She is also known for her role in Cruel Intentions 2, and the TV series, Heaven.
6. Alice Patten
A vital part of the ensemble in the 2006 superhit Rang de Basanti, Alice Patten played Sue McKinley, a young British woman who comes to India to make a documentary film about the British rule in the Indian subcontinent, also the love interest to Amir Khan’s Daljeet, aka DJ. The British actress earned much critical acclaim but hasn’t appeared in Indian cinema since.