Bollywood is flying west: Desi star who acted in American TV shows


Priyanka Chopra’s role in ‘Quantico’ is another addition to the latest trend of Bollywood actors going west.


Priyanka Chopra, one of the most sought out stars of the Bollywood constellation, has been making ripples in the Hollywood scene. After the big splash she made in the US music industry with her foot-tapping singles “In My City” and “Exotic” with Pitbull, Priyanka is taking baby steps towards carving her own niche in Hollywood with a growing body of work as an actor.


She has already lent her voice to the 2014 animation film “Planes” as Ishaani, now Priyanka is back from a stint in L.A shooting for the pilot episode of “Quantico” a drama-thriller based around a FBI training camp. Priyanka is playing Alex Weaver who like all the other trainees has a secret agenda behind joining the camp.


Priyanka’s foray into American television is the latest instance in a growing trend where Indian actors are making a smooth transition to become familiar faces on the American TV waves. The pattern also hints at America’s growing acceptance of its multicultural society on a public platform.


Here is a list of a few other prominent actors from India or of Indian origin who have stood to gain from the recent changes in the casting line-up of American TV.


Anil Kapoor – After becoming a known face post the “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008) phenomenon Anil Kapoor grabbed a lot of eyeballs by playing a pivotal character in the eighth season of the popular American political thriller series “24”. Kapoor played Omar Hassan, the head of a fictional Islamic state. Cashing on his experience in the US Kapoor also crafted an Indian version of the show where he fulfilled his desire of playing the lead that was originally played by Kiefer Sutherland.


Dev Patel – The other Indian face who had become a star with the “Slumdog Millionaire” wave was UK born Dev Patel. After playing the protagonist in Boyle’s Oscar winning film Patel powered his way through American television. Initially, he appeared in a critically acclaimed British teen drama series “Skins” donning the role of Anwar Kharral. This short but successful stint with television earned Dev a meatier role in the much-lauded “The Newsroom” where he assumed the character of Neal Sampat and ended up being nominated for the ‘NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series’.


Rahul Khanna – The elder son of Vinod Khanna had made his presence felt in Bollywood with small but significant character roles. Khanna joins this list of Bollywood glitterati for having appeared in a period drama series “The Americans” essaying the role of Yousaf in four episodes.


Irrfan Khan – The vastly talented and unassuming actor had been a known face in Hollywood after “The Namesake” (2006) with Mira Nair. When he appeared in the third season of the drama series “In Treatment” in 2010 he was already poised for critical accolades to come his way. Playing a Bengali immigrant who goes to live with his son in the US Khan struck a chord with his measured but sensitive portrayal of the character Sunil.


Nimrat Kaur – Joining this list is Irrfan’s co-star from the heartwarming film “The Lunchbox” (2013), Nimrat Kaur. Somewhat of a late-bloomer on the Bollywood scene this gem of a character actor has worked in the fourth season of the hugely popular thriller-drama “Homeland”. Becoming the prime antagonist against Clair Danes’ CIA agent Kaur played an ISI agent Tasneem Qureshi to hugely positive responses from the audiences.


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