If you’ve ever lived in the US or talked to any Indians that were born and raised in the States, then you’ve probably heard many tales about stereotyping and under-representation. About the struggles, Indian people faced on this continent and how they were portrayed, if at all. An issue that was touched upon in the 2017 documentary – The Problem with Apu, starring comedian Hari Kondabolu, which focused on the Simpsons character – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. For a good while, the only regularly appearing character of South Asian heritage on mainstream US television.
However, that’s the past. What once seemed like the longest of long shots, working as a serious actor in Hollywood, today is not as an unattainable goal as it once was. Nowadays, you can see American-Indians starring in TV shows and feature films. Aziz Ansari, Kal Penn, Mindy Kaling, Aasif Mandvi, are just a few that have broken through. And, there are also notable filmmakers like Mira Nair, that are creating quality and news-worthy content.
So, the world has changed and while most of these performers were born or grew up in America, there are many examples of Indians that have flown across the ocean and made a name from themselves in the industry. Here are a few.
Though a household name in the Indian subcontinent, Kapoor is a face that audiences worldwide might recognize, mainly from his recurring role on the hit TV show – 24, as President Omar Hassan.
He is also known for his role in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, for which he shared the SAG Award for Best Cast for the film that went on to win 8 Oscars and captivate the globe by using the popular game – Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? And, showing how chance plays a major factor in our lives. When it comes to games of chance, most connect the two with casinos, with more and more people playing on great platforms such as Voodoodreams Indian Casino.
This stunning beauty is the pride of India, and one of the country’s most recognizable figures. In large part due to her notoriety as a former Miss World, but also due to her acting in a string of American productions more than a decade ago.
She might have only sparsely graced theater and TV screens over the last few years, but if you go back a few years, you can find her in movies such as The Pink Panther 2, Bride & Prejudice, The Last Legion, and The Mistress of Spices.
Sadly, this great performer has left us. But while he might not be here anymore, the great legacy and body of work by Irrfan Kahn lives on for the world to enjoy. He was one Indian actor that truly managed to make a transition in Hollywood, by starring in mega-blockbusters such as Jurassic World, and Inferno, to low-budget indie fare like – Puzzle.
Among the long list of impressive credits this versatile legend has been in, you can find classics like Life of Pi, The Darjeeling Limited, and New York, I Love You. He was not only adored and appreciated in his native country, but by filmmakers and fans everywhere.
Another legend that is no longer with us. However, if you ever feel sad that he’s not around, you can take solace in the fact that he has more than 300 credits to his name. So, whenever you want to see his kind face or get reminded of his great talent, there are lots of options to choose from.
As far as English-speaking features are concerned, he acted in many. Too many to list here. Some good ones are Charlie Wilson’s War, City of Joy, Wolf, The Hundred-Foot Journey, and many more. And, even though he was an Indian Citizen he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his services to the Film Industry in Britain.