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Crossover calling: Hollywood actors who starred in Bollywood films

Do you know Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley has worked with Amitabh Bachchan in 'Teen Patti'? As the Hollywood star turns 72, we jog our memory for instances of popular faces from the West crossing over to Bollywood

Bollywood and Hollywood have been flirtatiously circling each other for the past few years. While a clutch of Hindi film stars like Irrfan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anil Kapoor have successfully crossed over to the other side, several known faces from the Western glamour world occasionally struck deals with desi filmmakers, be it for a cameo or a song. 

hitlist recalls a few instances of Hollywood names who tested Bollywood waters.

Gamble on
Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley, who is best remembered for his portrayal of Gandhi in the 1982 biopic, was seen in Amitabh Bachchan-starrer 'Teen Patti'.

Ben Kingsley with Amitabh Bachchan in Teen Patti
Ben Kingsley with Amitabh Bachchan in 'Teen Patti' 

The film revolved around a mathematics professor, played by Bachchan, who tries to write a thesis on probability and relates it to the game of 'Teen Patti' (2010). Talking about the experience of working in the film, Kingsley, who played a world-renowned mathematician, had said in an interview, "It's a very, very small part... It was an opportunity to work with an Indian crew again after Gandhi. I missed that. It was an opportunity to work with Mr Bachchan who is an icon in his own field. It's interesting to mix cultures in a film to see how different people from different backgrounds can be so very synchronised and work together. We worked very intensely. I keep appearing in little scenes in the film as a storyteller. We hit a very quick working rhythm."

The Supervillain

Nathan Jones in a still from Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Nathan Jones in a still from 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (2015)

Nathan Jones, the burly baddie of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (2015), has reportedly been signed for Remo D'Souza's next. Titled 'A Flying Jatt', the film will feature Tiger Shroff as a superhero and the Aussie wrestler, as a supervillain.

More the merrier
The 2009 film, 'Kambakkth Ishq' had not one but three Hollywood stars — Sylvester Stallone, Denise Richards and Brandon Routh — in special appearance.

Kambakkth Ishq (2009)  had three Hollywood faces in special appearances
'Kambakkth Ishq' (2009) had three Hollywood faces in special appearances. Kareena Kapoor Khan with Sylvester Stallone

Stallone, best known for his roles in the 'Rocky' and 'Rambo' series, played himself and packed a punch in the action sequences in which he pinned goons to the ground to protect the leading lady, Kareena Kapoor Khan.

Akshay Kumar with Denise Richards
Akshay Kumar with Denise Richards

Bond girl Richards was seen as lead actor Akshay Kumar's love interest and her liplock with him generated quite the buzz among the Khiladi's fans. 'Superman' Routh performed an action scene with Akki and according to reports, the two actors were seen exchanging tips on fitness, action and martial arts on set.

Brandon Routh
Brandon Routh

The other side
'Vikings' actor Clive Standen appeared in the 2007 film 'Namastey London', which had Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar in lead roles.

Clive Standen featured in Akshay Kumar-starrer Namastey London
Clive Standen featured in Akshay Kumar-starrer Namastey London

The film showed how NRIs give little value to Indian traditions and, instead, ape Westerners. Standen played Kat's boyfriend, Charlie Brown, an influential individual who has little respect for Indians. This has been the actor's only Hindi film till date.

Lights, camera, action
Akshay, who is known for performing his own stunts in films, shared screen space with Lester Speight in 'International Khiladi' (1999). Speight, who is popular for his role in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon', played a goon in the action-thriller. The lean Akshay taking on the brawny Speight made for an interesting action sequence.

Another perspective?
Toby Stephens, who has worked in films like 'Die Another Day', played a British officer in 'The Rising - Ballad of Mangal Pandey' starring Aamir Khan and Rani Mukerji in lead roles.

Aamir Khan and Toby Stephens in The Rising - Ballad of Mangal Pandey
Aamir Khan and Toby Stephens in 'The Rising - Ballad of Mangal Pandey'

According to director Ketan Mehta, Stephen's role in the film was that of an "officer with a conscience." After the shoot wrapped up, the actor was quoted saying, "It was a real experience. To make a film in India, work with Indian actors and filmmakers, and to experience the culture was extraordinary. The fact it was a historical film about the British in India and what happened there was a real eye opener. I went to a public school and grew up with a sense of Empire even in the '70s and '80s, and this gave me a different perspective. The idea of us, the British, being some sort of benign, educating force suddenly seemed to be a load of rubbish. It was a company running a country. I mean how twisted was that? It made me quite ashamed of our history."

The Western twang

Artistes from the West who have sung for Hindi films and made them chartbusters:

>> Snoop Dogg collaborated with Akshay Kumar for the title track of 'Singh is Kinng' (2008).
>> R&B sensation Akon sang 'Chammak Challo' for Anubhav Sinha's 'RA.One' which starred Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan.
>> Kylie Minogue lent vocals to the 'Chiggy Wiggy' number along with Sonu Nigam for Akshay Kumar-starrer 'Blue'. The song was composed by AR Rahman.

In pictures: Indian-origin artistes in Hollywood

In pictures: Indian-origin artistes in Hollywood


In pictures: Indian-origin actors making waves on American TV shows

In pictures: Indian-origin actors making waves on American TV shows

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1 Comments

  • RSC06-Oct-2015

    Clive Standen is known from the History channel TV series "Viking".

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