Amitabh, Shabana Azmi, Anil Kapoor: The Great Hollywood cameos
Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and a host of others, but the only one Indian audiences care about is Amitabh Bachchan -- which is why Luhrmann made a special Gatsby poster for Bachchan, even though his role in the film is limited to one scene.
Along with The Big B, here's a look at other actors who appeared in unlikely, unforgettable places:
Amitabh Bachchan in The Great Gatsby
When Baz Luhrmann was motorcycling through India a couple of years ago, he paid a visit to Amitabh Bachchan and soon decided that he'd be the right choice to play Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby.
Hang on, Bachchan as a Jewish gangster and bookie who fixed the world series?
It's a high-profile bit of stunt-casting but Luhrmann got away with it, thanks to Bachchan carrying off his bit role with relish.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan on The Great Gatsby movie poster
IS Johar in Lawrence Of Arabia
Yet, Johar was also a part of that most memorable of epics, David Lean's Lawrence Of Arabia.
In the film, Johar played Gasim, who, drained by the desert heat, falls off his camel in the night. It's a humble role, but being part of a canvas like that is itself immeasurably special.
Image: IS Johar in Lawrence Of Arabia
Shabana Azmi in Son Of The Pink Panther
Twenty years ago Azmi beat her to it by playing a royal -- her name is listed simply as The Queen -- and it's a villainous bit role that lets her scheme a lot.
Image: Movie poster of Son Of The Pink Panther. Inset: Shabana Azmi
Irrfan Khan in The Darjeeling Limited
One of his most memorable, though, was this cameo in Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited where he played a father who had just lost his child.
Image: Irrfan Khan in The Darjeeling Limited
The Great Khali in Get Smart
Playing an Indian goon with a troubled marriage, Khali even managed to earn a couple of genuine laughs. (Steve Carrell, well, helped.)
Image: The Great Khali in Get Smart
Vijay Amritraj in Octopussy
Producer Ashok Amritraj's tennis player brother Vijay was written into the script and -- in one scene during an auto-rickshaw chase -- Amritraj even got to use his tennis racket as a weapon.
Image: Vijay Amritraj (right) in Octopussy
Om Puri in The Ghost And The Darkness
One of our best actors ever, Om Puri's been glimpsed in several international releases of varying quality, but one that is the most fun to revisit is Mike Nichols' Wolf, a horror film starring Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer.
In the werewolf film, Puri plays "paranormal scholar" Dr Vijay Alezais. Diagnosed with a terminal illness, Alezais asks the wolf-infected Nicholson to bite him, but Jack refuses.
He had a prominent role in The Ghost And The Darkness, as well, co-starring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer.
Image: Om Puri in The Ghost And The Darkness
Anil Kapoor in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
It wasn't to be, as he played a peculiar businessman riffing vaguely on Vijay Mallya and ineffectually trying to hit on the film's heroine. Not quite how we like to see our Mr India, no.
Image: Anil Kapoor in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Kal Penn in Superman Returns
Best known for the Harold And Kumar movies, Penn is a significant Indian-American actor who talked up his role in Bryan Singer's reboot of the Superman franchise, starring Brandon Routh in the lead.
Penn proudly gave interviews everywhere about his involvement in the project as one of the villains -- here's one for Rediff -- but when the film emerged, we saw that Penn didn't have a single line in the whole movie, and was essentially carrying things around for Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor.
Image: Kal Penn with Kevin Spacey in Superman Returns