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Bollywood's Ticket To Hollywood

July 27, 2022 16:24 IST

It's a small world.

Desi sightings in Western fare are no longer a rarity.

Be it Farhan Akhtar in Ms. Marvel, Shabana Azmi in Halo or Nimrit Kaur in Homeland, it's great to see our stars in mainstream action.

On the movie front, Alia Bhatt is all set to make her Hollywood debut in Heart of Stone, co-starring Gal Gadot and Jamie Dornan.

At the moment though, the hot seat is reserved for Dhanush's action-packed escapades as a nimble assassin in The Gray Man, directed by the Avengers-fame Russo Brothers. If all goes well, he might appear in future editions of the franchise as well.

Sukanya Verma looks at others who;ve enjoyed a ticket to Hollywood before Dhanush.



Decades before Dhanush made a splash across seven seas, his former father-in-law appeared in Dwight H Little's 1988 adventurous caper Bloodstone about a pair of newlyweds discovering a precious ruby on their honeymoon in India.

Not a great movie by any stretch, but Rajni followers lapped up his Hollywood debut with all their might.



Right from the time he starred in British film-maker Asif Kapadia's The Warrior, Irrfan's extraordinary talent has left a lasting impression, resulting in acclaimed dramas like Mira Nair's The Namesake and Ang Lee's Life of Pi as well as blockbuster attractions like Jurassic World, The Amazing Spiderman and Inferno.


Priyanka Chopra

A leading role in the television series Quantico led to PC's meteoric rise as a global star.

Before one could blink, she had Hollywood wrapped around her finger with red carpets, chat shows, brand endorsements and movie roles like Baywatch and Matrix Resurrections


Deepika Padukone

Deepika first showed off her global chops as Vin Diesel's smouldering, feisty, love interest in xXx: Return of Xander Cage. The stunner hasn't looked back since.


Anil Kapoor

After a successful stint as the conniving gameshow host in Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, Anil bagged another biggie as a wealthy playboy in the fourth installment of Tom Cruise's mega franchise, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.


Anupam Kher

Following supporting roles in Gurinder Chadha creations Bend it like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice and Mistress of Spices, Anupam progressed to work under Ang Lee in Lust, Caution and David O Russel in the Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook where he plays Bradley Cooper's therapist.

Other Hollywood assignments include You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, A Family Man, The Big Sick and Hotel Mumbai.


Naseeruddin Shah

Naseer dubs it one of the most 'boring' experiences of his life yet making The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen offered rich remuneration and an opportunity to work alongside Sean Connery. Except this uninspired adaptation of Alan Moore and Kevin O' Neill's comic book was a struggle for him to sit through as much as its critics.


Om Puri

Unlike his friend Naseer, Om was incredibly prolific in Hollywood.

City of Joy, Wolf, Ghost and Darkness, East is East, My Son the Fanatic, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Charlie Wilson's War... the list of his impressive body of work in international space goes on.


Ali Fazal

Ali's slow and steady rise on the international scene packs in abundant promise.

Be it his confidence in sharing screen space with Judi Dench in Victoria and Abdul or adding sparkle in Death on the Nile's star-studded cast, Ali is here to stay.

Up next, the Hollywood thriller Kandahar, co-starring Gerard Butler, is in the works.


Amrish Puri

Whether or not Steven Spielberg actually called Amrish Puri the best villain the world has ever produced, Bollywood's formidable foe is excellent as the ferocious, gruesome antagonist to Harrison Ford's titular hero in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.


Randeep Hooda

Randeep's intensity holds its own while playing second fiddle to Chris Hemsworth in the action masala Extraction, based on the graphic novel Ciudad.


Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

From Miss World to Cannes red carpets to Hollywood career, Aishwarya's global fame has experienced it all.

Too bad nothing came out of her stint in underwhelming films like The Pink Panther or The Last Legion.


Amitabh Bachchan

If ever a role in Hollywood was on his list, Amitabh Bachchan's fleeting but flamboyant turn as Leonardo DiCaprio's business partner in The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrmann's ultra-glossy adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald's classic, ticks it off.


Dimple Kapadia

What can be a bigger deal than a Bollywood star working with one of the best directors in the world?

Dimple's elegant presence in Christopher Nolan's star-studded Tenet is one of the biggest reasons most people rooted for a movie that half of them could barely understand.



It's no surprise that one of the best actresses in India caught the eye of the finest abroad too.

Tabu's compelling work in cinematic adaptations of literary works like Mira Nair's The Namesake, based on Jhumpa Lahiri's novel, and Ang Lee's take on Life of Pi by Yann Martel makes us wish we'd see more such international collaborations on celluloid.


Salman Khan

Remember that time when Salman shook a leg with Heroes' Ali Larter to play the choreographer she falls in love with in a tacky crossover collaboration? Few do.