Namrata Singh Gujral’s upcoming film may be listed as a Hollywood offering but there’s no reason why Indians cannot enjoy it as their own. 5 Weddings traces the journey of an Indian-origin American journalist, who travels to India to cover wedding celebrations in the country. Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri plays the lead character and we cannot think of anyone more suited for the role. After all, the actress is part-Pakistani and has worked in multiple Hindi films. Who’s better to understand the culture than her, right?
But Hollywood is not short of Indian-origin actors who have settled abroad. Termed ‘NRIs’, these are the actors you’ve loved on screen for years but had no idea were Indian. Here are the top NRIs in Hollywood.
The original name of the actress who is known for her roles in The Office and The Mindy Project is Vera Mindy Chokalingam. While she was born and raised in the US, her parents are from India – her father being Tamil and her mother, Bengali. The actress was last seen in Ocean’s 8.
He rose to fame in Slumdog Millionaire – a British film on life in the slums of Bombay. With Indian-origin parents, the role was fit for the actor even though he was born and raised in London. He will next appear in the American-Australian thriller film, Hotel Mumbai, based on the 26/11 attacks.
He made a breakthrough on television with his role in Parks and Recreation and went on to create Master of None, which not only stars the actor in the lead role but also his real-life parents as his reel-life parents. Ansari’s family origins are evident on the show and they all hail from Tamil Nadu.
The Big Bang Theory actor was born in London to a Punjabi family and was raised in New Delhi before he moved to the US. Apart from television, the actor has also lent his voice for movies like Ice Age: Continental Drift and Trolls and also appeared in the 2014 romantic comedy, Dr. Cabbie.
Originally called Kalpen Modi, the Harold & Kumar actor was born in the US to Gujarati parents. Apart from the comedy movie series, he has also appeared in prominent roles in the Van Wilder series and The Namesake. He will next be seen in the Indian-American fantasy thriller, The Ashram.
If you have seen any of his comedy specials, you’d already know that the comedian/actor was born in Toronto to parents who are from India. He was last seen in the Canadian crime-drama series, The Indian Detective, where he played the lead who gets involved in a murder investigation in Mumbai.
The comedian made a breakthrough with his first stand-up comedy special titled Homecoming King and has since appeared in three films – the latest of them being The Spy Who Dumped Me. He hails from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, where he was born, but was raised in California in the US.
TV fans will recognize this actor from the sci-fi drama series Heroes or the drama show Covert Affairs. Born in the US to a father from Karnataka and a mother from Tamil Nadu, this diverse actor has even appeared in the Bollywood movie Shor in the City, among other Hollywood ventures.
She was best known for her lead role in the 2002 comedy drama Bend It Like Beckham but the British actress has since been a part of many international movies and television shows. Her family is Sikh, hailing from Punjab, but she has been born and raised in Leicester, England.
He first caught our attention in the 2004 romantic drama Bride & Prejudice and went on to work with co-star Aishwarya Rai in Deepak Ahluwalia’s Provoked: A True Story two years later. The actor was born in London to Malayali parents and is a well-known actor in films and television.
Don’t miss another classic NRI story in theatres. Stay tuned to this space for more updates on 5 Weddings.