The Talented Indian



What do Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan, A R Rahman, Resul Pookutty and Nawazuddin Siddiqui have in common? asks Rediff’s Vanita Kohli-Khandekar.

Chopra plays the lead in ABC’s FBI drama Quantico that opened late in September this year. Most of the American reviewers seem to have trouble with the show’s plot and its holes. But there is no questioning of why an Indian actor was cast in the lead role.

Khan has been the choice for several mainstream international projects — The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Life of Pi (2012), Jurassic World (2015), Inferno (releasing 2016) among others. Rahman has performed and composed with/for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Mick Jagger to name a few.

Siddiqui was invited by the late Roger Ebert, an American film critic and cult figure of sorts, to the week-long Ebertfest, his annual film festival in Chicago in 2012. Among Siddiqui’s international projects being filmed is the Nicole Kidman-starrer Lion.

The acceptance of Indian talent in mainstream Hollywood, British or Canadian projects is worth noting, precisely because there has been so little fuss about them in the markets where these are produced and where they make a bulk of their money. It speaks of a slow, soft globalising of Indian cinema and its talent, born of an unusual combination of factors.

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