2015 : When Bollywood stars went international with a bang

From blink-and-you-miss-it appearances to playing important and lead roles in international projects, Indian actors have come a long way as the year goneby saw Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan bagging plump assignments in Hollywood projects.

Bollywood diva and former Miss World Priyanka, who had already made her singing debut with international artists Pitbull and will.i.am, starred as a promising FBI recruit on ABC television thriller series “Quantico”, which just ended its first season in the US.

On the show, she played the central character of Alex Parrish and her acting skills got a thumbs up internationally.

Her role also got her the nomination in the Favourite Actress in a New TV Series category of People’s Choice Awards 2016.

Irrfan has been a constant Indian presence in Hollywood movies. His stint as a flashy park owner in “Jurassic World”, fourth installment of sci-fi adventure film, was a good start of the year.

His earlier performances in hits like “Life Of Pi”, “The Amazing Spiderman” and “Slumdog Millionaire” have already made him a bankable actor in the global market. His next high profile Hollywood outing includes Ron Howard’s mystery thriller “Inferno”, based on the novel by Dan Brown, with Tom Hanks reprising the role of Robert Langdon from “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons”, slated for an October 2016 release.

Irrfan’s “Piku” co-star and Bollywood’s reigning Queen Deepika also inked an international deal in superstar Vin Diesel’s next installment of the “XXX” franchise.

Though the actress is yet to make an official statement on her debut project but her series of pictures with the “Fast and Furious” star on her social-networking sites have apparently confirmed her presence in “Xander Cage Returns”.

Deepika was apparently offered “Furious 7”, which she could not be a part of due to her prior Bollywood assignment.

Deepika may have missed “Furious 7” but the film gave an international break to young Indian actor Ali Fazal. Though he had only three scenes in the seventh installment of action drama but it gave him the opportunity to work with Paul Walker’s Brothers Cody and Caleb, who joined to finish the actor’s work in the film after the star died in a car crash.

Deepika’s casting does not come as a surprising as “Furious 7” did exceptionally well at the Indian box office where local cinema continues to rule. .
Veteran Indian actress Shabana Azmi has joined the stellar cast of BBC One mini-series “Capital”, which is an adaptation of John Lanchester’s critically acclaimed and bestselling novel of the same name. On the show, Shabana plays the distraught mother of a young Pakistani man incarcerated in terrorism in Britain.

Shabana has already appeared in a number of foreign films, most of which have won international acclaim including John Schlesinger’s “Madame Sousatzka”, Nicholas Klotz’s “Bengali Night” and Roland Joffe’s “City of Joy”.

Nargis Fakhri‘s entry into Hollywood has been quiet but her turn as De Luca, whom Melissa McCarthy, is ordered to spy on in “Spy” did well at the box office. The comedy also featured Jude Law, Jason Statham and Rose Byrne in key roles.

After a great debut in the internationally acclaimed Hindi film “The Lunchbox “, Nimrat Kaur made her international debut in popular American TV series “Homeland”. She joined the season four of the political thriller to play the role of Pakistani ISI agent, Tasneem Qureshi.

Kaur earned a certificate from Hollywood’s Screen Actor Guild Awards, honouring her performance. Sooraj Sharma, the “Life of Pi” actor, was also a part of the show.

Tina Desai, who made her Hollywood debut with “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in 2012 and later starred in its sequel, will now be seen as Kala, a scientist from Mumbai, in the Netflix show “Sense8”.

Inputs by PTI