Great Bollywood Brits
There are around 1,000 British and foreign actors and actresses who regularly appear in hit Bollywood movies. So let’s find out who the best ones are with this list of the greatest British Bollywood stars:
Deemed the best onscreen lover to heartthrob Ashkay Kumar, Katrina Kaif is a British Indian superstar who had to make is onto the top British Bollywood list. Katrina has acted in over 20 Bollywood movies and six of those have been alongside Ashkay. Katrina had a multicultural start to life. She was born in Hong Kong, but grew up in Hawaii and Britain. Katrina also has a British mother and an Indian father, who had eight children in total. Perhaps it was this cultured start, or her large family, that helped ease Katrina into the world of Bollywood; or perhaps it was the Hindi and dancing lessons Katrina took. Either way, Katrina has become one of the most-loved Bollywood celebrities.
This former Spice Girl began her career in Bollywood in a small cameo role in the movie Pal Tham Gaya. However, Emma managed to wow movie bosses and was offered the starring role in Pyaar Mein Twist; a deal that earned Bunton $1.9 million. Since then Emma has been in Chocolate: Deep Dark Secrets too. Emma grew up in London and was brought up by her mother and father, until her parents divorced, when Emma was 11 years old. She continued to live with her mother and did not leave London until her big break, when she joined the girl band Spice Girls. Although most of us know Emma as a singer, she started acting in commercials when she was just a child.
Mandy Takhar is perhaps the newest British star in Bollywood. Mandy only moved from the UK to India six years ago, with hopes of becoming an actress and model. Within that time Mandy has appeared in two great hits; Ekam: Son of Soil and Bumboo. Originally Mandy is from Wolverhampton, but she always dreamed of becoming a Bollywood actress. She said that she ‘always dreamed about becoming an actress… I haven’t given up on my dreams and encourage other girls not to either. I am living proof that dreams can turn into reality.’ Indeed, despite being teased at school for her Bollywood fantasy, Mandy has worked hard and managed to break through into the competitive Bollywood film industry.
Alice Patten is not unused to stardom. Alice’s father was a politician in Britain and a governor of Hong Kong. When a child living in Hong Kong, Alice and her siblings got a lot of media attention and were nicknamed the Three Graces. However, since graduating from Cambridge University Alice has made a name for herself in her own right; as a talented actress. Although Alice’s early work was made for UK productions, Alice landed herself the lead role in Rang De Basanti and starred alongside Aamir Khan. Although Alice had acted before, she was unprepared for the level of fame a Bollywood role brings and said, “I really didn’t have an idea of how big Bollywood is in India… It’s a huge part of Indian culture’. Before auditioning for the role in Rang De Basanti Alice couldn’t speak a word of Hindi, but now Alice can speak fluently.
Toby Stephens was born in Middlesex, England, and played a British army officer alongside Aamir Khan in The Rising — Ballad of Mangal Pandey. Toby comes from an acting family, his mother being Dame Maggie Smith and his father being Sir Robert Stephens. Toby has played some great roles, including in the James Bond movie Die Another Day, and was awarded the Sir John Gielgud Prize for Best Actor and the Ian Charleson Award for his Shakespearean acting. Amidst this incredible accolade of acting experience, Toby managed to take part in the filming of the Bollywood hit The Rising — Ballad of Mangal Pandey and loved the experience. Toby said that ‘To make a film in India, work with Indian actors and filmmakers and to experience the culture was extraordinary’. Fingers crossed we’ll be seeing more of this talented actor in some more Bollywood hits soon then. Although it seems to take an amazing offer to drag Toby away from working in British theatre productions.