Bollywood to Hollywood: Indian actors chase dreams

Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:47pm EST
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By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - From "Spiderman" to "Mission Impossible," Bollywood actors are increasingly finding their way into mainstream Hollywood films.

As Hollywood brings more Indian and Asian characters into its stories, established stars in India are now looking for a career in the West, hoping to make it big in an industry Bollywood looks up to for inspiration.

"Slumdog Millionaire" actor Anil Kapoor has landed a role in the next Mission Impossible film, while Irrfan Khan, who worked with Angelina Jolie in "A Mighty Heart," has bagged roles in both the next Spiderman film and Ang Lee's forthcoming "Life of Pi," Indian media reported.

Success is not limited to the men. Bipasha Basu, who as one of Bollywood's most popular leading ladies also has her eyes set westwards, has won a role in Academy Award winning director Roland Joffe's next film, "Singularity."

"The Indian audience is increasing every day, not just in India, which is one of the fastest growing movie markets, but also in the US," said casting director Uma D'Cunha, who helped Joffe zero in on Basu.

"Indian audiences would watch a Hollywood film with a Bipasha Basu, rather than one that doesn't have an Indian connect," she added, referring to both Indians in their homeland as well as the Indian diaspora.

An actor would be unable to balance a flourishing career in India with one in Hollywood, especially since it would be tough to shuttle between Mumbai and Los Angeles.

GROWING MARKET   Continued...

<p>Anil Kapoor poses at the party for the television series finale of "24" in Los Angeles April 30, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>