Pale horse, pale actor

December 27, 2008

Bollywood increasingly looks to the west for acting talent. Priyanka Bhardwaj at Asia Sentinel:

caucasyanaguptaBollywood is fast becoming a new kind of outsourcing destination for the western world: pale flesh. Casting agents are scouring the region to find foreigners for movies requiring international locales, themes and sets.

As these movies require sizeable casts of Caucasoid characters for their imaginary discotheques, British soldiers in period films and Hare Krishna converts, production crews are zeroing in on anyone remotely filling the bill.

That is increasingly including a flock of beauties of indeterminate nationality and ethnic background. Katrina Kaif, a fast-rising starlet who has achieved considerable success in the three years since her debut, has a Kashmiri Muslim father and an English mother. Barbara Mori, of Uruguayan-Japanese and Mexican descent, is starring opposite to Hrithik Roshan in “Kites.” Tania Zaetta is an Australian who earlier appeared in “Baywatch” and “Who Dares Wins” and is now starring in Hindi movies. Yana Gupta is a Czech.

Other sourcing countries for these part-time actors are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Czech Republic, Norway, South Africa, Serbia, US, Britain and Thailand. Many Indians raised abroad too are looking to Bollywood as a passport to fame.

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