Priyanka Chopra takes centre stage in Quantico; Anil Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, Anupam Kher, and Nimrat Kaur applaud
Priyanka Chopra File Photo
Is Bollywood finally coming into its own in the West? Going by Priyanka Chopra’s primacy in the trailer of Quantico where she plays an FBI recruit, it seems Indian actors are no more likely to be assigned peripheral culture-specific roles.
Anil Kapoor, who played an important part in 24, another popular American espionage serial, says this is just the beginning for Bollywood actors in the West, “This is just the tip of the iceberg. We are now gradually coming into our own in the West. Actors like Irrfan and I aren’t being offered culture-specific roles, nor being asked to sport thick accents. Now, you just wait and watch what we do. I am very optimistic about our place in Western cinema in the near future.”
Gulshan Grover, who in many ways pioneered the movement of Indian actors into the West, says Priyanka’s pivotal place in Quantico is the fruition of a movement that started years ago. “Priyanka is really rocking. When I congratulated her she replied, ‘Coming from you, it means a lot.’ It is very courageous of Priyanka to try her luck in the West. If she succeeds, she opens new doors for Indian actresses.”
Gulshan admits the route connecting Bollywood to Hollywood is not easy. He says, “For Bollywood actors, the road to playing the lead in American films or television is very difficult and time-consuming. Priyanka has wisely chosen to start in the West with music, then gone to television. I wish her all the success.”
Describing his own journey to the West, Gulshan recalls, “Many years ago, I pioneered the transition from Bollywood to Hollywood. I am happy to know it’s moving forward. A lot will depend on the way Bollywood stars like Priyanka, Anil Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan and myself conduct ourselves. There are also others like Nimrat Kaur who are making headway in the West but are not mainstream Bollywood actors. But yes, the movement from Bollywood to Hollywood is happening.”
Nimrat, who recently did a part in the American series Homeland, is ecstatic about Priyanka’s triumph. “I think it’s an incredible feat and one that all of us should be proud of. She is the first Indian actress to land a lead in an American series. And that’s so inspiring,” she says. Adds Anupam Kher, “It’s great to see an Indian mainstream actress doing a lead in an American primetime series. I saw the trailer and felt proud of Priyanka. Good luck to her.”