Bollywood’s growth has attracted many, including those from abroad, to try out their luck. Several foreign actresses have been provided opportunities in Hindi movies, be it for the role of a firangi ladki or a for an item number. Some of them have managed to go on to become big stars in Bollywood from those humble beginnings.
Top Foreign Actresses in Bollywood
Here are some of the foreign ladies who are doing quite well for themselves in the tinsel town.
British Indian actress (born in Hong Kong), Katrina Kaif is often referred to as Barbie Doll of Bollywood. She made a hot and sensational debut with ‘Boom’ and today is among the leading stars. Several Bollywood actors like Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan consider her to be their lucky mascot.
Katrina Kaif in Mashallah song in ‘Ek tha tiger’
Born to Indian actress, Sunny Leone is a former Canadian (born in Sarnia, Ontario in Canada, to Sikh Punjabi parents) pornographic actress, who made her entry through TV show Bigg Boss. Her entry into Bollywood was controversial because of her adult film star image, which actually turned out to be a boon for her, as people started taking notice of her. she is among the highest searched celebrities in the world.
Soon, she became a famous name in the industry with her debut movie Jism 2, followed by Ragini MMS 2. Not many would have thought she would make it so far. She has also made an appearance in an item song this year too, titled ‘Laila’.
Salman Khan teaching Sunny Leone how to drape a saree
A Sri Lankan actress (born in Colombo), Jacqueline Fernandez won the Miss Sri Lanka Universe in 2006, and then made her debut in Bollywood with Sujoy Ghosh’s Aladin, and her latest appearance was in an item song (with Prabhudeva) in Ramaiya Vastavaiya. She’s paired opposite Salman Khan in ‘Kick’, to be directed by Sajid Nadiadwala. Salman and Jacqueline are said to be dating, and the Dabangg star even gifted the srilankan actress a flat in Mumbai.
Jacqueline Fernandez in ‘Phir Mohabbat Karne Chala’ song from ‘Murder 2’ with Emraan Hasmi
Nargis Fakhri is an American fashion model & actress (born in Queens, New York City, US), who marked her Bollywood debut with Rockstar opposite Ranbir Kapoor, and was recently seen in ‘Madras Cafe’ and also in an item song in ‘Phat Poster Nikla Hero’. She currently has three film contract with Akshay Kumar’s Hari Om Productions.
Nargis Fakhri in the song ‘Dhating Naach’ from ‘Phata Poster Nikla Hero’ with Shahid Kapoor
Kalki Koechlin is a French-Indian actor (born to French parents in Pondicherry) who has starred in several Bollywood movies, including the critically acclaimed ‘Dev D’ and the hugely popular ‘Zindagi na milegi Dobara’, where she had some really prominent roles.
Kalki Koechlin in the remix song “Hawa Hawai” from movie ‘Shaitan’
She may not be there yet but the Swedish-born Elli Avram (born in Stockholm, Sweden) seems to be on the right path. The Big Boss contestant has Salman Khan’s backing, which may lead on to bigger assignments for her. She’s has already done a movie ‘Mickey Virus’. Watch out for this girl from Sweden!
Most Controversial Foreign Actresses
Although Bollywood is now opening up to foreign actors/actresses, here are some stars who created controversies (and are still entangled in some) after their arrival in B-town.
Mexican Barbara Mori
News of Mori getting close to Hrithik during the making of ‘Kites’ created a rift between Hrithik & his wife Sussanne. Although Hrithik-Sussanne have parted ways only now, Mori’s name would come up whenever Hrithik was mentioned.
Here past image refuses to let her go and follows her like a shadow. There were several protests all over India demanding a ban on here movies in which she was present.
She seems to be adept at creating controversies to stay in the limelight. She created a huge controversy after pictures of her were released in FHM magazine with an ‘ISI’ tattoo on her arm. When questioned, Veena denied doing the bold photo shoot and even slapped a Rs 10 crore lawsuit against the magazine for morphing her images. FHM reportedly responded back with a Rs 25 crore lawsuit against the actor and stressed that she had pursued the magazine for the photo shoot.
Probably the least known of the lot, Meera made her Bollywood debut with Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Nazar’ and later had a fallout with her once mentor. She even went public with her alleged relationship with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar and claimed that he slapped her in public once.
Latest in the list is British actress Sofia Hayat. She was first noticed in ‘Bigg Boss’ and when she got evicted she filed a police complaint against co-contestant Armaan Kohli for ‘physical assault’.
Hare Are More Names…
These are the girls who seem to have figured out what it takes to survive in Bollywood and land up with good roles. Besides them, there are few more who have worked, and are still working in Bollywood, but are struggling to establish themselves.
Claudia, the ‘Balma girl’ (item song) is born in Poland, her father is Polish and mother is German. She appeared in the hit item song in ‘Khiladi 786’. She’s also part of the huge popular ‘Comedy Circus’.
Yana Gupta (Yana Synkova), originally from Czechoslovakia, was an instant household name with her hit item number ‘Babuji Zara Dheere Chalo’. She appeared in several Bollywood films thereafter, but is still struggling to establish herself. She has also taken part in leading ‘dance shows’.
Amy Jackson, born in Isle of Man, is a British beauty pageant titleholder, model and actress. She worked with Prateik Babbar in her first Hindi movie ‘Ekk Deewana Tha’, and is currently working in various Indian film industries including Tamil, Telugu and Bollywood.
Giselli Monteiro, a Brazilian model, debuted ‘Love Aaj Kal’ as a Sikh girl. She was also part of the Hindi romance film ‘Always Kabhi Kabhi’. In fact, besides Giselli, many more Brazilians such as Izabelle Leite, Bruna Abdullah, Gabriela Bertante, Nathalia Pinheiro, Mariah Gomes, have already worked in Bollywood.
Barbara Mori, Mexican actress, was last seen with Hrithik Roshan in Kites. Her chemistry with Hrithik, both onscreen and off screen, was the talk of the town than the film itself.
Evelyn Sharma (half-Indian and half-German), Elena Kazan (Russia-born German), Lauren Gottlieb (US), Hazel Keech (Britain) and Kristina Akheeva (Russia) are some more names who’re trying their luck in Bollywood.
Just for the sake of completeness, we would also like to mention the name of Kylie Minogue, though she is a much bigger star abroad. She’s an Australian singer, recording artist, songwriter and actress, and also has a Grammy award to her credit. She was already a big name abroad as well as in India, even before she did that popular song ‘Chiggy Wiggy’ with Sonu Nigam in the Bollywood movie ‘Blue’.