These Indian Origin Actors are Creating Waves of Success in Hollywood

·4 min read

Indians have made a mark in almost all the fields internationally and Hollywood is no exception.

And these are not just Bollywood superstars like Kabir Bedi, Naseeruddin Shah, Priyanka Chopra or Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. We list some actors of Indian origin lighting up the screens of Hollywood in the recent years.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan

Tamil-Canadian actor Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is a popular face that got introduced to the screens this year. She was selected from among 15,000 aspiring actors to play the lead role in Mindy Kaling's teen series Never Have I Ever.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan

The 18-year-old actor portrays the role of an Indian-American teenager trying to navigate first love, grief, and family expectations. The Netflix series premiered in April 2020 and has already been greenlit for a second season.

Geraldine Viswanathan

Geraldine Viswanathan is very convincing with her roles. Be it as a skateboarder in a hijab (Apple original, Hala), slamming a would-be-rapist over the head with a brick (short film Big Bad World), or as exposing a giant corruption scandal as a journalist for a high school newspaper (HBO’s Bad Education).

Born in Australia to a Malaysian Tamil father and Swiss mother, Geraldine Viswanathan’s breakout role as an actor came in the 2018 film Blockers, in which she plays one of three teens whose parents are determined to stop them from losing their virginity on the night of their high school prom.

After nearly two years into her career, the 25-year-old actor has shared screen space with the likes of Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, and Daniel Radcliffe.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 09:  Geraldine Viswanathan attends the Hollywood Critics Awards at Taglyan Complex on January 09, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 09: Geraldine Viswanathan attends the Hollywood Critics Awards at Taglyan Complex on January 09, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Sunita Mani

Sunity Mani has made a name for herself in Hollywood as an innovative comedic voice and performer with a strong commitment to creating diversity in representation. Born to Indian parents in Tennessee, US, Sunita Mani got her start in improv and went on to do bit parts in successful comedies like Broad City and The Good Place.

However, she was shot to fame in the Netflix American series GLOW - which spoke about a troupe of female wrestlers in 1980s Los Angeles, that served as her breakout project. In 2020, the 33-year-old actor had three film projects released this year, including Evil Eye, a horror film about reincarnation.

Sarita Choudhury

In 1991, when Sarita Choudhury landed the lead role of Mina in Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala, opposite Denzel Washington, she was just out of film school. But the film didn’t open up a world of opportunities for the half Indian-half English actress.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 16: Sarita Choudhury attends the world premiere of "Cats" at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on December 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 16: Sarita Choudhury attends the world premiere of "Cats" at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on December 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Instead, the London-born half-Indian started working across theatre, film and television to remain a working actor. In a career span of 30 years of acting, Sarity managed to built an impressive filmography that includes The Perez Family, A Perfect Murder, The Hunger Games, A Hologram for the King, Homeland, Little Fires Everywhere, and the recently released Evil Eye.

Ashley Ganger

The 23-year-old Indian-Canadian actress is best recognised for her role of Meera Pakam in the series Grand Army. Her first-ever role, it is Netflix drama that premiered in October about students at a public high school in Brooklyn. Ganger (whose parents are originally from Punjab) plays Meera Pakam, a feminist artist/playwright whose work tackles issues like sexuality racism, and consent.

Ashley Ganger’s family is from India and the majority of her extended family is split between England and India.

Tiya Sircar

After nearly 10 years in the industry, Texas-born Tiya Sircar landed her dream role in 2016 series The Good Place, alongside comedy legends like Ted Danson, Kristen Bell and Marc Evan Jackson. The show that made philosophical, existential and ethical dilemmas laugh-out-loud funny went on to become a critical and commercial success over the course of its four seasons on air.

Sircar’s body of work also includes stints on Master of None, The Vampire Diaries and The Mindy Project, and she currently voices Sabine Wren on Star Wars Rebels.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)

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