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Sophie Dahl2004: Foreign faces in Bollywood
30th Dec 2004  22.20 IST
By Nitika Desai  


Never had so many foreign stars and celebrities been driven to Bollywood as in the year 2004.

Stiff-lipped critics may scoff at the Bollywood genre of 'overblown, escapist and soppy fiction stories' that are liberally sprinkled with the usual naach-gaana, but it is not for nothing that this genre is catching the fancy of many stars and actors worldwide.




Year 2004 saw the world's biggest filmmaking industry, Bollywood, widening its reach, and, at the same time, opening its doors to many British stars and a few actors from other nations as well.

Gorgeous British brunette Sophie Dahl was seen gyrating to Hindi songs in the film aptly titled The King of Bollywood . In the film Sophie played a documentary filmmaker who comes to Mumbai to make a movie on an ageing star. Although 'The King of Bollywood' could not rule the box-office, Sophie caught many eyes with her ethereal looks in the costumes of a village belle.

Another British belle hoping for a major start in her acting career is Antonia Bernath , who will make her film debut with Subhash Ghai's Kisna . In the film, Bernath plays an army general's daughter who falls in love with a rural boy going by the name Kisna.

The 23-year-old Antonia learnt about the auditions for Kisna through casting agents. She knew that Bollywood was bigger than Hollywood in terms of the number of films made annually, and was aware that its audience reach, too, was spreading widely. So she came to Bollywood armed with her impeccable credentials of a diploma in three-year acting course in the Bristol Old Vic Drama School in London. Needless to say, she got the female lead role opposite Vivek Oberoi in the film that will hit the theatres early in 2005.

The list of British belles in Bollywood continues with Annabelle Wallace , who makes her Bollywood debut alongside newcomer Karan Sharma and Amitabh Bachchan in the film Dil Jo Bhi Kahey. The film also stars Malcolm Stoddard and Claire Oberman - two successful figures of BBC serials.

British actor Toby Stephens we know, is playing an army officer in Ketan Mehta's epic The Rising . And the New Zealander Martin Hendersen was seen playing the suitor to Bollywood stunner Aishwarya Rai in Bride and Prejudice .

Also among the foreign faces seen in Bollywood in 2004 was the Serbian model Jelena Jakovljevic who showed her pelvic thrusts in a sizzling dance number in Pritish Nandy Communications' film Popcorn Khao Mast Ho Jayo .

Looking forward into the year 2005, the month of January will see two foreign faces on big screen in Bollywood. The first will be Antonia Bernath in Kisna. And the other will be South African belle Ilene Hamman in Pooja Bhatt's movie Rog .



View The ApunKaChoice Special Feature : 2004 - The Year That Was


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