10 Hollywood Actors Who Appeared in Bollywood Movies
Bollywood stars making their mark in Hollywood is a familiar sight, with names like Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan, Anupam Kher, Anil Kapoor, Om Puri, and more recently Pankaj Tripathi and Randeep Hooda in "Extraction." These talented actors and actresses have proved their skills on the global stage, effectively representing India in the international film industry.
However, it's worth noting that the cross-cultural exchange isn't a one-sided affair. Just as Indian actors have ventured into Hollywood, there is also a stream of Hollywood and foreign actors who have taken a leap into Bollywood.
Numerous Hollywood actors have left a notable impact through their performances in Bollywood films, where the term 'Bollywood' derives from the fusion of 'Bombay' and 'Hollywood'.
Meanwhile, the bustling film industry centered in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, reportedly maintains its distinction by generating the largest volume of films annually, surpassing other global film sectors.
1. Sylvester Stallone – Kambakkht Ishq (2009)
Sylvester Stallone stands out as a distinguished Hollywood actor, renowned for delivering a slew of remarkable films including Rocky, Creed, Rambo, Rocky Balboa, The Expendables, and Assassins, among others.
In a surprising turn, Stallone made a unique appearance as himself in the 2009 film titled Kambakkht Ishq, helmed by director Sabbir Khan. In this movie, the actor took on the role of a savior, rescuing the leading lady portrayed by Kareena Kapoor Khan from a menacing group of thugs.
The Indian superstar Akshay Kumar took center stage as the protagonist in this cinematic endeavor.
2. Will Smith – Student of the Year 2 (2019)
Famous actor Will Smith, recognized for his roles in popular films such as Pursuit of Happyness, Hitch, Hancock, Men in Black, and Bad Boys, showcased a new side of himself in the 2019 movie Student of the Year 2. In a surprising move, filmmaker Karan Johar invited Smith to join the cast for a special dance performance. The film, starring Tiger Shroff, Tara Sutaria, and Ananya Panday, received an unexpected boost of star power. During the launch of the movie's trailer, Johar shared that dancing to a Bollywood song had been a significant item on Smith's personal wishlist.
3. Martin Henderson – Bride and Prejudice (2004)
Martin Henderson, popularly known for portraying Dr. Nathan Riggs in Grey’s Anatomy, took a unique step in his career by starring in the Bollywood film Bride and Prejudice. This cinematic endeavor, directed by Gurinder Chadha, adapted Jane Austen's classic, Pride and Prejudice. Henderson assumed the role of the romantic interest, opposite Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who portrayed the lead character.
Among the talented ensemble cast were Anupam Kher, Namrata Shirodkar, and Peeya Rai Chowdhary.
4. Toby Stephens – Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005)
Toby Stephens portrayed the character of Captain William Gordon, who shared a close friendship with Mangal Pandey, portrayed by Aamir Khan. The film serves as a biographical historical drama, shedding light on the life of Mangal Pandey, an Indian soldier whose role was pivotal in sparking the Indian rebellion of 1857. Under the direction of Ketan Mehta, the movie featured an ensemble cast including Rani Mukherji, Ameesha Patel, and Kirron Kher, among others.
Apart from his role in Mangal Pandey: The Rising, Toby Stephens is recognized for his performances in notable films like Die Another Day, The Great Gatsby, The Machine, and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
5. Sir Ben Kingsley – Teen Patti (2010)
Sir Ben Kingsley, a highly esteemed Hollywood actor, took on the character of British mathematician Perci Trachtenberg in the film Teen Patti, skillfully directed by Leena Yadav. In the film, he portrays a British mathematician who extends an invitation to Amitabh Bachchan's character for a high-stakes casino experience in London. This marked Kingsley's intriguing foray into the realm of Indian cinema.
Kingsley, celebrated for his notable performances in iconic movies including Gandhi, Schindler’s List, Shutter Island, Iron Man 3, A Common Man, and Hugo, joined a talented ensemble cast featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Madhavan, Shraddha Kapoor, Raima Sen, Ajay Devgn, and other accomplished actors.
6. Clive Standen – Namastey London (2007)
Clive Standen's presence has gained widespread recognition globally, owing to his impressive portrayals in renowned projects like Vikings, Everest, Taken, and Doctor Who. However, a lesser-known facet of his career lies in his involvement in the Bollywood film Namastey London. In the film, Clive portrayed the character of Charlie Brown, who is depicted as Katrina Kaif's on-screen boyfriend. The story takes a twist when Kaif's character realizes her true feelings for Akshay Kumar's character and leaves Charlie at the altar.
Directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, this cinematic project featured a noteworthy cast, including actors such as Rishi Kapoor, Upen Patel, and Nina Wadia, who contributed to the film in supporting roles.
7. Christopher B. Duncan – My Name Is Khan (2010)
Christopher B. Duncan, recognized for his contributions to both movies and television, including appearances in The First Family, American Soul, The Jamie Foxx Show, and Johnson Family Vacation, played a significant yet brief role in Shah Rukh Khan's My Name Is Khan. In the film, he portrayed President-elect Barack Obama, a character who shares a pivotal moment with Shah Rukh Khan's character towards the conclusion of the story. It's during this encounter that he delivers the poignant line, "Your name is Khan and you are not a terrorist," a moment that touched the hearts of the audience.
8. Paul Blackthorne – Lagaan (2001)
Who could overlook the unforgettable line, "Teen guna lagaan dena padega," a momentous dialogue that transformed the fate of Champaner's farmers as they embraced the challenge of cricket against British officers? Behind this pivotal dialogue and the subsequent humbling defeat stood Captain Andrew Russell, portrayed by Paul Blackthorne. Notably, Blackthorne has left his mark in various productions including Justice League: Doom, Dumb and Dumber To, A Christmas Carol, The American Journey, the Dresden Files, and Arrow.
9. Rebecca Breeds – Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)
Rebecca Breeds, known for her graceful dance alongside Farhan Akhtar in Slow Motion Angreza, took on the character of Stella in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Beyond her Bollywood endeavors, Rebecca has made her mark in television as well, featuring in notable shows like Pretty Little Liars, The Originals, Molly, and Blue Water High, among others.
10. Denise Richards – Kambakkht Ishq (2009)
In 2009, director Sabbir Khan's film may not have struck a chord with Bollywood enthusiasts, but it certainly accomplished the feat of uniting several notable figures from Hollywood, with Denise Richards being one of them. Renowned for her roles in Wild Things and The World Is Not Enough, Denise Richards played the love interest of Akshay Kumar in the movie. Her character selflessly sacrificed her own feelings for Akshay Kumar's happiness. The plot revolves around a Hollywood stuntman and a medical student who begin with a clash and a strong mutual dislike, only to eventually find love amidst their differences.
Adding to the star-studded cast, the film also featured actor Brandon Routh, who portrayed himself in the storyline.