After Pakistani singers, popular actors from across the border –Fawad Khan, Humaima Malik and Imran Abbas — are all set to make their big bang debut in Bollywood in upcoming two months.
Leading the pack is Pakistani heartthrob Fawad, a well-known TV and film star back home. He will make his Bollywood debut opposite Sonam Kapoor with ‘Khoobsurat’ but the actor has already made his way into the hearts of the Indian audience with his romantic TV show ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hain’, ahead of the Disney-UTV film’s release.
Humaima, a popular model-actress, who has proved her acting mettle back home in ‘Bol’ and TV shows, will romance with Emraan Hashmi in ‘Raja Natwarlal’.
Filmmaker Vikram Bhatt’s ‘Creature 3D’ will mark the Bollywood debut of Pakistani model-turned-actor Imran Abbas Naqvi. The thriller also stars Bipasha Basu as the female lead.
In the recent past, Pakistani starlets Veena Mallik, Meera and Sara Loren tried their luck in Bollywood films without much success. Meera (‘Nazar’) and Sara (‘Murder 3′) took the big screen way to enter the Hindi film industry while Veena made a bold entry in India by participating in controversial reality show ‘Bigg Boss’ before doing movies.
Post her antics on the TV show, the actress starred in forgettable films like ‘Daal Mein Kuch Kaala Hai’, ‘Zindagi 50-50′, ‘Supermodel’ and Kannada film ‘Dirty Picture: Silk Sakkath Maga’. She will also appear in ‘Mumbai 125 KM 3D’.
Actress Sonya Jehan made her film debut in India with ‘Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story’ in which she played Mumtaz Mahal. Jehan, however, disappeared after doing small roles in films like ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’ and Karan Johar’s ‘My Name is Khan’.
However, this phenomenon is not new as in the ’80s and ’90s many prominent and established actors from Pakistan came to Bollywood. Actress Zeba Bakhtiar gained prominence through her Bollywood debut ‘Henna’ in 1991.
The Randhir Kapoor-directed film was India’s submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Zeba starred in other Bollywood films as well including ‘Mohabbat Ki Arzoo’ and ‘Jai Vikraanta’ but none could match the success of her debut film.
Singer-actress Salma Agha was another artiste from Pakistan, who sang as well as acted in Indian films in the 1980s and the early 1990s. Her first film was BR Chopra’s ‘Nikaah’ in which she sang the haunting ghazal ‘Dil Ke Armaan Aansuon Mein Beh Gaye’.
Other names from Pakistan who visited B-Town to gain fame and a push for their careers include Meesha Shafi, Somy Ali and Mohsin Khan.
Singers from Pakistan have always been a significant import to Hindi films. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, his nephew Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Adnan Sami, Atif Aslam, Abida Parveen, Mehdi Hassan, Nazia Hassan, Farida Khanum have always found equal love from both sides of the border.