Suddenly Pakistani actors are turning out to be hot property in Bollywood… and a hot topic at filmi parties as well. Reason: So many A-list Pakistani actors making their debut in Bollywood all of a sudden.
According to the trade, it’s the best phase that Pakistani actors have ever enjoyed in Bollywood.
Imran Abbas Naqvi is making his debut soon opposite Bipasha Basu
So much so that leading Pakistani newspapers are now publishing articles, suggesting more names of Pakistani actors who deserve a chance in Bollywood.
Some film experts-cum-journalists-cum-PR professionals are even suggesting that Pakistani actors are replacing prominent Bollywood actors in top-of-the-line Bollywood projects.
In short, Pakistani actors are rocking and rolling in Bollywood more than ever before, and they are here to stay. And if things go this way, they will start replacing accomplished Bollywood actors.
They are good looking, they are sexy, they are experienced and they are adding so much value to Bollywood films.
Really? Let’s find out.
We all know that Bollywood doesn’t do anything without a strong enough reason and more often than not, these reasons are directly proportional to the money they intend to make from their films. Not one actor, PR or director does a favour to anyone unless it spells good business for them.
So, what can be the reason behind this recent fad of hiring Pakistani star actors and offering them ‘pivotal’ roles left, right and centre?
The reality is: Pakistani actors are being hired for only those roles that no established Bollywood actor would ever do and where newcomers cannot fill in.
In short, with Bollywood making more money than ever before, Pakistani actors are filling up a void that Bollywood actors cannot fill themselves.
Let me explain this with two examples.
Fawad Khan: He is one of the most popular stars in Lollywood (Pakistanis call their film industry in Lahore, Lollywood).
Fawad gained considerable Indian fans (mostly women) after the hit Pakistani serial Zindagi Gulzar Hai aired in India.
The same serial made him a superstar in Pakistan, a few years back.
Fawad is now making his Bollywood debut in a role opposite Sonam Kapoor where he is playing the scion of a royal family.
If you look at the character sketches, you will understand that the film revolves around Sonam Kapoor who comes to the royal palace and makes a mess of the royal traditions that ruled the life of people in the palace.
Sonam in her own sweet way, charms everybody there — they dance with her, cheer her and ultimately fall in love with her. Sonam, in turn, falls in love with the dashing ‘Rajkumar’ of the palace, played by Fawad Khan.
Who among the Bollywood heroes will do this role? Not any of the Khans, Roshans, Kapoors for sure. Neither will the Bollywood heroes who are placed immediately below the top rung (for example Shahid Kapoor or Saif Ali Khan).
The reason is very simple. It is the hero who is the eye candy here. He is just supporting the main protagonist, played by Sonam Kapoor.
Okay, so will any C-list actor be able to fill up this space? No again, because it’s opposite Sonam Kapoor and you need a well-known actor for the role. The actors in the C-list, won’t do this role for sure because it won’t help their dream to become a Bollywood hero.
What about bringing in a newcomer? Well that is not financially viable. A newcomer would need promotions to such extent that he can match Sonam Kapoor’s stature and justify being her hero. So not happening.
Is there a solution? Yes. The solution is to bring in an actor who has experience, some brand-value and won’t mind supporting the protagonist in the film as well as during promotions.
The best solution, therefore, is hiring a known name from Pakistan.
The best solution is Fawad Khan!
Humaima Malik: The case of Humaima Malik is not much different from Fawad Khan.
Emraan Hasmi has recently done two films with Vidya Balan (The Dirty Picture and Ghanchakkar).
In both the cases, Vidya Balan had a more prominent role than Emraan. In other films, where Emraan was pitched opposite a newcomer, considerable money was spent to launch her and promote her.
This, of course, ate into Hashmi’s promotion budget because. Given the story-lines of these films, the heroine had not much to do in the film and yet they had to be promoted along with film. Lakhs of rupees were spent on these heroines even though she’s just Emraan’s arm candy.
So, what’s the solution? Again, bring in an experienced hand who has some brand value. The heroine’s brand value will help in the film’s promotion while the focus remains firmly on the hero.
Of course, the top glam dolls or actresses in the industry like Katrina Kaif, Deepika or Priyanka won’t take a second look at the role. Neither will any of the younger heroines like Parineeti, Shraddha or Aalia — because all of them do only those roles where they get enough screen space to show their acting skills.
Newcomers aren’t welcome because promoting them would mean allocating a huge budget for it.
So, what’s the solution? Yes! Hire a trained Pakistani gun and fire from all cylinders at promotional gigs.
Now apply the same logic to all the films that have hired Pakistani actors opposite the male or female leads.
There, you get the whole picture.
The established Pakistani actors are filing up a void in Bollywood which no established Indian actor would aspire for.
At best, they are blocking the prospects of newcomers who could have gotten a chance to star for a big banner.
By hiring Pakistani actors, Bollywood is saving money. Pakistani actors have reduced the promotional budgets of a film which would have shot up, had a newcomer been hired for those roles.
All this just makes better business sense.
It’s the bitter truth, dear Pakistani readers, but it had to be told.
But on behalf of Bollywood, let me take this opportunity and say, ‘thank you’.
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