The truth behind the Pakistani infiltration

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

Imran Abbas Naqvi is making his debut soon opposite Bipasha Basu

So much so that leading Pakistani newspapers are now publishing  articlessuggesting 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

Fawad Khan

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

Humaima Malik

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’.

 The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and might be subjective in nature.
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17 replies »

  1. With Fawad Khan, it makes sense. But is Humaima Malik different than a newcomer though? I didn’t know who she was until I read this article. And there’s also Ali Zafar who plays the male lead or second male leads in all of his films.


  2. Pakistani currency being more devalued it also makes sense for the actors/ actress to do films here and get good money. The outlay for predicts will be still same as a new comer but for the actors it’s all gain situation – entry into Bollywood and better money that usual.

    Other way round – looking at the movies it looks to be a trend more with Bhat camp, rather than other production houses.


  3. Fawad told in his interview that he is satisfied with the script..and more attention in promotion is given to Fawad and fans want to know more about him so there is a lot of articles about him and many of Indian fans going to watch this movie ONE and ONLY for Fawad…Everybody of his fans in India wants to feel him comfort as like his home..DON’T TRY TO DEGRADE FAWAD..


      • I think the girlfriend/wife broke up with the writer of this article after seeing our beloved Fawad Khan. The writer is angry, biased and mean who only seeks attention by writing crappy things about talented people.


  4. I’ll totally agree with you. Bollywood never ever treat Pakistani talent as their own but business comes first. Same is the case with top class with Pakistani singers. I hope some day they will learn to get respect. After all money is not all thing, respect is


  5. With due respect ,most of us Indians have never heard of these people or watched their body of work . So why not take an Indian newcomer who is also unknown & do the same promotion tamasha with them? Or is it because some film makers want to capture the vast Pakistani market ? Humaima’s movie is out & she has nothing to do in it , Fawad is in a movie clearly made for Sonam …why do they accept these inconsequential roles if they have done quality work in their country?


  6. I agree with most of the items discussed in this blog. But I don’t think this comes a surprise to Pakistanis or Pakistani actors. Bollywood gets to save money and Pakistani actors get to star in a Bollywood (which is a very big thing!!). Its a total win-win situation.


  7. Being a Pakistani, I will always support any roles any actor or actress get in Bollywood. Bollywood is a huge industry and It’s always a privilege to enter into a bigger league. Of course, It will take time before audience recognizes these faces and their work. The perfect example is Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Ali Zafar. They both have carved a niche market into Bollywood. I would disagree with “C list” category for these actors as there are hand full of bollywood A or B list actors or actress that would love to have the opportunity to work with Sonam Kapoor and Emraan Hasmi but it’s not a right fit. We should encourage all the new faces regardless where they are from. They all have done the hard work to get to this point in their career.


  8. I had read this article i think a few backs ..may be almost a month.. And what you wrote did feel right in all the ways..but i am back here to comment on this now because recently when out of curiousity ( coz everyone in india was endlessly praising zindagi gulzar hai ) i decided to watch both zindagi gulzar hai and humsafar- fawad khans 2 really famous and critically acclaimed tv shows. Each episode of each of these show made me wonder that how amazing an actor he is. Forget our tv actors but Our very own new generation bollywood stars be it any …. Are not even half as natural and captivating as he is on the screen… He is definitly here in bollywood to stay.. Because he dsnt need any songs… Any topless 6 abs flaunting scenes … His acting ..his expression’s and his eyes that act too are just enuff…. I am definitly looking forward to see him in a good bollywood movie with some depth and content. I am glad with such ppl joining the industry the acting in the true sense can been seen atleast … His infilteration is most welcome! And no hes not any ones replacement… Hes a kind of performer who can pull an entire movie on his own. Highly recommended to see a few of his shows and see his power as an actor!
    – a true bollywood fan


  9. What about the infiltration of ” white ” background dancer in bollywoodsongs.
    I’ve always wondered whats the story behind it?

    Hope you can write about this..


  10. Haven’t seen Fawad’s work but in order to succeed in bollywood, you need personality and charisma which he lacks. Look how awkard and out of place he looked on TV shows and interviews while promoting his movies. Theres no way he can match the drawing powers of SRK or Salman.


  11. This is bull****. As a Pakistani I don’t have anything to hate about Indians or their religion. Yet whenever I go online to see these things, I see all these people from India writing horrible stuff about us and about how we’re terrorists and we should be banned from Bollywood. I see virtually nothing besides hate from Indians towards us and this really pisses me off. Does your country even want peace? It seems like it wants to hate us till we’re buried into the ground.
    And this shit writer who wrote this article. Ali Zafar is doing roles which other bollywood newcomers would love to do. Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Kill Dill…these aren’t roles that bollywood actor’s wouldn’t go for. And the Khans, Kapoor, etc? They wouldn’t accept most of the roles nowadays except ones that interest them. And Sonam Kapoor being a bad actress is enough for no one to want to work with her.
    And mostly all bollywood films these days are revolving around the lead male with the lead female being there just for eye candy. Nothing new.


  12. U Indians are nothing u r cheaters u copy every good things of others and feeling proud like donkeys I hate ur stupid nd cheap films we Pakistanis r more talented in music culture fashion eating nd every thing in life


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