India's Movie Industry Embracing Foreign Actors

  • 15 May 2019
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The past year has introduced Mollywood fans to Jasmine Metivier as Nylah from "Kumbalangi Nights" and Samuel Abiola Robinson as Sam from "Sudani from Nigeria".

According to Zakariya, who directed "Sudani from Nigeria", it's all down to globalisation.

He explained in an interview with the Times of India, "The world is shrinking, and people are able to connect with each other easily. Earlier, our filmmakers wouldn't even think of weaving in such characters because of the constraints. Now, knowing that foreign actors are available on the other end of a phone call has given us the freedom to think of such concepts," adding that actors all over the world are now familiar with the film industries around the globe.

Director Geo Baby, who has an American actress in his film "Kilometres and Kilometres" said, "People now are aware of what's happening in other countries and so naturally, it becomes easier to weave their stories into ours. Also, our filmmakers are now looking at bigger possibilities than just confining themselves to the tales of our land."

"We travel a lot and naturally when we think of a story, we want to include characters we have met on our trips. As "Kilometres and Kilometres" is a travel movie shot across India, the perspective of a foreigner is vital to the narrative."

Filmmakers are aware of how important it is to get the right actor to play a role. Priyadarshan's film "Marakkar" has five foreign actors- four British and one Chinese. "All these characters are important to the story – one of the British actors is in fact the main antagonist while the others play a viceroy and Vasco Da Gama's son. In the past, we would get some tourist to play a foreigner. But when it's a significant role, we need someone who can truly act, else it would adversely affect the film," the filmmaker says.

The audience is now aware of the different accents and the only way to create authentic characters is to get foreigners to play them. Priyadarshan explained, "Even for "Kaalapani", the two major characters of David Berry (played by Alex Draper) and Len Hutton (John Kolvenbach) had performed in Robert Redford's stage productions."

Photo Source: Narada News

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