Ever since Priyanka Chopra took over Hollywood with Quantico, Baywatch and other projects, there has been a spike in the interest in Indian actors in the West. But prior to this, there have been Indian actors who became a part of big international projects, and a very versatile Anupam Kher was one of them.
From Gurinder Chaddha's cult classic Bend It Like Beckham, where he played Mohan Bhamra, the conservative father of Parminder Nagra's character Jess, to New Amsterdam, Kher has given stellar performances. Bend It Like Beckham, also starring Keira Knightley, is one of the most famous films with a majority Indian cast.
He was also a part of Gurinder Chaddha's Bride and Prejudice, based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. He went on to act in other romantic-comedies like The Mistress of Spices, a film based on the book by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and The Other End of the Line starring Shriya Saran.
Ang Lee's Lust, Caution and Russel Peters' Netflix show The Indian Detective were also the projects Kher was a part of. However, the biggest projects that the actor was seen in were The Big Sick and The Silver Linings Playbook.
The Big Sick is a 2017 romantic-comedy directed by Michael Showalter, starring Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan. The heartfelt romance about a Pakistani comic bonding with his girlfriend's parents after her illness, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Kher played Azmat Nanjiani, Kumail's father in the film.
The Silver Linings Playbook ruled the awards and also became a commercial success. It starred an ensemble cast consisting of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Julia Stiles, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker among others. The film went on to get 6 Oscar nominations and Jennifer Lawrence won an Academy Award for Best Actress. Kher played Dr. Cliff Patel, Cooper’s character Pat's doctor and friend.
His latest Hollywood film was Hotel Mumbai, a film about the 26/11 terrorist attacks in the Indian city. The film, directed by Anthony Maras starred Kher, along with Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Jason Isaacs and Nazanin Boniadg. Kher played the role of chef Hemant Oberoi, who, along with his staff, saved more than 100 guests during the terrorist attack.
Anupam Kher has undoubtedly had a successful Hollywood career, longer than any other Indian actor. He turns 65 on March 7, 2020.
Even at this juncture, Kher seems unstoppable.
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