I love Bollywood movies and Hollywood movies. There are a great number of superstars in Bollywood who act well and are globally renowned. But we have not seen much participation of Bollywood stars in the Hollywood film industry.

We have seen them participate very little, if at all, in Hollywood, and their participation is usually insignificant compared to other major Hollywood actors.

For example Anil Kapoor's tiny part in MI4 or Irfan Khan in Slumdog Millonaire is far less than what Bollywood has provided these actors in the past.

So what might be the reason Bollywood actors do not like to work in Hollywood?

Is that because they hesitate because of language problem?

Or do they fear comparing with other great heroes in Hollywood?

  • 11
    I'd say non-english speaking foreigners have a hard time in Hollywood in general. Because of the accent they are often typecast (e.g. bad guy, sidekick, comic relief,...) And I have noticed that women often start as more or less eye-candy in their first Hollywood roles (e.g. Monica Belucci, Audrey Taoutou, Marion Cotillard, Noomi Rapace,...).
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 15:14
  • i think that it is a very interesting question ;i don't think so because hollywood movies are very interesting and these movies are based on technology and but i don't think so that there is language hesistation ;they don't work in hollywood movies because they think that are few scene which donot represent the indian culture or they have very busy schedule so they have no time or some other reason
    – user4154
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


When we're talking about Hollywood, we usually talk about big budget movies. Studios fund these movie projects not out of love of art, but to make a profit. To make a sizable profit they need to sell the movie to the audience so that they buy tickets (and buy DVDs and BluRays ... etc). One of the bigger selling points of any movies is the cast. People will pay money to see their favorite actors on screen. That's why actors with greater popularity (even if they don't really act that well) can demand bigger salaries.

Now, every country has its own cache of superstar actors that people in their own country will recognize. But very very seldom does this recognition cross borders. If you ask any Indian (or fan of Indian cinema) who Amitabh Bachchan is, they will most likely know who he is. Now ask that same question to anyone else, and they'll probably have to Google the answer. Thus, Amitabh Bachchan can sell movies to Indians and fans of Indian movies but probably not to the rest of the world.

It's not a comment on their acting abilities, but on their selling ability.

Another thing is that Hollywood casting is still pretty much stuck on stereotypes. When Hollywood casts an actor of an ethnic background, they will usually stick that actor with a role stereotypical to his ethnicity. So when they cast an Indian actor, it will be to fill a certain type of role instead of a generic one. Thus, Ashwariya Rai as an Indian girl in an arranged marriage, Dev Patel as an Indian slums boy .... etc. That stereotyping further limits the role of Non-American actors (not just Bollywood actors) in Hollywood.

  • That is very true. But that is why I wrote "renowned globally". Surely producers wont hire anybody other than a recognizable one. Besides todays media advertizing play a great role in advertizing the movies as well as its cast,crew,trivia before release anything like "words from bible"!
    – Mistu4u
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 19:16
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    Sure they can advertise an unknown, but that takes money. Lots of money. Why hire Amitabh Bachchan (and spend money both on his salary and an ad campaign), when you can hire Al Pacino who is already part of the public conscience? Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 19:18
  • Hm.That is more convincing. But I don't know, maybe Hollywood just likes to walk a bit differently. :)
    – Mistu4u
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 19:22
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    @DisgruntledGoat - Then we hit the stereotyping issue. A foreign actor is almost always brought in to fill a certain type of role. Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 20:38
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    @SubirAdhikari - Well that's a completely different question isn't it? As this intended bit of information wasn't included in the question (and still isn't). Though I suspect such a change will make the question too localized, and thus close it. Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 14:29

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