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The Bolly-Holly Archives >> The Bollywood-Hollywood Connection >> The Bolly-Holly Archives Muslim

This section of features versatile Indo-American talent who have made a mark in the mainstream media in North America and in the global entertainment industry.

Featured on this page are:

You may send us a write-up on a talented artist to feature and we would be glad to review and have it included in this section.

Also check out our Desis in Hollywood Section.

Nagesh Kukunoor

 Nagesh Kukunoor is best known for his success in alternative cinema. His Hyderabad Blues, promising more fun, a bigger budget, music and of course coffee.

"Coffee and tea keep me going. I can guzzle gallons," says Nagesh, sipping his favourite at Food Court, Lajpat Nagar in the heart of Delhi. "My day starts with black filter coffee. Post breakfast, jasmine or green tea is a must, and I finish the day with a mug of black tea. And in between it can make an entry."

With Hyderabad Blues, in which he played the lead role of Varun Naidu, we got a director whose dreams are not grandiloquent but his plot striking, an actor who doesn't require greasepaint and padding to emote and above all a complete entertainer, which the critics termed as genre bender. So is there anything left to be told?

"Yes. I didn't want to make the second part. But six years later I thought there are things, which can be told to the viewer. We have maintained the same flavour, the same earthy empathy. Even when we changed the female lead, we could have signed a leading Bollywood actress. But I wanted a girl who could look as real, as part of the script." In came Jyoti Dogra, a theatre actress from Delhi to play Ashwini Naidu. "This time we could afford it, so we have some good background songs including the punch line of the first part 'Dil Par Mat Le' by the Hyderabadi group, Alter Ego."

Slim Nagesh surprises when he asserts he loves food of all kinds, including the fast food his crew is savouring at the Court, where the ambience is perfect to spend a sweltering afternoon with shopping centre and silver screen in close proximity. "I am not feeling well, otherwise I can finish it all, especially the burgers." Joking? "No, I work out a lot, and my metabolic rate is such that it doesn't show. Though with age catching up, now I have to put in some extra effort. I love every kind of Indian food, especially Hyderabadi and Konkani. Tandoori pomfret and Hyderabadi biryani are my favourites. Then come hamburgers and Thai food."

This chemical engineer, who left his secure job in Atlanta for the celluloid world, also loves to cook. "Though I used to adore my mother's cooking, I learnt it out of necessity, because once you are in foreign territory it becomes a matter of survival. It started with mother telling me the recipes, and today I know a million dishes. I can cook a variety of chilly-based chicken dishes and Thai food. However, I particularly like barbeque cooking."

No wonder one of the scripts he has in hand is Tandoor. "It is going to be an English film about an Indian cook based in New York and his interactions with an American lawyer," he says, adding Amitabh Bachchan has agreed to do the film. "I am looking for finances and a mainstream Hollywood actress for the role of the lawyer."

Coming back to mother's recipes, is she happy with his professional recipe? "She likes my films. But my parents are not happy with the lifestyle of the film industry. There are no fixed working hours. Life is disorganised. They want to see me settled." So has he found his Ashwini? For now, it's just Bollywood Calling for Nagesh.


3 Deewarein (2003)
Rockford (2000)
Bollywood Calling (2001)
3 Deewarein (2003)
Hyderabad Blues (1998)
Mobius (1997)


Nagesh Kukunoor would have been labeled a maverick filmmaker had his much-acclaimed 'Hyderabad Blues' not fared well. A chemical engineer turned filmmaker; Nagesh belongs to the relatively younger brigade of directors for whom cinema is a passion. Nagesh has always chosen to make movies about real people doing mundane stuff. He picks up ideas and themes by observing people.

With his subsequent ventures, Nagesh was unable to fully live up to the splash and hype he managed to create at the time of 'Hyderabad Blues'. Yet he is a big draw with the media at least because he consistently attempts to craft something real and different.

After 'Hyderabad Blues', the Atlanta-based Andhrite's next film was 'Bollywood Calling', starring Om Puri and Perizaad Zorabian. It was about an out-of-work B-grade American movie star who gets a culture shock on seeing the Indian film industry, especially when he is pitted against an ageing but legendary movie star, played by Navin Nischol. The film bombed. Before that, he released 'Rockford', an out-and-out entertainer and comedy, for the masses and yet without the usual commercial grime. It was a peep into teenage psychology with a dusky schoolteacher (Nandita Das) thrown in for good measure.

Nagesh Kukunoor's 'Teen Deewarein' with Jackie Shroff, Naseeruddin Shah and Juhi Chawla, which released last year, bagged a fair share of award nominations and glowing reviews, but did not fare well at the box office. The film, which had a lot of English in it, according to Nagesh, was never intended to be a commercial film.

Nagesh's sequel to 'Hyderabad Blues' has just released. Here, he returns to his beloved middle class India and grapples with its idiosyncrasies. His next film will be about death. It's a film where you know that the lead actor is going to die in the first 10 minutes. And he promises that it'll not be a cutesy film, but not too grim either. So let's wait and watch!


The Versatile Mr.Jaffrey

Saeed Jaffrey

Saeed Jaffrey


Saeed Jaffrey is a known face in both bollywood and hollywood circles.He has graced the screen with his memorable performances in milestone films such as Gandhi (1982) and My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) which was a British Production.

Back home ,he starred opposite stalwarts such as Sanjeev Kumar and Shabana Azmi in maestro Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khilari.

Jaffrey has also had a long and successful innings in Theater.He is credited with being one of the few talented actors of Indian decent to have made a mark in International productions outside home turf.

Once married to actress and cookery expert Madhur Jaffrey , the versatile Mr. Jaffrey was not too long ago in the receiving end of media flak for his autobiography titled " Saeed – An Actor’s Journey". While narrating his story, Jaffrey didn’t mince words and was truthful to the point of raising the manicured eyebrows of the showbiz world with his candid account of the many sexual escapades that he’s indulged in during the course of his colorful career.

Such minor aberrations apart , Jaffrey continues to charm audiences in his role as business magnate Ravi Desai in the hugely successful British soap opera Coronation Street which has a viewership of more than 30 million.

What next Mr.Jaffrey – something for our Bollywood fans perhaps?

Milestone Movies of Saeed Jaffrey:

Ek Hi Rasta (1993)
15th August (1993)
Aashiq Awara (1993)
Bali Umar Ko Salam (1994)
Salaami (1994)
Yeh Dillagi (1994)
Angarakshak (1995)
Gambler (New2) (1995)
Trimurti (New) (1995)
Prem (1995)
Sauda (1995)
Vartmaan (1995)
Saajan Ki Bahon Mein (1995)
Bambai Ka Babu (New) (1996)
English Babu Desi Mem (1996)
Jaan (1996)
Megha (1996)
Uff Yeh Mohabbat (1996)
Ek Phool Teen Kante (1997)
Judaai (New) (1997)
Udaan (1997)
Mohabbat (New1) (1997)
Angaar Vadee (1998)
Dushman (New4) (1998)
Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (New) (1998)
Naseeb (New1) (1998)
Shatranj Ka Khiladi (1977)
Chashme Baddoor(1981)
Star (1982)
Gandhi (1983)
Kissise Na Kehna (1983)
Masoom (New)(1983)
Romance (1983)
Aagaman (1984)
Bhavna (1984)
Ek Din Bahu Ka (1984)
Cricketer (1985)
Janoo (1985)
Saagar (New) (1985)
Qatl (1986)
Jalwa(New) (1987)
Hero Hiralal (1988)
Kab Tak Chup Rahoongi (1988)
Chalbaaz (New1) (1989)
Daata (1989)
Eeshwar (1989)
Hisaab Khoon Ka (1989)
Dil (1990)
Naya Khoon (1990)
Yaadon Ke Mausam (1990)
Gunehgar Kaun (1991)
Patthar Ke Insaan (1991)
Anmol (1993)
Aaina (New) (1993)
Balama (1993)

Sarita Choudhury - The dusky powerhouse of talent

In director Mira Nair's Mississippi Masala,Sarita Choudhury is the highly opinionated and confused kid of a conservative gujarati couple who have made the US their home. In 'A Perfect Murder' she plays the role of a UN employee in New York and acts opposite Hollywood favorites like Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Choudhury is undoubtedly one of the most talented actors of Indian origin to have made a mark in Hollywood.She has acted in a number of prestigious international projects both in mainstream cinema and South Asian releases.

This 32-year-old actress who is also earning accolades in prominent stage productions like Much Ado About Nothing feels that the usual Hindi film dance 'n' song fare is not her cup of tea.

Other notable films of her's include:

  • Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love(1997)
  • Subway Stories (1997)
  • Down Came a Blackbird (1995)
  • Fresh Kill(1994)
  • Wild West (1992)


Roshan Seth - "Such a Long Journey !"

It is evident that Roshan Seth chooses his roles with care and deliberation.Be it a "life-like" portrayal of Nehru in Sir Richard Attenborough's much acclaimed film "Gandhi",or bringing to life the complexed character of an overthrown (Indian) Ugandan in Mira Nair's  Mississippi Masala,Seth gets into the skin of the characters' he depicts on screen with ease and alacrity.

A product of the Lamda at London,Seth has not restricted his talent to only the big screen.He is also an acclaimed Theatre enthusiast,having set the stage on fire with brilliant performances in productions such as The Millionairess, King Lear, A Midsummer Night's Dream, amongst others.

Hold on--if one thought that films and theatre were his only forté,he is obviously mistaken!Roshan Seth has graced the television too in notable productions such as Flight, Inspector Shaikh, Bandit Queen (documentary), India- A Discovery, Buddha of suburbia(BBC, RTS, Awards),and The Pedlar (BBC TV Play Of The Month).

Arguably,Roshan Seth is an actor in the true sense of the term.He is willing to take risks in his scripts and has shown that he is capable of  stretching and moulding his talent to fit myriad roles and characters.Seth is also open to different channels of media and has thus not limited his growth as a sincere performer.

Roshan Seth  
Roshan Seth


Roshan Seth as Nehru, in the film Gandhi

  Awards Won:

  • National Film Award 1989 & Best Screenplay for 1989
  • Best Actor Award  in the Canadian film industry's Genie Awards for his performance in the movie "Such a
    Long Journey".

    Some of Roshan Seth's better known movies include:

  • Gandhi (1982)
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  • My Beautiful Laundrette 1985, Star,
  • Deadline (1988)
  • Little Dorrit - Pt. 1 - Nobody's Fault (1988)
  • Little Dorrit - Pt. 2 - Little Dorrit's Story (1988)
  • London Kills Me (1992)
  • Mississippi Masala (1992)
  • Solitaire for 2 (1995)
  • Such a Long Journey (1999)
  • Passage to India
  • Bombay Boys




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