Thursday, June 30, 2011

Your Guide to Bollywood - See What They Did?

As I have been an extra in a Bollywood movie, offered actual lines and a character name in another and now been asked if I’d like to be in the latest Indian Pepsi advert, I think its fair to say I am a bit of an expert on the industry (ah hem). Being the generous individual I am I would like to share this knowledge of celebrity with you. When I first arrived in India I didn’t know the first thing about Bollywood, in fact I thought people had just spelt Hollywood wrong; but I only had to turn on the TV and look at the hundreds of billboards to see that Bollywood stars (and cricket stars but I don’t really know much about them) rule the roost!
Please find below a little guide of who I consider, I’ll repeat, I consider, to be the ‘cream of the crop’ when it come to Bollywood so when someone asks you what you think of ‘Big B’ you won’t say ‘Oh yes, I always wanted to go into the house, my favourite was Jade Goody’ (like I did).  No need to thank me.

Amitabh Bachchan 
Amitabh Bachchan or ‘Big B’ became famous in the 1970’s and has been in a gazillion films the latest being 'Kandahar' about the hijacking incident of the Indian Airlines Flight 814 (look it up). He did a bit of politics in the 1980’s then in the late 1980’s he returned to films. All but one of these films were flops so he semi-retired and started producing movies instead. In 1996 he made his film come back and ever since has been a true Bollywood Legend. He also wears silly thick-framed glasses and has a deep voice.
Something random he advertises: Cement
Most likely to say: ‘I am the dog b*llocks’

Shahrukh Khan
Shahrukh Khan is everywhere in India, on every TV commercial and most billboards. He is referred to as the ‘King of Bollywood’ and is considered the best actor. He started his TV career in the 1980’s and started making films in the early 1990’s. His latest film ‘My Name Khan’ was a huge success (I saw it, it is brillo pads) and earned him critical acclaim. He is apparently the richest of the Bollywood stars worth an estimated $550 million and was named ‘One of the 50’s most powerful people in the world in 2008. 
Something random he advertises: Exterior Paint
Most likely to say: ‘My name is Khan’

Aishwarya Rai
Known as the ‘The most beautiful woman in the world’, Aishwarya was crowned Miss World in 1994, is married to Big B’s son Abhishek Bachchan and is currently pregnant with a little Bollywood prince or princess. Her career started in the early 1990’s and with her good looks, expert dancing and acting skills she soon became the number one leading lady. Unlike most Bollywood actresses, Aishwarya has managed to break out into Hollywood and has been in many movies including The Last Legion (with Colin Firth) and Pink Panther 2 (Beyonce was in the first) and is a regular at the Canne film festival.
Something random she advertises: Nothing random, she’s too fabulous
Most likely to say: ‘Because You’re Worth It’ (she does advertise for L’Oreal) 

Aamir Khan
Aamir is an actor and producer who typically only stars in one or two films a year and since 1973 most have been box office smashers. He seems quite a homely man who genuinely loves acting but doesn’t love the fame that comes with it. In 2009 he starred in the film ‘3 Idiots’ (I cant really explain what this film is about and what happens as it will take too long) which has many catchy numbers in it including ‘All is well’.  Aamir apparently refuses to attend award ceremonies as he feels Indian awards lack credibility (he’s probably right everyone I’ve mentioned has one of those Filmfair awards) and wouldn’t even attend the unveiling of his wax work at Madam Tussards as he said it doesn’t mean anything to him. ‘Miserable B*?/*@d’ you might say, but no he just loves spending time with his wife and making good movies. Good on him I say!
Something random he advertises: Nothing random he takes his career very seriously
Most likely to say: ‘All is well’ (whilst tapping your chest)

Katrina Kaif
Katrina is a British citizen and works in India on an employment visa. She has lived all over the world including London where she worked as model with top agency Models One. During her 4 years here she was discovered by a Bollywood filmmaker and moved to Mumbai in 2005. When she arrived in Mumbai she couldn’t speak Hindi so had to take lessons. Although her early movies weren’t great successes in 2007 she hit the big time and has been in around 30 movies since 2005. The thing is with Karina is that she is everywhere, she advertises TV’s to Tampons and her face is starting to annoy me (I know I’m just jealous)
Something random she advertises: So much choice- hmm- Air conditioners
Most likely to say: ‘Buy this’ 

Priyanka Chopra
In my opinion (and the Miss World 2000 panels opinion) one of most beautiful Bollywood, leading heroines (that’s what they call the leading ladies here) although she has a deep manly voice she seems really sweet and I wouldn’t mind being her friend. She started her Bollywood career in 2002 and was a success from the word go.  In 2008 she stared in the remake of the film Dostana with John Abrahams (hottie) and Abhishek Bachchan (Big B’s little boy). In this film two guys pretend to be gay so they can house share with a hot girl; this is my favourite Bollywood movie.
Something random she advertises: Refrigerators dressed up as spinach and icecream
Most likely to say: ‘Whose the hottest girl in the world…?’

Kareena Kapoor
Although (in my opinion) not one of the best looking Bollywood starletts, Kareena is known for being one of the best actresses and has been in a array of films including, thrillers, dramas, comedies and romances (although normally Bollywood movies encompass all four) After a promising start her career took a nosedive in 2002/2003 when she starred in 6 films that all flopped at the box office. Not one to be fazed by 6 (6!) flops Kareena got back on it and in 2004 started working on more serious projects, which awarded her with critical acclaim and trophies! Hooray! It has been said that her and Priyanka Chopra are archrivals and one day will fight each other to the death (I made the last bit up, but the first bit is supposed to be true)
Something random she advertises: Desi Beats Potato Chips
Most likely to say: 'Priyanka Chopra I will destroy you!'

John Abraham
Or Mr John, Hot to Trot, look at my bulging biceps Abraham, as I like to call him is pretty fit. He is always on TV and on billboards with his top off and always looks like he stepped out of the shower looking all wet and lickable. When he is not being all sexy in advertisements he is being all sexy in films and has done very well for himself.  Already this year he has starred in 6 films and over 40 in total since 2003! The film ‘New York’ in which he starred in 2009 was a huge success and followed the lives of three best friends after the September 11 attacks- it’s definitely on my ‘ones to watch’ list.
Something random he advertises: Motor Oil (unfortunately it's not smothered over his naked body)
Most likely to say: ‘I’m going to the gym’

Hrithik Roshan
Hrithik was a child actor in the 1980’s and made his film debut in ‘Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai’ in 2000 for which he won two Filmfare awards (not bad for his first movie- I haven’t seen it!) He is a good looking chappy with light hazel eyes and is married to an interior designer called Suzanne. His acting career is still going strong and is featured in most magazines with wet styled, long hair and a beard – come to think of it he looks a bit like Jesus!
Something random he advertises- John Players (I don’t even know what that is so it is definately random)
Most likely to say: 'God bless you'- oh no, thats what Jesus would say.

Abhishek Bachchan
Abhishek Bachchan is the son of Amitabh Bachchan and husband to the beautiful Aishwarya Rai. Lets be honest though, I don’t think he would have become such a famous actor if it wasn’t for his famous dad as his Wikipedia entry is rather short; however he has been in a jaw dropping 54 films since 2000! In 2006 he won a lead role opposite Shahrukh Khan in the film Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna which became one of the most successful Bollywood Movies of all time.
Something random he advertises: He doesn’t need to advertise random things as he will get a sh*t load of inheritance one day.
Most likely to say:‘ My wife and dad are more famous than me – humph’


  1. Nice One!!! My personal favorite is Hrithik Roshan. He has the best acting skills, you should see his film "Guzaarish" where he is paired with Aishwarya Rai. Its a fabulous film with great acting performances. n yes, "Dhoom 2"!!! Hrithik looks super hot in it. He is a Good-Guy too. I wonder, how you haven't mentioned anything about his Dancing skills. Marvelous! A complete package!!!
    P.S.: You might think, why have i written so much!!! Answer is : I Totally Love Him!!! :D

  2. ha ha, i'll be honest I haven't seen any of his films, I've just seen him alot on advertisments and in magazines so felt he deserved to be on my list! I'll make sure I get those films, I have heard of them x Thanks x

  3. You'll easily get to watch them on youtube...

  4. new york is really good, though it's only the second bollywood movie i've ever seen lol, i highly recommend's not the stereotypical bollywoood movie, kinda.

    ps, i love your blog, it's hilarious!

  5. first of all i just want to say that, i love your blog sophie! i've been lurking for a bit, but you have such a refreshing and hilarious way of calling things out how they are in india! :)
    secondly, while we're talking about hrithik roshan, i'm completely fascinated ever since i heard that he has an extra thumb on one hand, and i'm always trying to spot it when i see in him a movie, but he dances too fast! :P

  6. Thank you both thats lovely. Glad you like it!
    @grds09 yes given the subject I doubt they start dancing in the middle of times square- but i may be wrong, as i said i havent seen it but really want to

    @mandyandshomik well if thats true i should have really of written about it in this post, that is brilliant! x

  7. Very informative blog Mrs Hanley! Like that you have taken alot
    of time and effort researching!
    Fact for you John Players were cigarettes made in Nottingham but I think the brand you refer to is some clothing company!

  8. Hey wow you are an actress huh? Did you get yourself an agent in Mumbai???

  9. WOW! It's interesting to read about our stars from an outsider. Hritik looks like Jesus? Now That's an interesting observation. :)

    And your observations about randomness are spot on! You know another random thing Big B advertised in past? A brand of hair oil! SRK has advertised a talcum powder.

    And by the way you missed two Bollywood biggies - Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar. It's a troika of three "Khans" that rule Bollywood - Shahrukh, Aamir and Salman.


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