10 Bollywood Actors Who Turned Down Offers From Hollywood
The bridge to Hollywood from Bollywood was never so easy earlier as it seems today. Still Bollywood has managed to draw the attention of Hollywood directors all the time. There are some well known actors who ruled over Bollywood yet turned down big opportunities from Hollywood. Here we take a look at them.
The queen of Bollywood cinema and a heartthrob of many, Sridevi, ruled over the 80’s and 90’s. She was the highest paid Hindi actress from 1985-1992. There were hardly any role from any big movies that weren’t offered to her first. She got a lucrative chance to take a leap in career and go to Hollywood which she chose to turn down. The movie was ‘Jurassic Park, ’ and the offer was from none other than Steven Spielberg. She refused because it wasn’t a starring role and it would have meant taking a hiatus from Bollywood, at a time, when she was at the peak of her career.
Arguably the most beautiful artiste to ever grace the Indian screen, Madhubala rose from humble beginnings to become the most captivating star India has ever produced. Her ethereal beauty superseded her acting talent, no doubt about that. Within no time she was famous worldwide and drew the attention of Hollywood directors. She was often referred to as the Marilyn Monroe of Indian cinema. ‘The Biggest Star in the World – and she’s not in Beverly Hills’ read the headline of the article on Madhubala featured in the Theater Arts (August 1952 issue) magazine of Hollywood. American photographer James Burke flew down to India to shoot her for a special spread in LIFE magazine and Oscar winning director Frank Capra met her on a visit to India and discussed possibilities of her working in American films. But it all went kaput when her father, who was managing her career, decided against it. She never went against her father.
When she won the crown for ‘miss world’ she drew the attention of the world. But it is when she was an established actress in Bollywood that she started getting offer from Hollywood. She starred in projects like ‘Bride & Prejudice’ and ‘The Last legion’ to name a few. The films were moderate success. Post that she was offered many high profile Hollywood movies like ‘Troy’, ‘Hancock’ and ‘Rush Hour 3’. Some she lost out on date clashes and others as she hesitated to kiss on screen. Unfortunately for her the Hollywood films that she did manage to do turned out to be damp squibs at the box office.
King Khan of Indian cinema is famous and loved worldwide. There is no dispute on that. His fan following is bigger than the Hollywood stars and he is the most influential actor in the world. He was offered the role in Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which went on to win many Oscars later. The film was based on Vikas Swarup’s bestselling novel ‘Q & A’ and Khan was offered the role of a game show host which eventually was played by actor Anil Kapoor. There is no clarity till date why Shahrukh Khan turned down the role but the popular assumption is that it was because of the length of the role.
5. Dilip Kumar
Known as the tragedy king, Dilip Kumar ruled over Indian cinema for decades. He was the highest paid Hindi actor from 1950-1961 and 3rd highest paid Hindi actor from 1966-68. The actor while dominating Indian screen, got offers from Hollywood and it was David Lean’s ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and they wanted to cast Dilip Kumar in the role of Sherif Ali. Kumar rejected the offer and the role went to Egyptian actor Omar Sharif. But he had never shown any regrets of not doing the film and praised Omar’s portrayal of the role in his autobiography.
6. Ronit Roy
Ronit Roy gor his break in films and then he went on to rule over Indian television for more than a decade before again coming back to films. ‘Udan’ gave him that much needed foothold and established him as an actor in Indian cinema. He was offered a role in a prominent Hollywood film ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and the actor chose Karan Johar’s high school musical-drama ‘Student of the Year’ over the Hollywood venture. Post that on many occasions Roy has expressed his regret in various media interviews on deciding against the film which could have been a milestone in his career.
With his picture perfect look for Hollywood his father – producer and director – Rakesh Roshan had had taken the attempt of launching him internationally with the 2010 film ‘Kites’. But it proved to be an epic failure at the box office. Prior to ‘Kites’ he was offered a minor role in the Steve Martin starrer comedy ‘The Pink Panther 2’ (2009) but he refused it on the grounds that the role was not substantial enough.
8. Irrfan Khan
Irrfan Khan’s real talent was explored only when he started working in Hollywood films. The actor is the biggest Bollywood name in Hollywood today with films that are a runaway hit at the box office. Khan is known for his roles in Hollywood ventures like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Life of Pi’, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Inferno’. With a good balancing career in both Hollywood and Bollywood he enjoys the luxury of picking and choosing from among the best of the offers available to him. But the actor had to turned down roles like Steven Speilberg (Untitled film), Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) and Ridley Scott (The Martian) among others.
Priyanka Chopra is a known name in Hollywood today for his role in ‘Quantico’. She got her first break in much hyped ‘Baywatch’ starring the biggest actor in Hollywood. The film opened to a lukewarm response at the box office. But it definitely gave Chopra the much needed foothold in Hollywood cinema. Right now she is busy filming two Hollywood projects – ‘A Kid Like Jake’ and ‘Isn’t it Romantic’ – and her TV show ‘Quantico’ has been renewed for a third season. Not known to many Chopra was offered a significant role in the 2011 Hollywood hit ‘Immortals’ which was directed by Tarsem Singh, a Hollywood director of Indian origin. Chopra had to opt out because of a date clash and later the role went to another Indian actor Freida Pinto.
10. Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone is a well known name in Hollywood today because of her film ‘xXx: Return of the Xander Cage’ opposite Vin Diesel. She has already been confirmed for the next installment of the ‘xXx’ series. But four years back when she auditioned for ‘Furious 7’ (opposite Vin Diesel) and almost got finalized for the part she had to give it a miss because of her commitment to Farah Khan’s ‘Happy New Year’. Both ‘Furious 7’ and ‘Happy New Year’ did well at the box office.