It's no news that Bollywood has taken a liking to Pakistani actors.
Pakistani dramas have already been a hit there, proven by Vidya Balan who religiously watches the shows on the Zindagi Channel.
So why does Bollywood cast Pakistani actors and what do they think about this concept of Pak-India collaboration in the cinema? Hindustan Times had some industry experts weigh in.
1) They add fresh appeal to Indian cinema
“The biggest advantage of casting Pakistani actresses is that they bring loads of freshness, since no one [in India] has seen them earlier on TV, in films or in ads. So, there’s novelty. Plus, they are a deadly combination of beauty and talent,” says casting director Mukesh Chhabra.
2) They are easier to work with than most existing actresses in Bollywood.
A Bollywood film-maker, who prefers to stay anonymous, says unlike a lot of Indian girls, Pakistani actresses are “very professional” with “no unnecessary tantrums”. Plus, their command over the Hindi language “is better, and can’t be compared [to some of the Indian actresses]”.
3) Technology has made it easy to find talent
“It’s a director’s prerogative to decide which actor fits the bill for his or her film. Thanks to satellite TV and the Internet, we are aware of the talent [in other countries too]. So, we can easily identify them. Plus, going by their work in Pakistan, they are all solid actors too,” says trade expert Taran Adarsh.
4) It depends on the role, and sometimes a role just suits a specific actor
“As a film-maker, what works best with non-regular casting is that you - as the audience - would believe the character more than concentrating on the image of the star. We auditioned other girls, too, for the part, but Mahira acts and looks her part [in the film],” says Raees director Rahul Dholakia.