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Indian-Origin Actors Gaining Prominence On American Screens


12/17/2015

Whether it’s Indian American comedian Aziz Ansari’s bingeable new comedy on Netflix, “Master of None,” or Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra’s action-thriller, “Quantico,” on ABC, or Mindy Kaling’s “The Mindy Project” on Hulu, Indian-origin actors are finally taking center stage on American television and in films with prominent roles and major screen time, and bringing in the numbers too.

And this trend is likely to grow. According to a report in nwasianweekly.com, Indo-British actor Naomi Scott, Indian American actor and producer Kal Penn and Ansari, are all being roped in to play roles in various upcoming films scheduled for release in 2016 or 2017.

While Scott, who was recently seen in the drama, “The Martian,” and “The 33,” has signed a deal to play the character of Pink Ranger in the new edition of the movie, “Power Rangers,” Penn is busy creating a new sitcom titled, “Fair and Balance,” with the creators of the cult comedy series, “Harold and Kumar.”

Penn, whose comedic chops are well known from the “Harold and Kumar” trilogy, recently landed a recurring role on season 3 of Hulu’s original comedy series, “Deadbeat.” He will be hosting Fox TV’s new two-hour special, “Superhuman,” which will premiere Jan. 4. His resume also includes a role in the police drama with comic elements, “Battle Creek,” which aired on CBS.

According to the report, the sitcom is under development and more details will be released in December.

Ansari also co-created and produced the 10-episode comedy, “Master of None,” which is currently streaming on Netflix and garnering rave reviews.

Apart from these, NBC recently announced the development of two new sitcoms, “I Love Lakshmi” and “Pre-Madonna,” featuring storylines with prominent Indian American characters.

(According to an earlier article in India-West (http://bit.ly/1Mfq4fe): Co-written by Muffy Bolding and Doug Prochilo, “I Love Lakshmi” is inspired by Prochilo’s real-life experience of marrying into Universal Television president Bela Bajaria’s Indian American family. The series will follow the ups and downs of new parents Danny and Lakshmi as they deal with Lakshmi’s immigrant parents whose version of the American dream never included a Danny.

Written by filmmaker Nisha Ganatra of “Transparent” fame, “Pre-Madonna” is an 80s high school comedy set in Chicago, tracking the life of a teenager, Sarita Gupta. The film draws inspiration from Ganatra’s adolescence.

(http://www.indiawest.com/entertainment/global/indian-origin-actors-gaining-prominence-on-american-television-films/article_e2736bd0-a428-11e5-b59b-bbb1a8a404e3.html )

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