The lush green hills, foothills of various waterfalls, misty mornings, raindrops rhythmically pelting on tin roofs or the perfect setting for gorgeous sunsets; North-East India is about beauty.
Rarely do people realise that this location has given birth to immense talent that is ingrained among the people. The only catalyst missing is an opportunity in mainland India. It is certain that finding success as an artist in Bollywood is no cake walk. But despite its drawback, these stars with their sheer dedication have made a spot for themselves. Clearly fashion, talent and spark is a special penchant for people here.
Here’s our list of 10 artists from North-East India who made a significant impact on Bollywood:
He is one of the biggest names to have come out from North-East India. The veteran actor, singer and film director of Nepalese descent has acted in numerous films from Bollywood to Nepali to Tamil to Bengali to Telugu and even Hollywood (Seven Years in Tibet). With approximately 200 films under his name, Danny was awarded the Padma Shree, India’s fourth highest civilian honour. Noted mostly for negative roles, it is said that he was almost certain to play Sholay’s Gabbar- the most badass villain ever in Bollywood. He is still active and doing films, so we all hope to see him play some kickass roles in his future projects again.
This powerhouse of an actor most famously known for being a part of art house cinema and various Hollywood projects such as ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ to name a few, is the proud son of Assam. Bollywood may have just discovered him, but the actor from Assam already has a sizeable footprint in English, Assamese, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Malayalam, Norwegian and French films. He is known for his incredible acting skills in offbeat films and for his contribution to theatre and the Indian Cinema.He was highly accalimed in Gauri Shinde’s comedy-drama ‘English Vinglish’ starring late actor Sridevi.
This multifaceted Assamese vocalist is also an actor, music director, composer and songwriter. He has sung in different languages like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Marathi apart from Hindi and Assamese. The talented artist has also played different instruments like dhol, dotora, guitar, mandolin, keyboard and various percussion instruments for several popular tracks in Bollywood.
She has been the face of various brands like Garnier, Nivea and Dettol. Born and brought up in Assam, this gorgeous lady came into the limelight after her roles in movies like ’16 December’, ‘My Brother…Nikhil’, ‘Ladies Vs Ricky Behl’ and ‘Jodi Breakers’. The supermodel was one of the top five contestants in Miss India 2008 and has walked the ramp for all international designers such as Valentino & Fendi.
This talented actress made her debut performance through Hansal Mehta’s ‘City Lights’ opposite her real-life boyfriend Rajkummar Rao. She was critically acclaimed for her performance and won the Star Screen Award for Most Promising Newcomer-Female. Patralekha Mishra Paul was born in Shillong, Meghalaya and was last seen in Alt Balaji’s Bose: Dead/Alive.
The singer, composer and record producer from Assam has such a fame that requires no introduction. Angarag Mahanta, known by his stage name Papon, has sung and composed many popular Bollywood tracks. His voice is soul healing and he started his career as the lead singer for the folk-fusion band called Papon and The East India Company. The songs ‘Moh Moh Ke Dhage’, ‘Humnava’, and ‘Jiyean Kyun’ are few of his popular tracks.
After bagging roles in movies like ‘Monsoon Shootout’ and ‘That Day After Every Day’ at the very beginning of her career, this Nepalese beauty has already won the hearts of a million. The National Award winning actor was born and brought up in Sikkim. She was last seen in the survival drama film ‘Trapped’directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and Onir’s ‘Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz’.
The lovely lady from Assam, Plabita Borthakur, stole the hearts of millions in the very controversial film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. The dark comedy film written and directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, and produced by Prakash Jha received a fantastic reception at various festivals across the globe and also rolled out to be a critical and commercial success at the box office. Plabita made her debut as Anushka Sharma’s sister in PK, a film starring Aamir Khan as the lead. Following a couple of ad commercials, the newcomer was allowed to leave a very distinctive imprint on the audience’s mind for her active demeanour in both the films.
Lin Laishram’s first stint with Bollywood happened about a decade ago when she was cast for a cameo appearance for ‘Om Shanti Om’ as Shah Rukh Khan’s friend. Since then, Lin has landed up in roles that were associated with big production groups. From ‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’ to ‘Mary Kom’ to ‘Rangoon’. The Manipuri beauty has worked in Naseeruddin Shah’s theatre group Rangbaaz and has also walked the ramp for designers like Tarun Tahiliani and Shantanu-Nikhil. Lin was appreciated for her role in ‘Mary Kom’.
The talented scriptwriter and director from Shillong, Nicholas Kharkongor made his debut through the indie film ‘Mantra‘ starring Rajat Kapoor and Kalki Koechlin. He had assisted Rajat Kapoor on his film ‘Fatso’. Nicholas was at the forefront of independent filmmaking with films like ‘Raghu Romeo’ and ‘Mithya’.