If you love watching content from the west incorporating desi characters, then these movies and TV shows with Indian representation should be on your binge-watch list!
Representation of various cultures is important as we get to educate ourselves about people of different ethnicities. It makes so many minority communities feel like they belong and are valued when they see someone who looks and speaks like them in mainstream pop culture. Indian representation has especially been on the rise in the past few years with widespread in original storytelling. Shows like ‘Never Have I Ever‘ and ‘Bridgerton‘ season 2 are casting actors of Indian descent as their main protagonists. Watching a heavily westernized show with hints of Indian culture like celebrating Diwali, touching elders’ feet, Indian food, oiling hair, and wearing a saree with bangles is what we never imagined seeing on screen. But fortunately, times are changing and so is our perception of what a lead character in a foreign show should look like.
The comfort of finding a character you relate to and the pride one feels in seeing so many Indian artists shatter stereotypes and boldly embrace our beliefs and traditions is unparalleled. A lot of Indian actors have played some memorable characters over the years which helped with Indian representation on a global scale.
Check it out!
Actors of Indian Descent
Bridgerton Season 2 – Netflix
Kate and Edwina Sharma played by Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran bring the rich Indian culture to the regency era and of course the iconic K3G violin cover as well.
Never Have I Ever – Netflix
Devi, Kamala, and Nalini Vishwakumar played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Richa Moorjani and Poorna Jagannathan navigate through ups and downs in life trying their best to stay true to their Indian roots.
The Mindy Project – Netflix
Mindy Kaling has single-handedly created so many shows and characters with Indian representation and here she plays Mindy Lahiri, a gynecologist trying to have it all – career, love, and a family.
The Office – Netflix
Once again we have Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor, a customer care employee at Dunder Mifflin who loves gossiping and fashion.
Big Bang Theory – Netflix
Kunal Nayyar plays the iconic character of astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali over 12 seasons of Big Bang Theory.
New Girl – Disney+Hotstar
Hanna Simone plays Cece Parekh, Jessica‘s best friend, and Schmidt‘s sweetheart since day one.
Masters of None – Netflix
The story is about Dev played by comic, Aziz Ansari, a New York-based actor who is struggling to find his identity. It is loosely based on Ansari’s real-life experiences.
Kim’s Convivence – Netflix
Sugith Varghese and Ellora Patnaik as Mr. and Mrs. Mehta, Kim family’s close friends and confidantes.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Apple Tv
A hotel in Jaipur hosts seven British guests, who either have a past they are running away from or a new ambition they want to work towards. Dev Patel as Sonny Kapoor, Lillete Dubey as Mrs. Kapoor, and Tina Desai as Sunaina play pivotal roles in the film.
Lion – Netflix
Starring Dev Patel and the young Sunny Pawar as Saroo who gets separated from his family at the age of five and gets adopted by an Australian couple.
How I Met Your Mother- Disney+Hotstar
Kevin Venkataraghavan, Robin’s therapist who falls for her is played by Kal Penn. He is Robin’s love interest in Season 7.
An Indian American teenager from a conservative family must overcome numerous hurdles to pursue her passion for creating DJ mixes. Avantika Vandanapu plays Rhea Kumar and Abhay Deol portrays the role of her father.
Sex Education- Netflix
Before her fame through Bridgerton, Simone Ashley played Olivia Hanan who is one of the pivotal characters of Sex Education and Otis Milburn’s first official client in his sex therapy business.
Hollywood filmography of Indian Actors
Veteran Indian actor Shabana Azmi plays Admiral Margaret Parangosky, whose sole job is to glower at her subordinates and put them in their place.
Silver Linings Playbook – Apple Tv
The legendary Anupam Kher portrays the character of Dr. Cliff Patel, Bradley Cooper’s psychiatrist in the movie.
The Hundred-Foot Journey – SonyLIV
An Indian family moves to France and sets up a restaurant opposite a well-established French haute cuisine restaurant. Manish Dayal and Om Puri are at the center of the film and it’s produced by the Academy Award-winning director, Steven Spielberg.
Quantico – Disney+Hotstar
A group of young FBI recruits travel to the Quantico base in Virginia to receive training to become special agents. The show marks Priyank Chopra’s debut in Hollywood.
Life of Pi – Disney+Hotstar
Irrfan Khan, Suraj Sharma, and Tabu star in this unique adventure of how Pi Patel survived on a boat in the middle of nowhere with only a Bengal tiger as his companion.
Victoria and Abdul- Netflix
Ali Fazal plays the lead along side Judi Dench, as Abdul a clerk from India who presents her with a mohur on her Golden Jublee
XXX: Return of Xander Cage- Netflix
The film marks Deepika Padukone‘s Hollywood debut alongside Vin Diesel.
Dimple Kapadia plays an arms dealer, Priya Singh in Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet
Pink Panther 2- Apple Tv
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan appears as Sonia Solandres, a criminology expert alongside the very humorous Steve Martin
The Great Gatsby- Amazon Prime Video
Amitabh Bachchan does a cameo in the high acclaimed film the Great Gatsby, sharing screen space with Leonardo Dicaprio and Tobey Mcguire
Upcoming Hollywood films with Indian actors
Heart of Stone- Netflix
Alia Bhatt will be seen alongside Gal Gadot and Jamie Dornan in Netflix’s International spy thriller produced by Skydance
Deepika Padukone in a cross-culture romantic comedy
Deepika Padukone will be seen in a romantic comedy produced by STX Films, Temple Hill and her own banner Ka Productions.
Have you watched any of these movies and TV shows with Indian representation? Let us know your thoughts about them in the comments below!
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