Guwahati: Bollywood seems to have opened its arms to the Northeast with more and more actors from the region being integrated into the industry. Over the years, it surely opened up to other ethnicities, but only recently, the industry has embraced the Northeastern identities and even locations. Take Rangoon, for instance, which was shot in Arunachal Pradesh or actors like Adil Hussain from Assam and Patralekha, whose origins lie in Shillong, who have seen their popularity soar in the recent past.
Here are seven Northeast actors who made it big on their own and proved with their talents that Bollywood equally belongs to them:
Hailing from Goalpara in Assam, Adil Hussain started his acting career as a part-time stand-up comedian. He joined mobile theatre and later enrolled himself into National School of Drama.
He is very much known for his role in Life of Pi and The Reluctant Fundamentalist. He received the National Film Awards (Special Jury) in 2017 for Hotel Salvation and Maj Rati Keteki. Hussain has been seen in English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Malayalam, Norwegian and French films. Apart from that, he is recently seen sharing screen space with Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor in the movie Good Newwz.
Originally known as Tshering Phintso Denzongpa, Danny was born in Sikkim and is popularly known for his portrayal of villainous roles in Bollywood movies like Agneepath, Kalicharan, Phir Wahi Raat and The Burning Train. Denzongpa also appeared in several regional films in languages such as Nepali, Tamil, Bengali and Telugu.
The Padma Shri awardee also acted in Hollywood movies like Seven Years in Tibet starring Brad Pitt.
Born in Oil India Limited colony in Duliajan town of Assam, Dipannita Sharma is a well-known supermodel and actress. She was one of the top contestants who made it till top 5 of Miss India Contest in 1998 where she won the best photogenic face. She is popularly known for Jodi Breakers, 16 December, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, Pizza and My Brother Nikhil. She endorses and has been the face of several skincare brands in India.
An international model originally hailing from Imphal, Lin Laishram is also an actress and entrepreneur. She got her first recognition by the Elite Modelling Agency, Mumbai. She was often seen in events like Wills Fashion Week; New York Bridal Week.
She starredin Vishal Bharadwaj’s Rangoon opposite Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Kangana, Prashant’s Nair’s Umrika and Life of Pi fame Suraj Sharma and Adil Hussain. Laishram is also a well-known trained archer from Tata Archery Academy in Jamshedpur. She was a junior national champion in 1998 nationals held in Chandigarh and also owns jewellery line called Shamooo Sana in March, 2017.
Most recently, she was seen in Nicholas Kharkongor’s Axone.
Originally known as Thangjam Biju Singh, the actor hails from Imphal and is also a popular lyricist, art director and chef. He was one of the contestants on a popular reality cooking competition Master Chef India 2. He is well known for his role in the films Mary Kom and Shivaay, starring big faces like Priyanka Chopra and Ajay Devgn.
He has also started in Jagga Jasoos, Paltan, Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi, Vodka Diaries, III Smoking Barrels and Penalty for which he earned a nomination for Best Art Director in Prag Cine Awards 2018. He has also been part of two web series — Typewriter and The Test Case.
A professional model who hails from Gangtok, Geetanjali Thapa made her debut with Tina Ki Chaabi. For her next film I.D., Thapa received the best actress award at Los Angeles Film Festival and Madrid Film Festival.
Geetanjali, who played the female lead in Liar’s Dice, won the Best Actress Award at the 61st National Film Awards. She was also seen in a short film That Day After Everyday which received over 6 million views on YouTube within a week of its release. She was last seen in Stray Dolls, a 2019 American crime film.
Patralekha Mishra Paul
Hailing from the ‘Scotland of the East’ — Shillong in Meghalaya — Patraleka Paul made her debut with Citylights starring Rajkummar Rao and Love Games directed by Vikram Bhatt.
She also featured in a few commercials for Blackberry and Tata Docomo, before stepping into Bollywood. She has received Star Screen Award for ‘Most Promising Newcomer’.
She was last seen in Badnaam Gali which won the Best Web/OTT Film of the Year 2019 award.