They are the toast of the film world – they enjoy international fame and make headlines wherever they go. Their films are viewed by majority of the audiences out there and they enjoy the best that an acting career has to offer. In case you are wondering, I am talking about Hollywood actresses. History is proof that every major film producing country in the world has exported their best talents to Hollywood with a bid for world domination. India being a film obsessed country needs no introduction to Hollywood and is it even possible for anyone to fall in love with movies, without falling head over heels for the leading ladies.
Here is an attempt to list the most popular and loved Hollywood actresses in India on the basis of their fan following and how much they dominate film discussions on a regular basis. It is not possible to make an accurate list since it is not based on any survey and every individual out there has different taste but one can make an observation as to the films of which actresses are released on a regular basis in India and who rules the internet or the social media space. The list below of the most loved Hollywood actress in India is more or less appropriate for the present time but it may keep changing as time goes on.
10. Marilyn Monroe
Her charm is universal and timeless. If you haven’t heard about her then you must be living under a rock. One of the first global stars of world cinema she redefined what it meant to be glamorous. She became a definitive pop culture icon when she entertained American troops at the end of the Korean War. A career that began as a model – including a scandalous photo shoot for Playboy magazine – went on to witness exhilarating highs as the resident royal sex symbol of Hollywood. Her public image shattered many moral conventions and her famous skirt blowing scene in ‘The Seven Year Itch’ even shocked her then husband Joe DiMaggio. She was an untamed soul who loved being in front of a camera and the audience absolutely adored her. In the peak of her career her fame knew no bounds – she graced the cover of every possible magazine cover around the world, including a Filmfare cover in India.
9. Monica Bellucci
Her sex appeal undermines her acting capabilities. Although she has a done quite a few prestigious Hollywood projects including a role in ‘The Matrix Revolutions’. However her long lasting fame in India rests solely upon her vulnerable turn in the Italian hit ‘Malena’. Just like her character in the film her role made her a fantasy for men of all ages. Also she has that exotic appeal for us Indians as she hardly appears on our TV sets or movie screens but thanks to the internet where we can buy the DVDs of her films or watch them online.
8. Julia Roberts
If you are planning a romantic evening with your loved ones then a Julia Roberts movie is a must on your itinerary. Her girl next door appeal gelled well the Indian sentiments who adore the beauty of the youth. She can be funny, hopelessly romantic, bad-ass as well as mysterious. Her light-hearted comedies and feel good romances guarantees huge TRPs every time they are being shown on an Indian English movie channel. Her legendary on-screen pairings with Richard Gere and Hugh Grant are a modern-day cinematic folklore – those movies can still light up an ordinary day and fill our hearts with boundless joy.
7. Nicole Kidman
Even before the release of the film ‘Lion’ in 2016 – a film with an obvious connection to India – she was already a much-loved star in India. Her unique choice of roles have made her some sort of hot property among the millennials who are constantly in the lookout for something out of the ordinary. Her award-winning roles make sure that she always stays in the news for the right reasons. One of her most spectacular screen outing was in ‘Moulin Rouge!’ – a Bollywood inspired extravagant musical.
6. Meryl Streep
Any best actress list in the world is incomplete without her – she is an institution of acting in herself. One just cannot ignore her talent and the influence that she has on hardcore cine buffs, film critics and regular audiences. Whether it’s her peaceful persona that beguile her volcanic talent or the chameleon like quality that she displays in almost all of her roles make her arguably the best actress ever to grace the silver screen. You cannot call yourself a cinema lover if you haven’t watched at least a dozen of her films.
5. Scarlett Johansson
She started out as the sweet innocent starlet and slowly turned up the heat as her footing in Hollywood got strong. Along the way she also found time to invest her talent in performance oriented roles. After her superhero turn in the ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Captain America’ series she became permanently inducted into pop culture hall of fame. She was at the creative zenith of her career when she got the opportunity to be the muse of Woody Allen and Sofia Coppola. Her turn as an extraterrestrial seductress in ‘Under the Skin’ brought about a revolution of sorts in the way female sexuality is depicted on-screen.
4. Emma Watson
There is an entire generation in India who grew up watching her in the ‘Harry Potter’ film series or rather they grew up along with her. Her off-screen style and mannerisms too are heavily emulated her by her star struck fans who consider her as their idol. When everyone thought she could never recreate her ‘Harry Potter’ magic, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ happened which is inching towards the $ 1 billion mark at the global box office. In between she also found time to try her hands at indie flicks to considerable amount of success – The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ and ‘The Bling Ring’ to name a few. In 2013 she was awarded the MTV trailblazer award.
3. Kate Winslet
Her claim to fame in India is her career defining role in ‘Titanic’ as the lovable yet pretentious Rose. She reminds us of those vintage Bollywood actresses who had an indefinable charm of their own. Her only focus is on getting her part right in a film. She doesn’t subscribe to the trappings of a present day celebrity and guards her private life fiercely. Considered as one of the finest actresses of all time she inhabits every role of hers with a genuine warmth and passion. Her appeal is timeless – she would have been a success 50 years ago and she will be relevant even 50 years from now.
2. Angelina Jolie
She belongs to that category of massive global stars who redefines Hollywood every decade or two. Every aspect of her personality is aspirational – her beauty, wardrobe, paycheck, diet, and the man she is dating. She is a self-confessed humanitarian who does everything in style but not once does she lets her overbearing star power take away from the seriousness of the work that she does with refugees around the world. It wasn’t hard for us Indians to fall in love with her given her captivating eyes and bee stung lips. Her breakout role in India was her turn as the thrill seeking daredevil ‘Lara Croft’ in a two movie series. Her other popular film roles include ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’, ‘Salt’, ‘The Tourist’, Changeling’, and ‘Original Sin’.
1. Jennifer Lawrence
She is the current favourite of the entire nation. ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ brought her to the forefront of stardom and since then she has only moved forward with leaps and bounds. Whether it’s her role as the brave heart ‘Katniss Everdeen’ in the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise or as ‘Mystique’ in the ‘X – Men’ series, she has made it a point to make her every screen outing memorable from her side. Her roles in films like ‘American Hustle’ and ‘Joy’, made sure that she become the toast of the awards season. Her easy-going and outspoken personality is what makes her so popular among the Gen Z. Her last release ‘Passengers’ was well received in India.