An Indian Civilizational Perspective

White actors on Indian screen – TV and Movies.

There haven’t been many white actors on Indian screen. We have had a few Anglo-Indians – but they were Indians who were descendants of foreigners who settled in India. Tom Alter – an actor whose Urdu diction I admired – was one of them. Here on the right he is playing the character of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad – a political luminary of Nehru era.

There were obviously more Anglo-Indians before the Independence era or in early 1950’s. But either they moved out or just bowed out of bollywood.

Now, for the first time on the Indian small screen – TV – we see a German lady in a soap. She is playing a quintessential Indian bahu or daughter-in-law. She has done a few of the good soaps – like Astitva, ek Prem Kahani – and a few movies. She is now engaged to a guy who is into the show business. So her journey into the Indian movie world is far from over.

Her name is Suzzane Bernert, and she can be seen in Kasauti Zindagi Kay. I am obviously not an Indian soap fan.. but the women may want to watch her perform.

Some excerpts from her interview:

How was your first experience facing the camera?

I was really nervous as I had to shoot in a salwar kamez, tikka and heavy jewellery. I gave it my best shot. Alok Nath was very happy and complimented me. That gave me confidence.

I am still in touch with some of the members of Astitva. I came to Mumbai and met my fiance Akhil Mishra. I have been doing theatre with him since 2005.

How is it working in Kasauti Zindagi Kay and Balaji Telefilms? Do you understand the lines you have to say?

My character Doris is the wife of Tushar Bajaj (Mr Bajaj’s son). I was lost with so many actors on the sets. Last year, I would muff my lines. But now, if they give me lines one hour before the shoot I am comfortable.

I have also learnt to speak Hindi. I enjoy working with my team especially with Sweta Tiwari (Prerna). People know and recognise me by my character Doris.

Balaji is the best thing that happened to me. I have learnt the basics of acting from them.

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