The Hollywood Connection

The Hollywood Connection

By Birithivy Yogaratnam isn't responsible for the views expressed by the visitor in this column. The visitor claims that this column is his/her own. If the column infringes any copyrights that you hold, please email us at


Hollywood, in one word, could be described as "iconic." The high profile films, the memorable stars, the grand sets, and the unforgettable lines, it's where every and any film lover would wish to be a part of. And in recent years, Tamils have not only made an impact, but have made waves in Hollywood. We all know about that glorious 2009 night where A.R. Rahman received his two Academy Awards while also uttering the words, "Ella Pugazhum Iraivanakae." But even before that, well actually well before that, Tamil cinema alumni and Tamils in general have been making their own marks in the great tinsel town.


We all know the legendary actress Sridevi. The south Indian actress who became a juggernaut in Tamil cinema, helped pave the way for south Indian actresses to make it big in Bollywood. That same Sridevi was offered a role in Hollywood. Now this wasn't just any role, it was a role in the now all time classic film "Jurassic Park." Yep, that's right- that Steven Spielberg film which has grossed over a billion dollars to date, and helped revolutionize the adventure genre, and change SFX forever. Though she had turned down the role because it was a small one, the fact that a legendary film maker was offering a role to a great actress from India, not to mention, one that became huge through Tamil cinema, showed that it was just the beginning of what I would call, the Tamil connection in Hollywood.


Currently on TV, there are numerous Tamil people who have made a huge impact in Hollywood. There's Mindy Kaling, one of the biggest and brightest people in Hollywood today. She has written and starred in countless episodes of the beloved TV show "The Office," and is currently the star and creator of a hit TV show called "The Mindy Project." Not to mention she has appeared in numerous films including The 40 Year Old Virgin, Despicable Me, and This is the End. Also on TV is actor/comedian Aziz Ansari, who stars in the hit show "Parks and Recreation." He too has been in numerous films including Funny People, I Love You Man, and 30 Minutes or Less. Not to mention he is one of the biggest standup comedians in the world, with his shows selling out and his comedy specials being big hits on Netflix. And the list goes on: Padma Lakshmi (Top Chef star), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes and The Office star), Academy Award nominated director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable), Ashok Amritraj (Jeans, Walking Tall and Ghost Rider 2 Producer) and of course the legendary A.R. Rahman.


A.R. Rahman has helped shone more light towards Tamil Cinema thanks to his historic award wins, and he has also helped some of the biggest people in Hollywood as well. Did you know that he helped contribute for the film "The Dark Knight Rises?" He was mentioned amongst others in the Thank you section of the film's score which was done by Hans Zimmer. The both of them have also worked together to score for the 84th Academy Awards. His legacy is still being made in Hollywood, with more scores for Hollywood movies to come, including Disney's The Million Dollar Arm, which is being released in May.


With cinema getting bigger and bigger every year, it is inevitable for more Tamils to dive in and make their mark! Of course the people listed above have helped pave the way for the future in Hollywood, and more and more people, including myself, will take them as inspiration. To end off, there's a famous saying that I know, "when you try hard, always reach for the top, because there is no limit to where you can go!"


Birithivy Yogaratnam

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