From Akon to Amy Jackson, Tamil filmmakers are increasingly bringing in international names to be a part of their films.
AMY JACKSON, Actress
Background: Winner of beauty pageants in the UK and a model, Amy was spotted by director Vijay for his pre-Independence romanceMadrassapattinam. She played an UK model in his Thaandavam. Shankar signed her up for ‘I’ after his first choice Samantha walked out due to health issues.
Films: Madrassapattinam, Thaandavam and ‘I’
Background: A Grammynominated hip hop and R&B singer and songwriter, Akon‘s first tryst with Indian cinema was through Shahukh Khan‘s Ra.One in which he sang Chammak Challo. Simbu, who had gone to the US last year to record his Love Anthem, met up with Akon there and brought him to Chennai to record the track and shoot a video for the same.
Appears In: Love Anthem
NATHAN JONES, Actor
Background: A former professional wrestling champion, the 6 ft 11 Jones has played supporting villain roles in films like Troy and Conan The Barbarian. The filmmakers of Boologam, in which Jayam Ravi plays a boxer, were looking out for an intimidating antagonist and roped in Jones.
DANNY SAPANI, Actor
Background: Danny Sapani has a background in London theatre and TV. He plays a supporting role in Danny Boyle’s new film Trance. Director Hari cast him as a villain in Singam II for his tough guy looks. He plays a Kenyan smuggler who becomes the prime target of Surya‘s cop.
Film: Singam 2
SHANKAR TUCKER, Composer
Background: A clarinetist and a composer, Shankar Tucker rose to prominence thanks to his online channel The Shruti Box in which he recreated popular film songs. This also caught the attention of director Vignarajan (Radha Mohan‘s assistant) who signed him up to compose the music for his romantic film.
Film: Ore Nyabagam
MARC KONINCKX, Cinematographer
Background: He has worked with acclaimed directors like Roman Polansky, Louis Malle and Bernardo Bertolucci in various capacities. Bharat Bala had watched some of his African films and signed him on for Mariyaan, which is partly set in Africa.
RICHARD TAYLOR, Visual Effects Head
Nationality: New Zealand
Background: A winner of five Oscars, Taylor is a close associate of The Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson. His special effects company Weta Workshop is one of the leading visual effects studios and has given us films like Avatar and The Hobbit.
LEE WHITTAKER, Action Director
Background: Whittaker has worked in films like Die Hard 4.0 and Fast Five. He’s the second unit director and action director in Kamal Hassan‘s Vishwaroopam (and its sequel) and Ajith’s Valai.
Films: Vishwaroopam and Valai