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I recently saw a film called Bollywood Hero. The film is about a Dutch guy having a role in a Bollywood movie as a colonial figure, while doing this he is tormented with this Travel.se question.

I later heard that it is quite easy to get a (side-) role in a Bollywood movie as tourist, touring through Mumbai. Is this a fact? If so, what do I need to do to become such an instant Bollywood actor?

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@Andra I remember 5 or 6 years ago (if i'm correct) Amsterdam was turned into an Indian city for around 2 weeks, and I think Bollywood movies are a big hit in Holland, as they are in many european countries (Germany being the biggest fans). I think you should learn Hindi via Skype, then you could easily become a Bollywood actor –  Simon May 30 '13 at 9:39
    
@Simon I don't want to become a Bollywood actor as such. I am just wondering if you could have a small role there while traveling. It would be the ultimate souvenir for such a trip: your "own" movie :) –  andra May 30 '13 at 12:06
    
@Andra Its entirely possible, but you need the contacts. The next time the IIFA Awards comes to Holland, go and try and attract someones attention outside, you never know. –  Simon May 30 '13 at 12:21
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I think the English term you're looking for is not "side role" but "extra". Apparently the easiest is to get in a crowd scene in various movie-making parts of the world. I don't recommend trying to learn Hindi from Bollywood movies. The scripts are actually written in English then very badly translated into Hindi in a rush at the last minute. The language of Mumbai is Marathi and people there are from all over India. Their practical lingua franca is English more often than the official Hindi. –  hippietrail Sep 26 '13 at 4:33
    
yes, being at the right place at the right time is probably the way to go to get your face in a movie that way. Happened to a friend, who happened to live near the site where a WW2 movie was recorded. Film crews went door to door asking people to stand around the area as extras in exchange for some free stuff. Cheaper than trucking in the hundreds of anonymous bystanders needed for the scene. –  jwenting Sep 26 '13 at 6:51

1 Answer 1

Here you'll find a relevant ten-step approach.

One of the most common approaches followed is to submit your profile photographs to various production houses and film companies, like this one.
Most of the 'side artists' are sourced by local 'Artist supplying agencies'. Almost half of these artists are sourced through local news paper advertisements. The rest of them are either repeat artists or people that were referred by the repeat artists

Although this can be statistically disputed, other regional movie streams in India are considered way bigger than Bollywood. For example, Tollywood. Here's a typical advertisement by a sourcing firm. This firm would typically supply artists, like the one you want to be, to local movies AND Bollywood movies being directed locally.

From what I am told it isn't easy at all to be such a Bollywood actor. There are tons of non-Indians living (apart from the thousands of students, who can make easy money) in Goa, at the hills of Manali and other cities where movies are typically directed and they have already jammed the movie houses with their profiles, of course with a dream and a gleam in the eye, to get a break in Bollywood.

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