Crossing borders: From Sweden, with love

Published: July 5, 2016
Hampus and Johan gained popularity through viral videos. PHOTO: FILE

Hampus and Johan gained popularity through viral videos. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: It’s not just Pakistani artists who are flocking to India. As it turns out, Sweden has some hidden Bollywood talent as well. Actors Hampus and Johan have become internet sensations after their videos — in which the two imitate the plethora of characters they come across on the streets of Mumbai — went viral.

The European duo arrived in Mumbai in 2015 after graduating from business school, to follow their dream of making it big in B-town. “In Sweden, Bollywood was like a mystery for us. It seemed so crazy and interesting, we developed a deep feeling that we just have to go there and check it out ourselves,” Hampus told The Express Tribune. Like most Bollywood fans, both him and Johan love Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and know the perfect place to watch the Shah Rukh Khan classic. “One time, we saw it at the legendary Maratha Mandir in south Mumbai, where they still show it today. The tickets are for INR25,” Hampus added. His favourite Bollywood actor is Akshay Kumar, while Johan’s favourite is Salman Khan.

Meet the two foreigners in Bollywood who are taking the internet by storm

Of course, Bollywood isn’t an easy industry to succeed in, even for this dedicated duo. “We have been working really hard to get jobs. It is a tough business and the struggle is real,” shared Hampus. “The kind of roles we have been doing are where the character has to be a foreigner. There are not so many of those roles, but at the same time, there are not so many foreign actors living in India either.” They have found some success, nonetheless. Both actors have portrayed British officers in Saif Ali Khan’s upcoming movie Rangoon and worked with Riteish Deshmukh, as well as Esha Gupta. In the meantime, they have fun impersonating characters and sharing their journey to stardom.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2016.

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