Hollywood Actors of Pakistan

Written by Rafay Shareef

Hollywood is considered to be the leading film industry. Every actor’s dreams of being part of this industry. Some of the Pakistani born actors were lucky enough to establish their careers in the biggest industry of the world. Below is the list of actors who are Pakistanis and are part of Hollywood. 

Kumail Nanjiani

Kumail Nanjiani – A standup-comedian turned actor and screen writer was born in Karachi, Pakistan. When he was a teenager he moved to the U.S for his education. He started as a podcaster and also worked in supporting roles in few series including Franklin & Bash by TNT. He also co-hosted the Comedy Central show “The Meltdown” with Jonah and Kumail. He is renowned for his roles in HBO’s series Silicon Valley, the Adult Swim series, Newsreader and for the voice over of Prismo in an animated series “Adventure Time.” Kumail has made the headlines for his upcoming role as Kingu Sunen in the Marvel project, The Eternals. 

Farhan Tahir

Farhan Tahir – This Los Angeles, California native comes from a family of actors. Born to veteran actor Naeem Tahir and to one of the most prominent voices of Radio Pakistan, Yasmeen Tahir. He graduated in Masters of Fine Arts from Harvard University and decided to pursue his career in acting. He made his debut as “Nathoo” in The Jungle Book. He is best known for his role as “Raza” in the Iron Man and “Captain Robau” in Star Trek. He has a huge list of impressive films and television series under his belt including Elysium, Escape Plan and Jinn. 


Riz Ahmed

Riz Ahmed – Born to a Muslim British-Pakistani family and brought up in London. He started his career as an actor and worked in so many movies including Rage, Four Lions, Centurion. He rose to prominence when he received acclaim and numerous awards for Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. He was also nominated for the Best Male Newcomer at the Empire Awards for his role as Bodhi Rook in Rogue One. Riz also worked in the HBO miniseries The Night of, which earned him the Golden Globe. This made Riz the first South Asian Muslim to win the lead acting Emmy. His recent projects include Carlton Drake / Riot in the super hero film Venom. Besides being an actor he is also a rapper and musician. He was featured in Immigrants (We get the job done) which topped the billboard 200 chart and also won the award for Best Fight Against System at VMA awards. He is also an activist and is also known for his political rap music. Being an activist he has been involved in raising awareness and funds for Rohingya and Syrian refugees. He was named in the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.  

Dilshad Vadsaria

Dilshad Vadsaria – started her Hollywood career in 2006 by working in a television program Vanished. She is known for her role as Rebecca Logan on the ABC Family television program. She also appeared in the comedy film 30 Minutes or Less which gained her the recognition. She has also done other television programs as well which include NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Revenge, and Second Chance. She was also nominated at NAMIC Vision Awards in the category of Best Performance for her work in Greek.  


Art Malik

Art Malik – Athar-ul-Haq Malik is professionally known as Art Malik. He is a Pakistani-born British actor who earned the global recognition through his supporting roles in British and Merchant Ivory television series and films. He struggled as a child because of dyslexia. After few years of struggling he entered the industry and made his debut and did many television shows and films but didn’t get the spotlight. He was without work for about 14 months. He did his big screen debut as Salim Abu Aziz opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies which earned him several roles in other action movies as well. He struggled throughout his life in Hollywood. After the resurgence of his career by working in True Lies, he worked for many other films such as Path to Paradise, Homeland, and Cold Feet which has gained him recognition in the international industry.

Iqbal Theba

Iqbal Theba – Iqbal Theba appeared in various TV shows and Hollywood movies. His name is attached with the big names of the industry. He is famous for his role in Glee as Principal Figgins and worked for them for about six years. He appeared in 58 episodes throughout the six seasons. He also appeared in Friends, Seinfeld, The Escort, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and many other blockbuster movies and TV shows. He also voiced a character Slav in Voltron: Legendary Defender. Theba also performed the role of Pakistani General, Umair Zaman in HBO comedy series The Brink. 

Gabe Grey

Gabe Grey – Syed Faud Ahmed also known as Gabe Grey started acting as a hobby in school and landed in Hollywood movies. He was acclaimed for his performance in Beeba Boys, The Haircut, Facing the Enemy Covert Affairs, Bomb Girls and Lost Girl. He started his journey in a Canadian TV series The Border. He appeared for the first time on silver screen in a Japanese-Canadian film, Toilet. He has also worked as a voice-over artist in video games such as Far Cry 4 and Far cry Primal and has also shown his acting talent in theatre plays such as Glengarry Glen Ross. He is also willing to work with Pakistan media industry and something is already in the pipeline. 

Mashood Alam Malik

Mashood Alam Malik Khyber Pakhtoonkhuwa youngster made it to Hollywood a few days back. He started his journey this year. He landed a lead role in Hollywood’s short film, The Cure. He has a special training of gymnastic and aerobatics. He was selected for the film because of his amazing skills in parkour free-running. He aims to become an action movie star. He is also known for his roles in other movies, Fame banger, Adventures of Aladin, Wing Girls, and The Backup Plan.  

Umar Khan

Umar Khan – This Lahore born actor has worked in many Hollywood movies.  Khan has performed stunts in films like: Captain America: Civil War where he played one of Crossbones mercenaries, 6 UndergroundAsuraWhiskey Tango FoxtrotDeliver Us from EvilClose Range where he played the role of “Sesma” and Catalyst. In Catalyst, he played one of the leading characters, Mohammad “Mo” Khaled, he also a stunt coordinated and choreographed the fight scenes in the film. He also appeared in the TV shows: Lethal WeaponSEAL TeamTeen WolfRush HourNCIS: Los AngelesScorpionThe BrinkBonesPerson of Interest and Training Day where he performed stunts. 


Alyy Khan – Alyy Khan is Pakistani-British actor who has worked in all the top most film industries which includes Hollywood, Bollywood and Lollywood. He began his career with television series and then appeared on the big screen. He was first casted as an actor in a British police television series, “The Bill.” He also worked in The Philanthropist, Strick Back, Partners in Crime. Alyy has a lot of films on his sleeves which make him the most successful actor of Pakistan. The global audience praise him for his roles in A Might Heart, Traitor, and The Valley. His latest project is in the pipeline with British actor and rapper Riz Ahmed which is going to be released in Pakistan soon.  

Although these amazing talents live and work in Hollywood, we wish they could come to Pakistan and do their part to make our industry shine and better than ever before. Hollywood has given them fame and recognition which no other industry could have possibly given to them. However, they are Pakistanis and in Pakistan they are celebrated and honoured as “Hollywood actors of Pakistan.”