'RRR' stars Jr NTR, Ram Charan jointly top UK’s 2022 South Asian celebrity list

Pakistani superstar Fawad Khan came in second on the list, followed by British-Indian actor Simone Ashley


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Published: Thu 15 Dec 2022, 8:57 AM

Last updated: Thu 15 Dec 2022, 3:12 PM

Popular Indian actors Jr NTR and Ram Charan, seen together in the worldwide box-office hit RRR, have jointly topped an annual UK list of the 'Top 50 Asian Celebrities in the World'.

The Telugu cinema icons ranked ahead of other South Asian stars for breaking international records and blazing a trail with two Golden Globe nominations for RRR, directed by SS Rajamouli.

The 2022 list, to be published in the UK weekly Eastern Eye on Friday, hails the duo for drawing global attention to regional language cinema in India.

“Jr NTR and Ram Charan breathed fire into cinema halls with RRR and ignited the kind of interest in commercial Indian films from a cross-cultural audience globally, including international media, not seen before,” said Asjad Nazir, Eastern Eye's Entertainment Editor who compiled the list.

“It led to RRR campaigning in all the major categories for the 2023 Oscars, winning honours like the Spotlight Award from the Hollywood Critics Association and getting two Golden Globe nominations. The heroes also drew attention to regional language cinema in India, which resulted in multiple movie successes away from the commercial Bollywood space,” added Nazir.

The Top 50 list spotlights South Asian stars across cinema, music and the arts who made a mark in 2022 with their incredible work, creating a positive impact, breaking boundaries, shattering glass ceilings or by just being inspiring in their own unique way. It involves public input with countless social media posts nominating the favourites.

Pakistani superstar Fawad Khan came in second for his "transformative" film The Legend of Maula Jatt, which smashed Pakistani box office records to set a new bar for the country's cinema industry. He is also recognised for a winning appearance in the Disney+ superhero series Ms Marvel.

Third placed is British-Indian actor Simone Ashley, who became one of the biggest breakout South Asian stars of 2023 with her trailblazing turn in season two of the popular Netflix series Bridgerton and for speaking out against colourism in the industry.

Fourth placed is Alia Bhatt, who remains the number one actor in Bollywood with multiple movie successes -- Gangubai Kathiawadi, RRR, Darlings and Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva" -- and for signing Heart of Stone, her first Hollywood film. Pakistani-Canadian actor Iman Vellani comes in at fifth for her path-breaking portrayal of a teenage Muslim superhero in Ms Marvel.

Among the other high-ranking celebrities are Yash (sixth) with the big success of KGF: Chapter 2 under his belt that put Kannada cinema on the global map and Shreya Ghoshal (seventh) as the highest ranked singer for hit songs in multiple languages and worldwide arena shows.

At number eight, the highest placed television star is Tejasswi Prakash for winning the 15th edition of India's biggest reality TV show Bigg Boss and her turn in the hit TV drama series Naagin 6, with international pop sensation of Indian heritage Charli XCX and popular Indian actor Allu Arjun of Pushpa: The Rise fame completing the top 10.

The oldest star in the 2022 list is 80-year-old Indian megastar Amitabh Bachchan (30th) and the youngest is 19-year-old Bigg Boss 16 contestant Sumbul Touqeer Khan (44th).

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