Aravind Adiga’s acclaimed 2008 novel The White Tiger – which tells the story of a poor villager who rises to become a successful businessman in ’00s India – is the latest bestselling book to be adapted for the screen by Netflix.
The film version, which is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ramin Bahrani, boasts an impressive cast made up of both emerging talents and established stars, with Priyanka Chopra Jonas likely the most recognisable name for UK audiences.
Here’s everything you need to know about the main stars of the film, including details about their characters and where you might have seen them before.
Adarsh Gourav plays Balram Halwai
Who is Balram Halwai? The central character in the story, Balram is a poor villager who rises to become a succesful entrepenur after starting to work as a driver for a couple who have just returned to India from the USA.
Speaking about the character, actor Gourav told RadioTimes.com, “You get to play two people in the same film, Balram from the village and Balram who becomes successful – and they’re such different people you don’t even know it’s the same person almost. But it is, it’s the same person taking such a magnificent journey.”
What else has Adarsh Gourav been in? This is by far the biggest role of Gourav’s career to date, with the film’s director Ramin Bahrani having been keen to cast a relative unknown in the role. His past credits have included supporting roles in the TV series Hostel Daze, Leila and Die Trying.
Rajkummar Rao plays Ashok
Who is Ashok? Ashok is a wealthy man who has just returned to India from the US, and who has a more conflicted view about the corruption in the country, which his family are actively involved in. He becomes Balram’s master and appears to be kind towards him – although the relationship between master and servant is an incredibly complex one.
What else has Rajkummar Rao been in? Rao is one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, appearing in a string of succesful Hindi films such as Kai Po Che!, Queen, Aligarh, Trapped and Stree. He has won numerous accolades in his career so far, including winning the National Film Award for Best Actor for his performance in biographical drama Shahid, about the life of lawyer Shahid Azmi.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas plays Pinky Madam
Who is Pinky Madam? Pinky is Ashok’s wife, who had spent a long time in the US prior to moving back to India and would like to return. Her relationship with Balram is complex – and she can sometimes be a harsh master.
What else has Priyanka Chopra Jonas been in? Chopra Jonas first shot to fame as the winner of the Miss World pageant in 2000 and has gone on to become one of India’s biggest film stars. Notable credits include Aitraaz, Fashion, Bajirao Mastani and The Sky is Pink. In the US she’s appeared in the ABC thriller Quantico and films including Baywatch and Isn’t it Romantic.
Mahesh Manjrekar plays The Stork
Who is The Stork? The Stork is Ashok’s father and is a wealthy landlord who is embroiled in crime and corruption, often bribing political officials. He looks down on Balram and other members of the working classes.
What else has Mahesh Manjrekar been in? Manjrekar has a very successful career as both a director and actor. His directorial work has included the films Vaastav: The Reality, Astitva and Viruddh… Family Comes First, while acting credits include roles in Kaante, Arrambam, Okkadunnadu and perhaps most famously (to English-speaking audiences at least) as the gangster Javed in Slumdog Millionaire.
Vijay Maurya plays The Mongoose
Who is The Mongoose? Ashok’s brother, The Mongoose (real name Mukesh Sir) is especially suspect of Balram, and does not want to take him on as a servant, while he is also actively involved in his family’s corrupt political dealings.
What else has Vijay Maurya been in? Maurya has appeared in a number of Hindi films over the last two decades with highlights including Gully Boy, Mumbai Meri Jaan and Black Friday.
Vedant Sinha plays Dharam
Who is Dharam? Dharam is Balram’s cousin who is sent to Delhi to be mentored by him at a crucial moment in Balram’s life.
What else has Vedant Sinha been in? Child actor Sinha already has a few credits to his name, including a recurring role in Amazon Prime Video action series The Family Man.