According to a list published by British weekly, Eastern Eye, pop wonder boy Ali Zafar and actress/model Iman Ali are amongst the ten most sexiest Asian people in the world. The list, which came into being through public voting, has named Shah Rukh Khan the sexiest Asian man of 2007 and Bengali beauty Bipasha Basu the sexiest female
This is the third time that Eastern Eye has conducted this poll. And it isn't the first time that Pakistani stars have made it to the list. Last year, model/actress Zainab Qayyum aka ZQ not only made it to the list but also managed to beat out super sexy Sushmita Sen and ranked at number 8. It isn't a surprise. Pakistani dramas have a following in the UK amongst Indian expatriates as well and an increasing number are also filmed abroad.
This year, the rankings for men was as follows: 1) Shah Rukh Khan, 2) Hrithik Roshan, 3) John Abraham, 4) Abhishek Bachchan, 5) Upen Patel, 6) Aamir Khan, 7) Salman Khan, 8) Ali Zafar, 9) Jay Sean and 10) Saif Ali Khan.
Ali Zafar beat out UK-based singer Jay Sean and even Saif Ali Khan. And even though seeing Upen Patel in this list is a bit strange, it only goes to show the market penetration of Bollywood stars and even our own stars. It is this reason why local musicians should try and tour abroad. Ali Zafar is huge in the UK because the expatriates community there is massive. His albums are not just famous with ex-pat Pakistanis but Indians as well. He regularly does shows in the UK and with Pakistani channels beaming in the UK, his star power has grown tremendously. Earlier this year, when Pakistan Day Parade took place in London, Ali Zafar was a huge crowd pleaser.
Speaking with Instep Today, Ali Zafar stated, "Well... what can I say? As flattering as it can get, I never thought I was "sexy" as they put it! But I think the credit goes to my parents. What if they hadn't married each other?"
Seeing Shah Rukh Khan topping the list is no surprise either. This was an out and out SRK year. He pleased critics (which doesn't happen too often for him) with Chak De India and it premiered in London where SRK was present.
Flash forward to November and Om Shanti Om opened with an even bigger bang. It also premiered in London and SRK was again present with the entire cast of the film. It's a known fact that no other actor is a bigger draw at the global box office except for Shah Rukh. Even the much-criticised Don and Kabhie Alvida Naa Kehna were runaway hits in the UK and America.
With Om Shanti Om, Shah Rukh built up his abs and gave Hrithik and John a run for their money. And with no major hits from the hunks, it was meant to be.
Coming to the women and its Iman Ali - who stunned all with her fantastic performance in Khuda Kay Liye - who has made it to the list on number 10. The full top ten list is as follows: 1) Bipasha Basu, (2) Madhuri Dixit, (3) Priyanka Chopra, (4) Aishwarya Rai, (5) Laila Rouass, (6) Shilpa Shetty, (7) Katrina Kaif, (8) Kareena Kapoor, (9) Lara Dutta, (10) Iman Ali.
Khuda Kay Liye is an exceptional film and the role which Iman plays is of a woman that women of UK, especially those of Pakistani origin relate with. Unlike others on this list who've often played sexy and sensual roles onscreen, Iman makes it to this list because of her distinct style. Simply put, she is beautiful. She looked fabulous in KKL but it was done very tastefully without an ounce of vulgarity or even sensuality. Plus Iman Ali is also known for her plays. She does few of them but the ones she picks out usually get noticed. And those plays are seen by audiences abroad.
Bipasha Basu, who tops this list, has always struggled with her weight. But post-'Beedi' fame, she's reached a new status. And with the steaming 'Phook De' still running onscreen, it makes sense. Coupled with the fact that Aishwarya refuses to play anything sexy onscreen, Kajol and Preity Zinta are nowhere in sight and Priyanka with no big movie out this year, it makes sense.
There are no 'gora' stars on this list and that is essentially because Eastern Eye targets Asian readers. How else can Madhuri Dixit make it to the second spot having just come back? Aaja Nachle opened yesterday while this poll was conducted roughly a week ago. It just goes to show that when it comes to Bollywood stars and even Pakistani stars, Asia is hooked. All said and done, image has, will and always play an essential part in one's fan following. Ali Zafar and Iman Ali, just like their across the border counterparts know it well.