Google Doodle has given tribute the the original Hunterwali, or Mary Ann Evans, an Australian actress who made a popular career of starring in Indian movies and doing all of her stunts. She was known for her bravery, and not being dissuaded by the prospect of doing difficult stunts herself, in an age where such things were seldom performed by women on film sets. Nadia was launched in the Indian cinema’s by the producer J.B.H. Wadia, who found the Wadia Movitone, which was responsible for many action movies. He was also the one who distributed Hunterwali, when everyone had initially declined, and the movie became a box office hit instantly.
Mary Ann Evans had worked in a circus before coming to Bollywood, so she had some experience in doing stunts, and could also efficiently perform on a trapeze. Nadia’s last movie was Khilari, which was released in 1961, which included the iconic scene in which she lifts a man in the air and throws him aside. She has been lauded for her performance in the movie, which is also notable as she was 53 years old during the shooting of the film.
Nadia’s image as a fearless and powerful woman was reinterpreted by the acclaimed actress Kangana Ranaut, in the movie Rangoon. Even though Kangana played her as an Indian woman, there were many of Mary Ann Evans that were inspired, like the image that was constantly used in the movie, of her character lashing out a whip aggressively. A documentary, released in 1993, before her death, and directed by her nephew, Riyad Vinci Wadia, “Fearless: The Hunterwali Story” is a document of her life and career and had been acclaimed by many critics for giving a perspective to a courageous woman.
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