Bollywood’s “Greek Goddess”: Elli Avram
Greek actress Elisabet Avramidou Granlund left her home in Sweden at the age of 21 to move to India and become a Bollywood actress. Quite unusual, one might say, as the immigration route for most people is almost always the other way around.
Yet she had a wild dream: to go to exotic India and become a movie star in the glamor of Bollywood. Maybe not so wild, though, considering she’s the daughter of a musician and actress.
“Elli Avram” – Granlund’s new Bollywood name – was born on July 29, 1990 in Stockholm to Jannis Avramidis, a Greek musician of Pontic descent, and acclaimed Swedish actress Maria Granlund, who starred in the Oscar-winning film by Ingmar Bergman “Fanny and Alexander”. .”
From an early age, Granlund was fascinated by Indian music and colorful clothing from Hindi films. In fact, she even found similarities between the Greek music her father played and Indian melodies. As a teenager, she bought Hindi films and immersed herself in the exotic magic of Bollywood.
Meanwhile, the young actress was receiving acting lessons from her mother and aunt, who also runs a theater. At the age of seventeen, she joined “Sundbyberg”, a Pardesi dance group that performed mostly Bollywood songs.
A year later, she starred in the Swedish film “Förbjuden Frukt,” (Forbidden Fruit) a detective drama in which she played the main character’s girlfriend. At the age of 20, Granlund appeared in the Swedish television series “Gomorron Sverige (Good Morning Sweden)”.
Moving to Bollywood and Stardom in India
In September 2012, the Swedish-Greek woman made the bold decision to travel to Mumbai with the aim of pursuing an acting career in Bollywood, as per a wish from when she was a 14-year-old girl.
She quickly managed to get a work visa by signing up with a modeling agency. It didn’t take long before her face became known, as she starred in several TV commercials. But Granlund really rose to prominence after appearing on Indian reality show “Bigg Boss” in 2013.
From then on it was a straight shot all the way to the top. Granlund became the Bollywood star she wanted to be since she was a little girl.
Even though she didn’t speak the language and had the wrong accent, her dancing and stunning looks helped her get roles in the movies “Mickey Virus” (2013), “Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon” (2015), ” Naam Shabana” (2017), “Poster Boys” (2017), “Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India” (2018), “Bazaar” (2018), “Fraud Saiyaan” (2019), “Paris Paris” (2019) and “Butterfly” (2019).
The ‘Greek Goddess of Bollywood’ doesn’t forget her roots
All of her many films, as well as her frequent appearances at galas and shows, have prompted industry executives and the public alike to call Granlund “The Greek Goddess of Bollywood.”
Yet Granlund remains down to earth and never forgets his Pontic roots and his family in Prochoma, Thessaloniki. As she said to Proto Thema.gr news site, she visits her Pontian grandparents every summer and is very proud to be of Pontian descent.
“If I don’t visit Prochoma every summer, the year is not going well for me. My mind is full of images of my grandmother and my grandfather, who spoke to me about the Bridge and its traditions. That’s where my heart really is,” she said. Proto Thema.
Despite all the fame and glamour, the actress says what she really wants is to finally settle down with a Pontian man: “I want to marry a Greek man. In fact, I want to marry a Pontian. That’s what I want, and I mean it.