Recently, there has been a lot of debate about South films being better than Bollywood. With the recent success of South films and the debacle of Bollywood movies at the box-office, this debate has become more active in recent times.
Now, Mahesh Babu’s statement about Bollywood not being able to afford him has added fuel to the fire. But, not just Mahesh Babu, there are many more South Indian celebs, who have made open statements about Bollywood. So, today, we decided to look at the views of South Indian celebs about working in Bollywood.
1. Mahesh Babu
Mahesh Babu recently made a shocking statement about how Bollywood cannot afford him. He mentioned he is comfortable working in Telugu films and is delighted to see Telugu cinema-going places.
“I did get a lot of offers in Hindi, but I don’t think they can afford me. I don’t want to waste my time working in an industry which can’t afford me. The stardom and the respect I get here (in South) is huge, so I never really thought of leaving my industry and going to some other industry. I have always thought of doing films and becoming bigger. My dream is coming true now and I can’t be happier.”
Taking a stand on the insider-outsider debate in Bollywood, Shruti Hassan said:
“I honestly have many times felt like an outsider, especially in Bollywood, there is a whole North-South thing that constantly happens. For example, if I’m doing three Telugu films and three Tamil films, they’ll say, ‘Oh, but you’re not focusing on Hindi,’ as if that is the only industry in the country. And it isn’t. So I have always felt like an outsider.”
Another successful actor, Allu Arjun, who became a household name after his extraordinary performance in Pushpa: The Rise, opened up on making his Bollywood debut:
“I have got an offer but nothing concrete or exciting. It does take courage, you have to risk it (to work in another industry). When we are the protagonist of the films that we do, anybody who comes to us will only come with the offer to play a protagonist, I would not be interested in anything (else). And it is very well understood. Even the other person will not come and it doesn’t make sense to ask such a big star to play a second role as it damages the film, they also know it. You have to work as a protagonist, as a main lead.”
Priyamani touched so many hearts with her impactful performance in the popular web-series – The Family Man. With her hard work and determination, Priyamani has built a successful career in the South film Industry. Recently, she opened up about the portrayal of South Indians in Bollywood films:
“There was a time when earlier we had people like Sridevi, Rekha, Hema Malini, & Vyjayanthimala, who ruled Bollywood. And then there was a dearth you know. We have only Hindi-speaking actors in Bollywood and they used to sort of portray South Indians- could be somebody from Chennai or Kerala – they used to portray them as people who used to not speak Hindi in the normal way – ‘Aiyo, kaisa ji, kya bolta ji’. After a point they stopped that and started getting South technicians to Bollywood. And, we saw a surge of a lot of South Indian technicians coming to Bollywood and making their mark successfully. And right now, I’m very happy that finally South talent is also getting recognised here in Bollywood and South stars are also getting their due.”
While reverting to Salman’s question on why South films are working in Bollywood, KGF’s successful actor Yash said:
“It’s not like that. Our films also never used to get this kind of reception, but what is happening from that part of the world, they have started playing dubbed versions here, people became familiar with the content of what we are creating. What worked today is people got familiar with our way of storytelling, our cinema, so it has not happened overnight. That has been there for a few years and eventually, they started understanding the content, the expression of the direction and everything.”
In an interview, Dhanush, spoke about how he is against the divide between south and north Indian films:
“I was always against (the divide between) south and north Indian films. It is an Indian film and that is how it should always be. We are heading towards that (change) at a very rapid pace. It is very healthy. It is helping all of us with our films, actors, and creative people globally.”
With the success of RRR, Ram Charan stole so many hearts. He spoke about collaboration between actors and directors from different regions:
“I want a director from Hindi cinema to make a pan-Indian film which caters to even the South. Salman tweeted saying, I really love Ram, Rajamouli, and Tarak’s work, but why are our films not being appreciated in the South. It is so candid of him to say that but I believe it is the writing; it is the director who has to transcend these boundaries of. Every writer should write movies like Vijayendra Prasad (RRR) or Rajamouli and say ‘believe in it. I want to make an Indian film where I want to work with talent from here (Bollywood), I want directors to explore the talent from South and make bigger films so that we have bigger budgets and we see bigger numbers at the end of the day.”