There have been several discussions concerning the South’s film industry and the types of stories it produces. What Bollywood celebrities have stated about the South Indian film industry is well known. Today, we’re going to look at how South Indian celebrities feel about working in Bollywood.
1. Mahesh Babu
Mahesh Babu has stated that he cannot afford to be in Bollywood. He stated that he enjoys working in Telugu films and is pleased to see Telugu movie theatres.
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.
Priyamani’s acting in the web series The Family Man wowed us. She spoke out about how South Indians are portrayed in Bollywood films, saying:
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.
3. Shruti Hassan
Shruti Hassan spoke up about the insider-outsider debate in Bollywood, saying:
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.
In response to Salman’s query about why south films are successful in Bollywood, KGF 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 old interview, Dhanush expressed his opposition to the separation between south and north Indian cinema, saying:
6. Allu Arjun
Allu Arjun rose to prominence with his outstanding performance in Pushpa: The Rise. When asked about his Bollywood debut, he stated:
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.
7. Ram Charan
Ram Charan expressed his desire to see collaboration between performers and filmmakers from various places, saying: