Actress Asin Thottumkal, often called the Queen of 100 crore films, talks about her experience in the southern film industry and Bollywood so far; says here it’s more about creating a star image and being glamorous all the time…
The southern film industry is far more traditional than Bollywood, which caters to a wider audience and gives opportunities to women in technical fields, says actress Asin Thottumkal after a five-year stint in Hindi films. “The south Indian film industry is more traditional. This reflects in their work. The cultural differences, language and approach are completely different, while Bollywood is more open and caters to a wider audience,” Asin told IANS in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.
There is another key difference, she added. Down south “people are ready to accept you the way you are. They appreciate and value simplicity. You don’t have to wear make-up or be in your glamorous image when you make public appearances”.
“Whereas in Bollywood, it’s about creating a star image, a style quotient that you have to carry throughout. You have to be in the glamorous image all the time,” said the actress who made a big name for herself in Tamil and Telugu films before she moved to Hindi cinema. Asin, who debuted opposite Aamir Khan in the 2008 hit ‘Ghajini’, said Bollywood gives a chance to women in varied spheres.
“On the sets, I see a lot of young women technicians, women camerapersons, hairdressers, makeup artists, dress designers, stage designers and technicians… It’s not the same in the south,” she said. The 27-year-old however feels the barrier between the two industries is slowly diminishing. Bollywood filmmakers have taken inspiration from Tamil and Telugu films and remade them in Hindi. ‘Yuva’, ‘Singham’, ‘Rowdy Rathore’ and ‘Wanted’ are some examples. She is glad “the trend is growing at a fast pace”. “The main purpose is to entertain viewers and that is undoubtedly being done. I also like the fact that a lot of young writers and directors are coming in with fresh original scripts,” she added.
Aamir, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar… Asin has romanced some of the top-notch actors of Hindi cinema on the big screen in the last five years and says teaming up with big names helps in growth. She says she feels “blessed” that Hindi movie buffs had accepted her. “It’s not easy.” “Those who migrate from Tollywood or Kollywood or freshers do not really get to work with A-listers. Working with them helps in growth. I am lucky. I worked with Aamir Khan and A.R. Rahman in my first film ‘Ghajini’. But I have also put in a lot of hard work to be where I am today,” she said.
Before entering Hindi films, she was already a star in the south Indian film industry and featured in films like ‘Chakram’, ‘Varalaru’ and ‘Dasavathaaram’.
Apart from movies, the 27-year-old keeps herself busy with endorsements, but her wish list includes more Bollywood projects. Asked what kind of roles she was eyeing, Asin said: “I would like to do well-written fresh characters. So far I have played a fun loving girl-next-door. Now I would like to try something different, something more challenging and exciting.” ‘Ready’, ‘Housefull 2’ and ‘Bol Bachchan’ are some of her recent Hindi releases. Many film stars are dabbling in television but the small screen is not for Asin. “I haven’t thought about it. It’s good that film personalities are appearing on TV as hosts or judges but I am not ready for it. I won’t do it,” she said.
Bollywood gives a chance to women in varied spheres. “On the sets, I see a lot of young women technicians, women camerapersons, hairdressers, makeup artists, dress designers, stage designers and technicians… It’s not the same in the south,” Asin said. The 27-year-old however feels the barrier between the two industries is slowly diminishing.
Enough of 100 Crore Club, Asin Now Wants Just Good Roles
Having starred in big budget movies like ‘Ghajini’ and ‘Ready’, it would seem Asin is doing fine in Bollywood but the actress says she now wants to do good, well written roles.
The 27-year-old actress is often referred to as the ‘Queen of 100 crore films’ as five out of her six films in her Bollywood career, including the hits ‘Bol Bachchan’ and ‘Khiladi 786’, are part of the elite club. These films, often driven by their male leads, don’t have much for their actresses to do when it comes to performance.
“I have taken a conscious decision about my career. I plan to take it little slower. The box office record and 100 crore club, big films, good collection- all that has happened. “I should move forward and try and do more roles which give me more scope to perform. I think it is the right time in my career to take this decision since it is now that I have the freedom to choose my roles,” Asin told .The actress, who began her acting career in the South Indian film industry, turned to Bollywood after establishing herself there. Her first Hindi film, ‘Ghajini’ opposite Aamir Khan was the remake of her breakthrough film of the same name. Asin was singled out for acting her part brilliantly and remained in the memory despite sharing screen space with Aamir Khan. Not surprisingly, she was chosen to star alongside superstars like Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar.n