Bollywood making Tollywood a new territory
Tollywood filmmakers and its lead actors have always been warm and welcoming towards actors from Hindi cinema. Be it the fat pay cheques, market potential, big stakes, foreign schedules and grandiose sets, mana cinema has been attracting many established actors from Bollywood, who are willing to come out of their zone and pursue a new territory amid huge competition.
While the ground for the Bollywood exodus was laid in the late eighties and early nineties, it has gathered steam after actors like Sonali Bendre, Shilpa Shetty, Anjala Zaveri, Preity Zinta, Aishwarya Rai, Sonal Chauhan, Kiara Advani, Vidya Balan and Shraddha Kapoor made a mark with their scintillating performances. Over the next few months, we have several young actors from Bollywood, who are gearing up to make it big in the Telugu film industry.
Actor Alia Bhatt, who has taken the Hindi film industry by storm with her impeccable performances in films like Highway, 2 States, Udta Punjab, Dear Zindagi and Raazi, is making her Telugu debut with director SS Rajamouli’s period actioner RRR. She is playing one of the two female leads in the film, which also stars Jr NTR and Ram Charan. “Alia plays Sita, a central female character, which arrives at a crucial juncture in the film. She is paired opposite Ram Charan and her character determines the course of the film,” says Rajamouli. The film’s shooting is currently underway in the city and Alia is expected to join the sets soon.
With three National Film Awards to her credit, actor Kangana Ranaut has become one of the most sought-after Bollywood actors. She is currently shooting for Thalaivi, a biopic on the late actor-politician J Jayalalithaa. When the film was announced with the Manikarnika actor in the lead role, the news took many by surprise. Clarifying his stand on signing Kangana, one of the producers of the film, Vishnu Induri says, “Jayalalithaa was one of the female political icons of our country.
Her image cuts across regional lines and her story will appeal to audiences all over the country. We are making Thalaivi in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. In order to get that pan-Indian appeal, we have signed Kangana, who has huge popularity and is currently the best female actor in our country. It is the best way to tell a story of a stalwart and we believe, Kangana, with her incredible talent and screen presence will bring value addition to our project.”
The first look poster of the film presenting Kangana as Jayalalithaa received mixed reactions from the audience, but Vishnu is unperturbed by the feedback. “I have seen the rushes and Kangana was amazing. It’s quite natural for people to draw comparisons, but once the film releases, people will thoroughly enjoy her performance,” he adds.
There were reports that Student of the Year 2 girl Ananya Pandey has agreed to make her Telugu debut opposite Vijay Deverakonda in his upcoming martial arts film being backed by Karan Johar. “Ananya is a big fan of Vijay and has instantly agreed to be part of the film. She is excited to share screen space with him and is looking forward to the shoot,” informs a source. Yet another Bollywood actor, Richa Chadha, is working in director Indrajith Lankesh’s upcoming film Shakeela, an eponymous biopic on the popular adult star, who ruled the Southern industry for over two decades. The film, which is being made in Hindi and all South-Indian languages, has wrapped up the shoot and is ready to hit the screens in the first half of 2020.
Then, we have actors like Deepika Padukone, Parineeti Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha and Jhanvi Kapoor, who have expressed their desire to work in a Telugu film provided they get a good script with an author-backed role. Commenting on the trend, trade analyst K Deepak says, “The Telugu diaspora is spread across the world. So our films backed by affluent production houses and featuring stars with pan-India appeal have been getting a wider release in domestic as well as international circuits. In several markets, our movies are faring better than Bollywood films. Hence, it’s no surprise that the Bollywood heroines are showing interest in Telugu, which gives them name and fame quickly. Also, importing these stars from Hindi film industry will give a fresh perspective to our films.”
He also agrees that the increasing use of social media by the actors is also helping them to gain popularity outside their home industry. “Social media has reduced the gap between industries and these stars complement each other for their work. Recently, Janhvi Kapoor praised Vijay Deverakonda and called him an extremely talented actor on Koffee with Karan show. Alia Bhatt too called him the glamorous actor in showbiz. Such gestures will bring these actors closer to the regional audience and also fetch them good opportunities in new territories,” adds Deepak. Now that these actors are gearing up to straddle across industries, it remains to be seen how they perform in a relatively new territory.
(this content is taken from https://www.newindianexpress.com/ for knowledge basis and news updates)