Casting the southern spell in Bollywood

Casting the southern spell in Bollywood

Actor Prithviraj is acquainting himself with the Bollywood boulevard. Also, trying to blur boundaries, if there are any, between the North and South with Aiyyaa. His wide canvas of works is serving as a springboard but the bona fide actor remains rather unaffected.

“Aiyyaa was not the first Hindi film that was offered to me. I signed the film because of the originality in the script. It is a new kind of movie and the audience is going to have fun, enjoy the music and the particular brand of humour. I hope it does well,” he says. The optimism is only palpable.

The actor has already proved his mettle, the entry to Bollywood, though, was without any sound and fury. Meanwhile, he is eloquent about his respect for Aiyyaa co-star Rani Mukherjee.

   “We had done our rehearsals before shooting. In fact, Rani even invited the entire unit to her place for rehearsals,” he says.

As he jet sets across the country and outside, he is also ready to counter queries about Aiyyaa and reflect on the rest of his works. Ask him whether the South Indian stereotype reappears in Aiyyaa and he says, “One has to see the film first. As a South Indian, I felt flattered watching it. Quite contrary to the stereotyped ‘South Indian’ in films, this one is quite ‘cool’. For a change, it is a man, who is the object of desire, not a woman,” he elaborates.

His transition process wasn’t a difficult one. “A film is made pretty much the same way in both the industries. But in Bollywood, you are not bound by a deadline. You can work at your own pace. The continuity of the character, however, is something that I am getting used to. Right now, I am enjoying being spaced out and able to relax,” he admits.

There’s no contesting his talent and the offers are coming in. He’s now shooting for Yash Raj Films’ Aurangzeb in Delhi. “I can’t reveal much as I am bound by a confidentiality agreement,” he admits.

The actor continues to remain buoyant, his versatility landing him powerful rules, especially back home. The one in the biopic on the father of Malayalam cinema is a stealer.

   “The film is ‘Celluloid’ and is directed by Kamal. It is on J C Daniel, who directed the first Malayalam film, in 1921. It is his life story, his journey and struggles while making the film. There is not much literature available on him. But I was able to meet his son. That helped me in the research,” he says.

He’s also looking forward to Ayalum Njanum Thammil (‘Between Him and Me’). “It is going to be one of my best films,” he notes.

   The film is about a medical student who discovers himself while serving in rural areas. “I also have offers from Tamil industry but I am already choc-o-bloc with Malayalam films. It’s difficult to be seen in three different languages at the same time,” he rues.

Remind him about the wave of change in the South and he gushes, “Whatever it may be, new generation cinema or anything else, it is great to see aesthetics change and I have always advocated change. I am happy as long as there is good cinema,” he says.

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