He is a superstar down South with 80 films to his credit but actor Prithviraj Sukumaran, who is making his debut in Bollywood as the leading man in 'Aiyyaa', has no qualms with the film being portrayed as his co-star Rani Mukherjee's project.
"Its a Bollywood film and I am a completely a new entity and I love that. The film is riding on Rani's shoulder and I am happy with it. I love the fact that people will go and watch it as a Rani Mukherjee film and discover me. At the end of the day its a love story between two people and they are Rani and me," Prithviraj told PTI.
Produced by Anurag Kashyap, 'Aiyyaa' stars Rani and Prithviraj in lead roles. Rani plays the role of a Marathi girl who falls in love with a South Indian boy.
Prithviraj has acted in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu films and his notable performances include 'Vaasthavam', 'Indian Rupee', 'Classmates', Mani Ratnam's Tamil version of 'Raavanan', 'Urumi' and others.
"I need to get real and I understand the fact that I am a beginner in Bollywood, the 80 films that I have done down South and who I am and what I have achieved there has nothing to do with what I am going to do in Bollywood," he said.
Rani has delivered several hits like 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', 'Black', 'Hum Tum' and 'Veer Zaara' among others. She was last seen in political crime thriller 'No one killed Jessica' that released early last year and earned critical acclaim.
"Right now, the film will obviously be Rani's responsibility because the minute someone as big as her walked into the film it became a Rani Mukherjee project. I think it is a great to make a debut in a way... its a vehicle in which you are travelling," he said.
"The fact that Rani said yes to the film meant that it (film) got bigger. At the end of the day I realise that all the buzz that is happening around 'Aiyyaa' right now is because Rani is in it," he said.
"When a big star like Rani Mukherjee is involved obviously the whole film at least in its marketing stage will piggy bag on her. Apart from Anurag Kasyap any big name that is associated with 'Aiyyaa' is not me or Sachin Kundlarkar or anyone else it is Rani Mukherjee and if I was left with the marketing of the film, I would have still marketed it with Rani," he added.
Directed by debutant Sachin Kundalkar, 'Aiyyaa' is the story of Marathi girl, who is torn between her love for a South Indian and a traditional Marathi boy of her parents' choice.
"I said yes to the film after reading the entire script. And from the script to the print the film has grown up so much, the characters have grown up so much that I am more than happy," Prithviraj said.
Even before he started working on 'Aiyyaa', Prithviraj has been a huge fan of Rani.
"She is fantastic. She is so inclusive as an actor, she used to go out of her way to make sure not just me but every actor on the sets is comfortable in their own space. She used to call the entire team to her house, discuss scenes and how we will approach it," he said.
"She used to stay back on the sets even when she was not shooting, just to guide me. She was very involved and open to suggestions. She is great to work with," he added.