South Stars in Bollywood
Written by Magic FM Telugu on December 16, 2019
During the ’80s and ’90s, a lot of South Indian movie stars had made a splash in Bollywood, ranging from Kamal Haasan to Rajinikanth to Chiranjeevi and more. It was surprising to see that these actors had made a successful transition into Hindi cinema and won over the audiences in the Northern belt. Magic FM takes a look at some of the actors who broke the regional barriers.
This trend had begun in the year 1981 with the release of Kamal Haasan’s ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye’ which had become a big hit especially due to its music which topped the charts all over the nation. Though the movie had Haasan playing a Tamilian who spoke broken Hindi, he looked quite comfortable in a film that had a lot of Bollywood elements. He went onto feature in various Bollywood films in the future like ‘Chachi 420’, ‘Sadma’ and ‘Hey Ram’, which showcased his brilliant acting skills and his ability to portray characters from different regions.
Rajinikanth had shed his image of playing negative roles in the late ’70s by acting in a string of Tamil remakes of Amitabh Bachchan films. So it was natural that he made his entry into Hindi cinema alongside the same person who made his rise as a heroic figure possible. ‘Andha Kanoon’ which released in 1983, marked Rajinikanth’s foray into Bollywood. He played a character called Vijay, the same name his co-star had immortalized in the ’70s. The role had aggression, anger, and emotion of a typical Bachchan hero. Due to this, Rajinikanth gained a lot of admirers in the North, which led him to act in several Hindi films.
Chiranjeevi wasn’t just the perfect action hero but also a great dancer. His dancing skills in Telugu movies had become so popular that Hindi filmmakers wanted to get him in their films just because they were sure that his dance sequences were enough to get the people to theatres. Debuting in 1990 with the hit movie ‘Pratibandh’, he further exhibited his dancing skills in the song ‘It’s A Challenge’ from the 1991 film ‘Aaj Ka Goondaraj’. Though his appearances in Bollywood were limited, he was successful in creating a distinct image for himself.
Nagarjuna’s 1989 Telugu blockbuster ‘Siva’ directed by Ram Gopal Varma had become so influential upon its release that it was remade in Hindi in the following year by the same actor-director duo as ‘Shiva’, thus marking the actor’s Bollywood debut. His role of a rebellious youth had become immensely popular with the Hindi audiences. He followed it with1995 bilingual ‘Criminal’ which was also a big hit. He continues to have a major following in the North due to his multiple appearances in Hindi films.
Sridevi who appeared as a child artiste in a few Hindi films had played her first full-fledged role in Bollywood in 1979’s ‘Solva Sawan’ after acting in several Tamil and Telugu films. With several blockbusters to her name like ‘Chaalbaaz’, ‘Sadma’, ‘Nagina’ and ‘Mr. India’, which has one of the greatest performances by a female lead in mainstream Indian cinema, she went on to establish herself as a true Pan-Indian actor, until her untimely demise early last year.