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Language no criterion for aspiring southern actresses

Haricharan Pudipeddi
19 November 2012

Chennai, Nov 19 (IANS) Is language not a criterion for actresses to gain entry into films? If yes, then why do most top heroines in the southern film industry rely on voice actors?

IANS finds out answers to these questions from some members of the film fraternity.

Telugu actor−filmmaker Ravi Babu, known for films such as "Nuvvila" and "Avunu", has worked with actresses such as Yami Gautham, Bhumika Chawla and Shamna Kasim aka Poorna over the years and says fingers can't be pointed at the actresses because they're hardly given time to even make the effort to learn the language.

"It's unfortunate but we can't blame the actresses. Most of the time producers who take these actresses on board don't give them ample time to learn the language and thus resort to hiring voice actors to dub for them. But some actresses like Tamanna at least take the effort to learn the language," Ravi told IANS.

Why can't we cast aspiring actresses from the region?

"Filmmakers look for actresses with a mix of glamour and talent. Although we have plenty of talented native actresses, sadly they're still conservative vis−a−vis actresses from Bombay or Delhi who wouldn't mind being extra glamorous if needed", he said.

Veteran filmmaker Suresh Krissna, in a career spanning over 20 years, has worked with actresses of the likes of Nagma, Manisha Koirala and Sakshi Sivanand and many more. He says as long as an actress can understand and deliver her character, it's absolutely fine if she doesn't speak the language.

"Expressions and emotions are the same irrespective of the language. Anger is expressed the way it has to be expressed in any language. As long as an actress can understand and deliver as per the director's request, I believe she has succeeded", Suresh said.

"If someone is making a film about a commando, we can't expect the actor to be a commando in real life, do we?" he said.

Telugu director Sagar Chandra, who made romantic−thriller "Ayyare", says that at the end of the day it boils down to a perfect mix of beauty and brains.

"Most native actresses may be really good, but they hesitate to chip in commercial elements such as glamour. Moreover, models from northern India have a welcoming attitude and take roles in the right spirit," he said.

Tamil filmmaker Lakshmy Ramakrishnan says it's about personal choices and the comfort level of a director to work with an actress of his or her choice.

"It's based on personal preferences. I always prefer working with someone who will be more suitable for the character. Yes, preference will be given to an actress who can speak the language, but at the same time if she's not committed then it wouldn't make sense to cast her," Lakshmy said.

(Haricharan Pudipeddi can be contacted at haricharanpudipeddi@gmail.com)

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