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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

You get paid a lot in the south: Vikram

Collin Rodrigues, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 08, 2013
First Published: 15:07 IST(8/2/2013) | Last Updated: 17:15 IST(8/2/2013)

Tamil star Vikram on money matters, why Bollywood isn’t luring him and the role in his second Hindi release.

After Raavan (2010), you must have received many offers from Bollywood.
I waited for Raavan to happen. I didn’t want to do something that just came my way. I didn’t want to be a ‘has been’ after a few movies. I did the film because Mani sir (Ratnam, director) asked me to. It was a lighter role; I loved the dialogues and people noticed me.

Do you regret turning down good parts that other actors have later taken up?
I wouldn’t want to name them. It’s not right to do that since someone else has already done the role. I just wanted to wait. If I was not chosen for a particular movie, then maybe I wasn’t meant to be in it.

Are you keen on working with a particular Bollywood director? We have heard about your desire to work with Vishal Bhardwaj.
David is just a few days old. But yes, I want to work with all the big directors, be it Rajkumar Hirani or Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Every film is unique to me. There is a nice new breed of directors as well.

Any Bollywood actress you would want to work with?
I would like to work with everyone, but I had amazing chemistry with my co-actor in David, Isha Sharvani.

South stars have never made it big in Bollywood, except for Kamal Haasan, as compared to the female stars. Why aren’t their male counterparts branching out of the south film industries?
Kamal Haasan had Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981), which was the biggest hit that year. Then he had Saagar (1985). After that he hasn’t done anything. It’s not easy to leave your business down south. You get paid a lot in the south. Here you have to start from scratch. For girls it’s different as they do their PR well. Look at Rana Daggubati. He started in the Telugu industry and came to Bollywood but he hadn’t made any headway in the south. Now he’s not bothered about the Telugu industry. To work in Bollywood, I have to leave everything and come here. I am doing a film for Shankar, which is being made at R145 cr and I can’t just leave that.

Is there a market for Bollywood movies in the south?
It’s not the same as for local films. Dabangg (2010) did well, but we have our own films. Hindi movies don’t get that kind of opening in the south. Movie halls there won’t run Hindi movies as much as the local ones.

Do you think male Bollywood stars can make it big in the south Indian film industries?
I don’t think so. Hindi actors are happy where they are and my movies run in the south. All of us are comfortable with that.

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