Priyamani says Bollywood portrayed South Indians as ‘people who didn’t speak Hindi the normal way’: ‘Aiyo kya bolta ji?’
Priyamani opened up about the portrayal of South Indian characters in Bollywood. She said Hindi actors showed such characters as those speaking Hindi with an accent.
Priyamani, who featured in the web series The Family Man, has opened up about how South Indians 'used to' be portrayed in Hindi films. In an interview, she said that in Bollywood movies, people from Kerala or Chennai were shown just as those who spoke Hindi with an accent.
In an interview with Bollywood Hungama, when asked about Southern content gaining popularity among the Bollywood audience, Priyamani said: “Finally, the talent in the South is also getting recognised. There was a time when earlier we had people like Sridevi, Rekha, Hema Malini, Vyjayanthimala, who ruled Bollywood. And then there was a dearth… you know. We have only Hindi-speaking actors in Bollywood and they used to sort of portray South Indians – could be somebody from Chennai, could be somebody from Kerala – they used to portray them as people who used to not speak Hindi in the normal way - ‘Aiyo, kaisa ji, kya bolta ji’- like that.”
Priyamani also revealed her reaction to such a portrayal, adding she is glad that things are changing: “I’ve also seen a lot of films like that and I used to think to myself that South Indians don’t speak Hindi like that. But you know, maybe it’s their version. Maybe they have come across some people who did speak Hindi like that. And after a point they stopped that and started getting South technicians to Bollywood. And, we saw a surge of a lot of South Indian technicians coming to Bollywood and making their mark successfully. And right now, I’m very happy that finally South talent is also getting recognised here in Bollywood and South stars are also getting their due."
South star Priyamani has an impressive filmography of Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada movies. She featured in a special song in Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone's 2013 movie Chennai Express. She also featured in both the seasons of The Family Man, co-starring with Manoj Bajpayee. The show streams on Amazon Prime Video.