'There is a right time for everything': Nayanthara on working in Bollywood
With the shifting dynamics of the Indian cinema business, Nayanthara feels that now is the "right time" for artists to make bold decisions and showcase their material to a broader audience.
The 38-year-old actress Nayanthara, a major star in the Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam film industries, is making her Hindi debut with the release of her newest Tamil horror thriller Connect, which she also produced under her label Rowdy Pictures.
She will follow it up with Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Jawan, her first full-fledged Hindi project. This change (in industry dynamics) has given confidence to everyone. It has motivated us to take bold decisions of releasing our films in other languages, where people are not so aware of the star or the director, Nayanthara told PTI in a virtual interview.
In the past two decades, the actor has established herself as 'lady superstar' of the South, but Bollywood was never her focus until recently.
The success of "RRR", "Pushpa" and "KGF" franchise has created an opportunity for her to connect with the Hindi audience, who has mostly seen her in the dubbed version of popular hits "Aadhavan", "Chandramukhi", "Tulasi", "Arrambam" and "Sivaji".
"There is a right time for everything. It is just that I didn't get the opportunity to do a full-fledged Hindi film or a proper dubbed Hindi film. Also, the situations were quite different earlier. Today, it has changed and we have to move according to the situation," she added.
Nayanthara believes a content-rich film will strike a chord with audiences across the country and globe, irrespective of its language. If people watch a good film, they will be happy and connect, whether in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada or Hindi. It will work everywhere if the content is good."
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Connect, directed by Ashwin Saravanan of "Maya" and "Game Over" fame, has the right ingredients to entice the Hindi audience, she said. 'Connect' is not about a region or a family in Tamil Nadu. It is not state specific and there shouldn't be a language barrier for this film, the actor added.
Set during the lockdown in India, the film follows a single mother (Nayanthara) who starts noticing eerie changes in her daughter's behaviour. The Tamil version was released on December 22, while the Hindi version came out on Thursday.
The actor is delighted with the response to the film. 'Connect' is a theatre experience with the audience loving the thrill of watching a horror film on the big screen." But with success comes responsibility, and Nayanthara said she is well aware of maintaining the South cinema's standards.
We feel a sense of responsibility to make a pretty decent film, not a stupid one." Connect marks her second collaboration with director Saravanan after 2015 horror feature Maya, which was Nayanthara's 50th movie.
The actor said both Maya and Connect may belong to the same genre but differ in their treatment. "Maya' is a lot twisted. But with Connect', the film's simplicity is fresh, she added. In "Connect", Nayanthara plays Susan Murugasan, whose world comes down during the pandemic after she loses her husband and is disturbed about her daughter getting possessed by a ghost.
The Netrikann star said to essay any character, she relies on her director's vision, besides her own process, which is more internal.
It is not always about trying to replicate (someone). Sometimes for some characters, which have in-depth emotion, it is more of an internal process."Also starring Sathyaraj, Anupam Kher, and Vinay Rai, Haniya Nafisa, Connect is backed by Nayanthara and her filmmaker husband Vignesh Shivan's Rowdy Pictures.
In the future, Nayanthara said she would continue making the most of the opportunities coming her way. "I would try to do different films... We don't know what works, it depends on what is being offered to you and I will make the best out of it. That is my responsibility," the actor said.