With the changing dynamics of the Indian film industry, South star Nayanthara believes now is the “right time” for artists to take bold decisions and present their content to a larger audience.
The 38-year-old actor, one of the biggest stars of Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam film industries, is entering the Hindi market with the release of her latest Tamil horror movie “Connect”, which she has also produced via her banner Rowdy Pictures.
She will follow it up with Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Jawan”, which will be 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.
People overseas recognising there is something special about Indian movies, says Shekhar Kapur
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 the audiences across the country and globe, irrespective of its language.
“We believe that if people watch a good film, they will be happy and will connect, whether it is in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada or Hindi. It will work everywhere if the content is good.” “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 I don’t think there should 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 the behaviour of her daughter. The Tamil version 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 and the audience is 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 standards the South cinema has set for itself.
“We feel a sense of responsibility that we have to make a pretty decent film and not a stupid film.” “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 are totally different in their treatment.
“‘Maya’ is a lot twisted. But with ‘Connect’, I felt that the simplicity of the film itself 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.
Going forward, 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.