Bollywood has always taken inspiration from movies made down south in Tamil and Telugu film industries. There are plenty of examples of Hindi movies which were remakes of popular South Indian films, ‘Ghajini’, ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’, ‘Singham’ and ‘Force’ to name a few.
Bollywood has also openly welcomed actors and actresses from the South Indian industry into its own more than once. And now with Bahubali becoming one of the highest grossing Indian films ever made, it seems like Bollywood is finally opening its doors to South Indian movies too, instead of simply remaking them into Hindi. Here is list of South Indian stars who have made it big in the Hindi film industry too, and have subsequently won our hearts.
Undoubtedly the first name that comes to mind when talking about South Indian actors is R Madhavan. The versatile and charming actor made his Bollywood debut in the year 2001 with the movie ‘Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein’. Since then he has appeared in several Hindi movies which include Rang De Basanti, 3 Idiots, Tanu Weds Manu, Tanu Weds Manu Returns and Saala Khadoos. But he never quit acting in South Indian movies, and divides his time between the two industries.
Another name with which this list could never be complete is Asin. After a hugely successful career in both Tamil and Telugu film industries, she made her Bollywood debut with ‘Ghajini’ opposite Aamir Khan. She went on to act alongside big names such as Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgan in movies which include ‘London Dreams’, ‘Ready’, ‘Housefull 2’ and ‘Bol Bachchan’ among others.
Genelia moved down to the South Indian film industry after her 2003 Bollywood debut ‘Tujhe Meri Kasam’, failed to make a mark. She became a star in the Telugu cinema, and made her comeback in Bollywood with the hit movie ‘Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na’ in 2008 opposite Imran Khan.
Who can possibly forget Kolaveri Di? We have all hummed the song without even understanding what the lyrics meant. And the magic of Tamil industry’s superstar Dhanush didn’t stop there. He impressed the audiences and critics alike with his performances in the movies Raanjhanaa and Shamitabh, and is now all se to make his Hollywood debut in a film starring Uma Thurman!
Prakash Raj was the ultimate choice for a negative role in Tamil films, and he has become one in Hindi films too. He has starred as the bad guy in films such as Khakee, Wanted, Singham, Buddha Hoga Tera Baap and Dabanng 2.
Rana Daggubati made his Bollywood debut with the film Dum Maaro Dum which also starred Bipasha Basu and Deepika Padukone. He then went on to act in movies such as ‘Department’ and ‘Baby’, and an impressive cameo in ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’. However, he did not stop acting in South Indian films and recently appeared as Bhallala in Baahubali. His next Bollywood project is a Ram Gopal Verma movie.
Last on the list we have the ever beautiful Ileana D’Cruz who made her Bollywood debut with Anurag Basu’s Barfi alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra. She was already a star in the Telugu industry when Barfi happened, but stopped acting in Telugu films after that. She has appeared in several Bollywood projects ever since, ‘Main Tera Hero’, ‘Happy Ending’, and ‘Rustom’ to name a few.