You are making your South film debut with Ajith. Was entering the Southern film industry always on your agenda?When I was offered the film, I knew Ajith was a huge star down South. But the reality of it struck me after the public announcement was made. On a regular basis, I get messages from Tamil film fans on my microblogging page telling me they are looking forward to seeing me on screen with Ajith. Now, that is something one can experience only from South Indian film fans. But yes, as an actor I’m quite in tune with what’s happening in the various movie industries in the country. I know that some great cinema is made here which even Bollywood appreciates. So, language does not matter to me, as long as I’m doing good films.
But you are aware that women are usually relegated to being glam props in our movies?Yes, I am aware of that. There is this whole concept of ‘glamour’ that the industry and fans follow, which is flawed. To them, ‘glamour’ means a woman showing a lot of skin. In our films, either the woman is glamorous or a girl next door — there is no healthy mix of both. But as an actor, what I want to do is put up a great performance and look like a million bucks. Now that is one combo no one can resist. But it would be wrong to say that women are just glam props in South Indian films. I watch a lot of Malayalam movies and I have seen some amazing flicks where women carry the whole movie on their shoulders. But sadly, not many people know of such films. That’s because there isn’t much money pumped into their marketing and promotion. Plus, the language barrier ensures that the rest of India is unaware that such great cinema does exist in our country even today.