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There have been many hits from South recently, the Jr NTR-Ram Charan starrer RRR and Yash’s KGF Chapter 2 and they have been an absolute fan favourite. Both the movies have been smashing hits at the box office and they have taken the benchmark of pan-India movies a notch higher. While there has been a rise in pan-India movies but the North and South divide still avails.

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Recently, a statement by Mahesh Babu sparked quite the controversy about the North vs South debate. But it is not the first time a South star has spoken about Bollywood. Check out when actors like Ram Charan, Yash, Allu Arjun and other stars spoke about Bollywood and the North-South divide.

Mahesh Babu

Mahesh Babu had recently made headlines recently after he made a statement at Adivi Sesh’s Major trailer launch which indeed started a debate on social media after the actor said ‘Bollywood cannot afford him’. Mahesh had said, “I may come across as arrogant, but I have received numerous offers in Hindi. However, I believe they cannot afford me. I don’t want to squander any of my time or others. I never considered leaving Telugu cinema or going to other places, because of the fame and love I have here.” Later the Sarkaru Vaari Paata actor’s team released an official statement giving clarification for what he said, “Mahesh has clarified that he loves cinema and respects all languages. He said he is comfortable doing the film where he has been working. Mahesh said he is happy to see his dream coming true as Telugu cinema is going places.”

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Yash is currently basking in the glory of his recent release KGF: Chapter 2. Yash had recently reacted to Salman Khan‘s comment on the fact that Bollywood movies don’t work down south when regional movies work wonders in the north, “It’s not like that. Our films also never used to get this kind of reception, but what is happening from that part of the world, they have started playing dubbed versions here, people became familiar with the content of what we are creating. What worked today is people got familiar with our way of storytelling, our cinema, so it has not happened overnight. That has been there for a few years and eventually, they started understanding the content, the expression of the direction and everything. And then we got a straight instant connect with Baahubali, SS Rajamouli sir, Prabhas they took that initiative followed by KGF- it also entered with a commercial angle.” Talking about the cultural divide, KGF actor Yash feels that while it is looked at as a weakness, it should be considered our strength, “In our culture, there are a lot of differences, and that should become our strengths rather than becoming our weakness. If they can spend the time and give us, do something relatable, in the end, it is all about relatability, there are lots of films from North that are massive hits. We have watched a lot of films of Hindi stars, we all love them, but the market potential – have they lived up, penetrated it – definitely, there is a huge potential in what I feel and Salman sir is right in that aspect but it isn’t that we don’t watch, we have been watching them but the thing is may be they should see other aspects also other than just releasing the film – the way you collaborate with people, good distribution, like how we had Excel Entertainment here, they need to come with good production houses there – who can sell the movie and I would like to see that situation where film releases pan India and I hope that happens soon.”

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Dhanush is one of the most loved actors in South and Bollywood. He was last seen in the movie Atrangi Re with Sara Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar. In an interview with PTI, Dhanush had said, “I was always against (the divide between) south and north Indian films. It is an Indian film and that is how it should always be. We are heading towards that (change) at a very rapid pace. It is very healthy. It is helping all of us with our films, actors, and creative people globally.”

Allu Arjun

Allu Arjun had earlier made headlines when he spoke about his Bollywood debut, he told PTI, “I have got an offer but nothing concrete or exciting. It does take courage; you have to risk it (to work in another industry). When we are the protagonist of the films that we do, anybody who comes to us will only come with the offer to play a protagonist, I would not be interested in anything (else). And it is very well understood. Even the other person will not come and it doesn’t make sense to ask such a big star to play a second role as it damages the film, they also know it. You have to work as a protagonist, as a main lead.”

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Ram Charan

Ram Charan recently starred in the movie RRR with Jr NTR and Alia Bhatt. He too shared his opinion on Salman’s comment ‘wonder why Hindi films don’t work down South’. Charan had said in an interview, “I want a director from Hindi cinema to make a pan-India film which caters to even the South. Salman (Khan) said, I really love Ram, Rajamouli and Tarak’s work but why are our films not being appreciated in the South. It is so candid and honest of him to say that but I believe it is not Salman ji’s fault or some film’s fault, it is the writing; it is the director who has to transcend these boundaries of ‘hamara movie idhar hi dekhenge, hamara movie udhar hi dekhenge’. Every writer should write movies like Vijayendra Prasad (RRR) or Rajamouli and say ‘believe in it’.” “And of course I want to make an Indian film where I want to work with talent from here (Bollywood), I want directors to explore the talent from South and make bigger films so that we have bigger budgets and we see bigger numbers at the end of the day.”

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Prabhas has been part of movies like Radhe Shyam, Saaho, Baahubali and many more. He is loved by his fan all across the nation. Talking about the north-south divide, Prabhas had told DNA, “War did well in Telugu as far as I know. So, the push that started from Baahubali, now KGF…. maybe Brahmastra is the starting point or before it, something could do well (down South)…we don’t know which film goes well because Baahubali, Pushpa or KGF no one thought it would do so well. We thought it was (Baahubali) going to be good, we all tried and it worked. But in future, we are going to see a lot of Indian films from different industries Tamil, Telugu, Punjab.”


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