Though she began her acting career at age 15 in a Bollywood production, it is safe to call Tamannaah Bhatia a southern sensation, especially after her hugely successful role in Baahubali. With the shooting for movie’s sequel still on floors, the actress speaks to us about her journey in Tollywood, her Bollywood failures and more. Edited excerpts:
Did your career graph experience a big change after Baahubali?
I think that the movie was very instrumental in changing the way people look at me. I had a girl-next-door image before the movie, which has definitely changed since then. The film also helped me bag several big scripts. Being part of such a huge film has made a lot more people accept me than before. I believe that the content is very important. I also like to do pot boilers and my career has been a perfect balance of both.
How is the shoot of Bahubali 2 going?
We will be shooting for the film a bit in December, after that I will be done with the film.
What holds you back from doing more Bollywood films?
When I am doing a Hindi film, I don’t just want to do it because it is a Bollywood film. I want to do it if it has a good script. I also have consistent line up of Tollywood movies. I am very careful when I take up a Hindi project, hence I hold back. I am reading many scripts right now, and it feels nice to do films outside of the South industry.
How did you react when your Hindi films failed at the box office?
Perhaps if I were a newcomer, I would have had a stronger reaction. But, since I have seen many hits and flops down south, it wasn’t disturbing for me. It is not about a big film or a small one, at the end of the day it is all about what the people are watching. Sometimes, even unpopular films have amazing content. I always want to do films that excite me.
Were you banking on those Hindi films, which didn’t work out?
No, I didn’t have to because I already have a strong base down south. Failures never affected my career, as the volume of work I have been doing is massive. The failures taught me what kind of films I have to choose in the future. I still put my heart and soul into doing those films though.
Appreciation has been flooding in from both Bollywood and Tollywood industries. How does that make you feel?
It is always helpful when you do films in different languages. People approach me when there is a multi-lingual project and they need to cater to more than one industry.
Do you feel that Tollywood is better for you at this point of time?
When I started working down south, I didn’t even know that the south film industry is so big. It was never about language for me. It is about where I am feeling interested in the project or not. I am a global actor. Tomorrow, if you put me in a French film, I will still be able to mould myself into the role. It’s not just about Southern and Hindi films for me.