Mumbai: After two serious Bollywood films - `Rang De Basanti` and action drama `Striker` - southern star Siddharth is set to show his romantic side to Hindi moviegoers.
"Yeah, my next Hindi film will be a romantic film. Audiences in Mumbai haven`t seen what I do down south. After seeing my ads for a cellphone company, Hindi filmmakers have woken up to my lighter romantic side," Siddharth told reporters.
Those cellphone ads were made by Chandan Arora, who made "Striker". "He`s a huge fan of my south Indian films," said Siddharth.
Asked about the numerous link-ups with actresses in Mumbai, Siddharth said: "My mother says if rumours on my love life are to be believed, I`m the biggest Casanova ever. In 10 films I`ve been linked with 10 heroines. I`ve even been married to a couple of them and had babies.
"Either I am `aashiq mizaaz` or not. I`d rather be because the image is quite helpful. I think I need to take time off to find romance in my life. Right now I see no chance to take time off."
Apart from acting, Siddharth has taken to singing as well. "I`ve sung two songs in `Striker`. I`ve sung many No.1 singles in my south films. As long as people want to hear me sing I will."
He has now bought a home in Bandra in Mumbai. He intends to shift base from Hyderabad to Mumbai for the next one year to consolidate his position in Hindi cinema.
"I won`t have only one home. I`ve been living out of suitcases all my life. Now I`ll be living out of bigger suitcases called home. I`ll have different homes in different cities. But I`ll give my best shot to Hindi films.
"However, I can`t move to Mumbai permanently. I`m an actor. I cannot stay in one place. And why should I?"
Siddharth dreams of becoming a pan-India actor.
"I think we keep talking about cross-over cinema in the wrong context. What about our cinema crossing over from one language and region to another? There`re fabulous films being made in every part of the country.
"I`ve this very cute dream of being a pan-Indian actor. Insha Allah, in 10 years I`ll have films in different languages and I`ll be appreciated across the country. We need to look at Indian cinema as one entity before we look at global acceptance."
Asked why actors from the south have not been successful in Mumbai, Siddharth said: "There`re two ways to answer that. The politically correct is most south Indian actors have a fan base in the south and don`t need to start from scratch in Hindi cinema.
"When they gave me the best debut award for `Rang De Basanti`, I returned it with a very nasty scowl. Not fair. You can`t call me a debutant just because I`m working in a different language. You can`t give Amitabh Bachchan the best debutant award if he does a film in Bhojpuri.
"And if you want a cockier answer as to why south Indian actors are not successful in Hindi, at least some south actors succeeded in Hindi. No Hindi actor has succeeded in the south. We in south get paid as much money as the guys in Bollywood, if not more. If we guys haven`t made it here, you guys haven`t made it there.
"One more thing... I`ve the power to commission projects down south, not here."
The Mumbai film industry has been very welcoming to Siddharth.
"Either I`m called honest or arrogant. I`m okay with both images. My friends and family always clip my wings. People like Karan Johar rag me about being bratty and unapproachable. But I`m not unapproachable to those I want to be close to.
"This is the best time to be in a Hindi film. There`s a huge fight between the haves and have-nots. Those who have the scripts, don`t have the funds."