The trend of South Indian actresses venturing into Bollywood with big banner movies is not something new. Apart from their curvaceous figure and sharp features, these divas left the Indian audiences spell bound by their acting prowess too. These South Indian damsels- who have migrated to Bollywood- have been successful in captivating people’s attention and setting their own mark in the Hindi cinema.
Hema Malini debuted in the film industry as a supporting actress with 1963 Tamil film ‘Idhu Sathiyam’. Surprisingly she was rejected by a filmmaker for the lead role in a Tamil film! It was film producer Ananthaswamy, who saw a spark in her and casted her opposite the legendary Raj Kapoor in ‘Sapno Ka Saudagar’- which marked her entry in Bollywood. Malini’s beauty was the talk of the town and soon she was tagged as ‘Dream girl’. With successful films like ‘Johnny Mera Naam’, ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’, ‘Dreamgirl’, ‘Sholay’ etc she created her own niche in Hindi Cinema.
Born to Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan and Telugu actress Pushpavalli, Rekha was bound to have the passion for acting in her genes. She started her film career from Kannada movie ‘Goa dalli CID 999’ at the age of 15. It was in the same year she did her first Hindi film ‘Do Shikaari’. However, the film proved to be a dud at the Box Office, but it did give Rekha some recognition. Rekha’s second film ‘Sawan Badon’ made her a star overnight. Her roles in ‘Khubsoorat’, ‘Silsila’, ‘Umrao Jaan’ etc garnered a lot of critical acclamation. At the age of 42, she looked quite impressive romancing much younger Akshay Kumar in ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’. She hardly does films these days but continues to remain a dream woman for many!
Tagged as the first female superstar of Bollywood, Sridevi started her career in films at the tender age of 4. At the age of 13, she played her first adult role in ‘Moondru Mudichu’. Sridevi ventured into Bollywood with ‘Solva Sawan’, which failed to rake in any appreciation. However, it didn’t come as a setback for Sridevi, who soon tasted success with ‘Himmatwala’. Sridevi’s performances in ‘Nagin’, ‘Mr.India’, ‘Chaalbaaz’, ‘Chandni’, ‘Lamhe’, ‘Judaai’ proved her versatility as an actress. Her dance numbers - ‘Hawa Hawai’, ‘Kaate Nahin Katteh’ or ‘Mere Hathon mein nau nau chudiyan’ proved that she could do a variety of dance numbers. Sridevi’s comeback movie ‘English Vinglish’ garnered a lot of critical appreciation.
Asin Thokkumal, the girl from Kerala, won Filmfare Best Telugu Actress Award for ‘Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi’. She made her debut in Bollywood with blockbuster ‘Ghajini’ opposite Aamir Khan. She went on to win Filmfare Best Female Debut Award for it. Asin has also starred in films like ‘Ready’ opposite Salman Khan and ‘Housefull 2’ opposite Akshay Kumar- both were commercially successful. Asin will reportedly be seen in big banners like ‘Welcome Back’ and ‘No Entry Mein Entry’.
The youngest of all to join this brigade is Ileana D`Cruz- who had won the Filmfare award Best Actress for Telugu movie ‘Jalsa’. After making it big in Telugu movies, she made her Bollywood debut with Anurag Basu’s ‘Barfi!’. The movie was a super hit and was also selected as an official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the 85th Academy Awards. ‘Barfi!’ also starred A-lister actors Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor, but Ileana’s could conveniently make her presence felt. D`Cruz has movies like ‘Phata Poster Nikla Hero’ and ‘Main Tera Hero’ in her kitty.