Actor Asin on London Dreams, competition from other heroines, media behaviour and more
A subtle play of emotions. An underplayed characterisation. A perfect foil for the egos of two singers. A balanced performance without interfering with the powerful portrayals of Ajay Devgn and Salman Khan. With just the right momentum of a ‘Chennai Express’ to chug non-stop through a journey to fulfil London Dreams. That’s Asin - natural, spontaneous and expressive.
“My friends and well-wishers in the industry said they would have liked to see me in a meatier role (in London Dreams), knowing what I am capable of and what I have done so far in the South, especially in the Hindi remake of Ghajini. It is good to hear that! But I knew what I was getting into after reading the script; after all, the story was about two friends and everything else was supportive of that.
“That aside, I consider myself very fortunate that in just two films I have worked with two of the best directors and three of the top Bollywood actors. Can a beginner in Hindi films ask for more?” asks Asin.
When Ghajini happened in 2007, Asin moved temporarily to Mumbai to facilitate uninterrupted filming. “By mid 2008, London Dreams was offered to me and, I was like, ‘Wow! Is this happening to me?’ Frankly, I had no big Bollywood dreams and still don’t have. I am just going with the flow,” says Asin, who decided that moving lock, stock and barrel to Mumbai was essential for the growth of her career. “Remember, I am still new in Bollywood. Now that Ghajini and London Dreams are released, I am looking at new scripts, but being very selective; I want to do something that will give me total satisfaction. Right from the beginning of my career, I’ve been fortunate with opportunities knocking at my door. I am sure this will continue, God willing.” As of now, Asin says she has not said yes to any project. From Kollywood to Bollywood is quite a leap. The working style, situations, culture... everything is different. But Asin is extremely confident of tackling the demands of a bigger industry. “Of course, there are the good and the bad sides. The good part is whatever films you do get national exposure. For me it is a natural progression from Kollywood to Bollywood. The bad part is the media aggression. The media in Bollywood takes more liberties than it does in the South. But, that’s natural, considering the magnitude of the Hindi film industry,” says Asin. Yes, having come from the South, she gets upset when rumours are spread. “I have slowly started developing a thick skin; it is necessary here in Bollywood. I have learnt from bigger stars such as Ajay (Devgn) and Aamir (Khan) that it is better to ignore than retaliate. The key is not to get annoyed.”
What was it like moving from Chennai to Mumbai? “Actually, things are pretty much the same. I am not a party animal. I attend only if a party is thrown by some of my closest friends. I don’t court controversy for the sake of publicity. I don’t make glamorous appearances for the sake of self-promotion. Even though I have moved into my own apartment, which was for a little more space for my personal belongings, my parents who are practically next door, are always with me. I don’t think I will undergo any drastic change to become a super glamorous Bollywood star and get splashed all over town. I don’t think it is necessary, if you are confident of what you are doing in the industry.”
Does she miss Chennai and Kollywood? “Frankly, I would be open to offers from any industry, as long as the role is good. I have done most roles in the South, and don’t want to repeat them. If something really interesting comes up, I will not say no to a Tamil film. But, right now, things seem to be happening for me in Bollywood, and I feel I should give it a shot,” says Asin. She is not a girl in a hurry, and some of the top directors in the Hindi film industry are in talks with Asin.
For Asin, none of the current crop of heroines is a threat. “I don’t consider any of them competition. I don’t rate myself against their performance. Most of them have been in the industry for quite some time and done many films. I am two films old in Bollywood, and have a long way to go to even be on equal terms with any of them. My aim is to just do what has to be done and hope the movie will do well, and I will move on to the next,” concludes Asin on a confident note.