Actor Ramya, who is now a member of the Lok Sabha representing Mandya, is in the news again, but for all the wrong reasons.
A controversy is brewing because of her reported inability to complete film projects that she had signed up before contesting the Lok Sabha byelection.
Ms. Ramya’s “reluctance” to act in films after becoming an MP has become a cause of concern for producers, who have invested huge sums of money in the projects. According to sources in the film industry, Rs.18 crore to Rs. 20 crore has been invested in four films: Neer Dose, Aryan, Dil Ka Raja and another yet-to-be-named bilingual film, starring Ms. Ramya.
Hinting at quitting acting, Ms. Ramya had observed that “public will not accept an MP who is running around trees in short skirts and sleeveless blouses”.
Her statement has come as a shock to the producers of the four projects. Shooting for Aryan, starring Shivarajkumar, began in April. Work on Dil Ka Raja, starring Prajwal Devaraj, is pending. It is the producer of Neer Dose, which was to release this month, who is the most hard-pressed, with Ms. Ramya not completing her shooting.
Upset with the delay, actor and Bharatiya Janata Party MLC Jaggesh, who is playing the lead role in Neer Dose, has criticised Ms. Ramya’s alleged “non-cooperation”, on microblogging site Twitter and asked her to bear the cost of the film to bail out the producer.
Refuting the claims, Ms. Ramya said she was in constant touch with the producer and the director and cooperated when dates of other artistes clashed with that of hers. “Never did I approach the media,” she said. “I have given enough time for shooting of the film. I am not responsible for the delay in completion. I owe an explanation to the producer, not to Mr. Jaggesh,” she added.
When contacted, film producer M. Sudheendra said he was worried as interest on the money borrowed for the film was mounting. Ms. Ramya reportedly told Mr. Sudheendra that she would agree to dates next year, but did not give specific dates. “It will be difficult to wait indefinitely,” he said.
“Mr. Jaggesh sacrificed three films for Neer Dose. Being a politician, he had a commitment and understands the plight of the producer, whereas Ms. Ramya has disappointed us. She did not promise to return the advance money as she claimed,” Mr. Sudheendra said.
“We do not want someone else in place of Ms. Ramya. If she fails to respond to our plea, we have no alternative but to approach the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce and the artistes’ association,” he said.
Vijaya Prasad, director of the film, is also frustrated. He told The Hindu that though Ms. Ramya promised to complete the film, she did not specify the time she would give them. Forty days of shooting is yet to be completed, he said.