South Indian protagonists in Hindi films, right down to Deepika Padukone in Chennai Express have followed Mehmood’s role model in Padosan.
That’s about to change.
Even as her performance in Highway gets her raves, Alia Bhatt is all set to wow critics and fans with her performance as a Tamilian wife in Sajid Nadiadwala and Karan Johar’s first joint production 2 States.
Apparently, the role of the young Tamilian wife is based on writer Chetan Bhagat’s own wife. Alia was asked to play her part as normally as the real-life Mrs. Bhagat.
Shedding light on the triumph that awaits Alia around the corner, producer Sajid Nadiadwala says, “Alia has played the first non-caricatural South Indian character in our films. Normally when we show South Indians in our films they have thick accent, and if it’s a woman from the South she will have gajra in her hair and will go ‘Aiyo’ every five minutes. Alia does none of that.”
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The two-film old actress was told to play the character without the props of broad character traits.
“How do I explain this? Alia is Tamilian and she even talks in Tamil. But she behaves like a normal city wife,” says Sajid.
Apparently Alia was asked to strictly not do a Deepika Padukone kind of ‘bokwas’ accent from Chennai Express.
Alia admits it was difficult to not lapse into caricature while doing a South Indian character. “I was not allowed to be culture-specific in 2 States in my body-language or my accent. Yes, I am a Tamilian in 2 States. But I don’t make a show of my regional roots. It is tough because when you are not resorting to speech and behaviourial props, you have no handy tools to give personality to your character.”