Aditi Rao Hydari has shared her two cents on the ongoing North film industry vs South film industry debate. The actor, who has a filmography boasting of films by Mani Ratnam to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, spoke about how for her it was all about directors and stories. She said the language never mattered to her. Speaking on the sidelines of Cannes 2022, Aditi Rao Hydari told Anupama Chopra of Film Companion that she entered films because she dreamed of being the Mani Ratnam heroine, but in her mind there was no difference in a film from Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood or Mollywood.
“Maybe because I grew up watching films from different regions and languages as my mother, my family always exposed me to cinema, in my mind there was no difference. It was about directors, content, stories and how it makes you feel. Maybe that is a very simplistic view but today, when I look at the way that cinema is I feel actually that’s a really nice way to be,” she said, adding that people these days tell her how she was one of the firsts to work in films that today are being termed ‘pan-Indian films.’ “I didn’t plan, I did it because I wanted to work in it,” she said, adding that the films in south offered her to be a part of “incredible content, wonderful film, wonderful character, director” as an actor.
However, Aditi emphasised on how as an industry and as an audience, there is a need to be conscious, to be aware. “Today, the world has gotten closer and it is not just Telugu, Tamil or Hindi. Somewhere we have to be consciously aware. We even say south actor… what does that even mean? Why do we say regional cinema? Every area is a region and that region has directors who are visionaries and tell beautiful stories,” she said.
She continued, “Each one of us has the responsibility to constantly be woke and understand that we have to be together. Look at the cinema that has been coming from Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu industries. It is wonderful. We must celebrate them.”
As the conversation continued, Aditi said it is unfair that after the back-to-back success of films from south industries, people are waking up to how they are also part of the Indian film industry. “It is not fair that they are doing well and suddenly we are like ‘okay this is also us.’ We need to be more inclusive. We should have done it earlier. Rather than saying why we are not doing that, we need to understand that ‘that we’ is also us. It is all one. So, it is not us vs them. We are one and we should tap into all that is available,” she concluded.