Hyderabad:Tollywood has always been on the lookout for fresh faces to play female leads. And its latest fixation seems to be TV actresses from popular Hindi soaps.
The fact that most of these shows are dubbed in Telugu and viewed widely across the two states ensures that the actresses’ fans throng the theatres when they graduate to films. This year, Avika Gor of Balika Vadhu and Sasural Simar Ka fame made her debut in Telugu films with Uyyala Jampala. She has also finished shooting her second film, Lakshmi Raave Maa Intiki, and has started on her third project.
Then there is Sana Makbul Khan who was the lead actress in Dikkulu Choodaku Ramayya. Sana has acted in serials like Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon and Arjun.The latest to take the Tollywood route are Ulka Gupta, Sonarika Bhadoria and Sheena Bajaj. Popularly remembered as Manu, the young Rani Lakshmibai, from Jhansi Ki Rani, Ulka will play the younger Anushka Shetty in Rudhramadevi. She has also been roped in to act in a teenage love drama, which is a remake of Marathi film, Time Pass. Sonarika Bhadoria from Devon Ke Dev Mahadev will be seen opposite Naga Shaurya in an upcoming film .
Sheena Bajaj, who appeared in the soap Best of Luck Nikki, will be seen in the film Kumari 21F opposite Raj Tharun.
In Bollywood, it’s mainly the male TV actors who get lead roles. But foraying into Tollywood is an equally good option, feels Sana. “Every TV actor wants to come on the big screen. Yes, language is a barrier, but I am one film old now and I can understand a bit of Telugu,” says Sana.
Meanwhile, Avika is dividing her time between Mumbai and Hyderabad for her TV and film assignments. She says, “I am in Hyderabad in the first and third week of the month while in the second and fourth week I work on my TV serials. Producers from both sides help me manage my schedules.” In Hyderabad, she doesn’t feel different around her fans as she says, “When I come here, ‘Aannnaannddiiii and Rroolliiiii’ are what I get to hear. ”
But directors are not looking for only familiar faces. Director Trikoti, who introduced Sana in T-town, says, “We did not know of Sana’s TV background when we selected her at the audition. But yes, she can use her acting experience well though a feature film is very different from TV serials. Moreover, they should learn Telugu dialogues properly, only then can they perform well on screen.”