Mumbai: Laxmi Raai, who is quite a household name down south, is all set to mark her debut with Julie 2, directed by Deepak Shivdasani. In a brief chat with Deccan Chronicle, the popular actress talks about her 50th film, her stardom down south, working culture and much more.
How did you get Julie 2?
Julie 2 happened through a south connect. The DOP of the film Sameer Reddy was already a part of the film so he brought the film to me. Though the makers had several options for the female lead, the film came to me eventually. Later, I met Deepak ji who earlier made Julie with Neha Dhupia. That film had already created an impression hence I was wondering whether Julie 2 will be a good film as my 50th film. I heard the narration and wanted to give it a thought. It was actually different to what I thought. Julie 2 is a brand and franchise but not a sequel to Julie. I was relieved when I heard the script but it has that glam and all which is in sync with the film. I could connect to the reality of a woman. I was looking for the same in my 50th film down south but it happened in Bollywood. Julie has every shade in the film, from glam to d-glam superstar. It is a very performance oriented role.
Do you feel that Julie 2 is releasing in south dubbed language is an advantage?
I think this is an extra advantage added to this film. I am a part of all the four languages down south so definitely it is an add on point to the makers. When they got me on board, they thought of releasing the film in dubbed version. When the trailer was released, the kind of response I got from my fans down south was massive. I feel it’s an open space for everyone. On television, there are many North Indians who watch south dubbed films in Hindi. The kind of money spent on a newcomer is huge and to recover the money, south market could help it.
How different was it for you to shoot a Hindi film than a south one?
Oh! I found it a lot easier to shoot a film in Bollywood because it is kind of a relaxed schedule out here. Here, we shoot one or two scenes maximum but down south, we have to shoot non-stop. Bollywood is far more relaxed for me. The format and pattern is different but rest of it is almost same.
Do you feel it is easy to sustain in Bollywood than down south?
When I entered the industry ten years ago, it was altogether a different generation and time. Every year, you see the audience is changing and they want someone new on screen. I feel when I got launched, people were expecting something else but talent is important in south and in Bollywood, it is a mix of everything, from a good dancer to good looks. I look up to Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi, who have a mix of everything and hence till today people wait for their films. Glamour and talent need to be there. It is a balance of both. And yes, heroines are needed for the glamour part in the film.
What do you think about the concept of stardom that exists down south?
If one has to feel the stardom, south films do that for them. They literally make you gods and goddesses and build temples in your name. I don’t know how it’s not here in Bollywood. If you have a fan base in south then you are there no matter what. People worship you. I only see Khans have it here but the craze of every actor is huge. You just can’t walk anywhere in south. I am so happy walking so freely out in Mumbai.