The Telugu film industry is patriarchal. No one knows this better than Samantha Ruth Prabhu who is all set to marry Nagarujna’s elder son Naga Chaitanya. With the joy comes a sorrow for her. “The day my marriage plans were announced, the offers dried up. Just like that! I was like… what happened? I am the same actress. I’ve given back-to-back hits throughout the year. My Tamil film 24 and my Telugu films A Aa and Janatha Garage were hits. So why am I suddenly being shunned?”
Before we can answer the question, Samantha answers it herself. “Producers are now murmuring, ‘How can we work with her? She is Nagarjuna’s daughter-in-law.” Ironically Nag is absolutely okay with a working daughter-in-law. “In fact, he asked me if I will continue to work? He was more worried than I was that I’d give up my career after marriage. I just need to dispel the Telugu and Tamil cinema’s insecurities about married actresses. I don’t know about others. But I am not going anywhere after marriage.”
Barring a few exceptions, unfortunately Bollywood too is the same. However, in her case, the wedding isn’t happening right away. “Chaitanya and I have decided to get married at the end of next year. He and his family have been extremely supportive. In fact, Chaitanya has gone out of his way to let the world know that I intend to continue with my career. If still there are misgivings about my future plans, what can I say or do? Except, maybe wait for the marriage to happen and then prove how serious I am about my career.”
Samantha and Chaitanya became close from the days they did their first film together in 2010. “At that time, I didn’t know I was going to marry him. He has been with me when I left for the US with just 30 dollars in my purse and has been a very important part of my journey. Now when I am all set to marry him, although there is uncertainty about my future in the film industry, thankfully there is no uncertainty about my future in his family. Even the endorsement offers I was getting have been curtailed. It’s as though I’ve already left. It’s bizarre,” concludes Samantha.