Asin set to storm Bollywood

ASIN THOTTUMKAL, in the manner of Hema Malini, Rekha and Sridevi, is set to storm Hindi films with Ghajini opposite Aamir Khan after conquering Telugu and Tamil cinema.

Ask her if she is set to become next big Bollywood’s diva from the South, and the actress giggles in embarrassment, “I’m a long way from getting anywhere near Hema, Rekha and Sridevi. But I feel hugely welcome in Mumbai. I don’t know why filmmakers are showing so much interest in me.”

Spirited, spunky and beautiful, Asin (pronounced Ah-sin) shows a sense of humour when she explains her name: “Asin is coined from Sanskrit and English. It means ‘sinless’... like ‘Amala’ without blemish. I hope I live up to my name in Mumbai.”

For now, Mumbai is her home. “But only because my immediate commitments are in Mumbai,” she clarifies. “I’m the brand ambassador for six multi-national companies and the ads need to be shot in Mumbai. Now there are Hindi films too.”

Fortunately, Asin speaks Hindi without that Southern twang that is even now so pronounced in Hema. “I’ve never used a dubbing artiste for any of my films, not even for the Hindi ads, and I’m speaking in my own voice in my first Hindi film Ghajini,” she claims.

“In these days of globalisation, I don’t think language is a barrier. I’m interested in films in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and any other language as long as the projects are exciting.”

She’s aware her shift to Mumbai has given rise to rumours that she’s giving up on South Indian cinema. “That’s untrue,” says Asin defensively. “Whatever I’m today is because of Tamil and Telegu cinema. Why am I expected to choose between Mumbai and the South?”

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