After failing to leverage upon her successes, Asin is taking corrective measures to strengthen her career in Bollywood
With four lead actors, as many girls opposite them and another four senior actors on the ensemble cast, it came as a surprise that Asin agreed to be a part of Housefull 2. A question that she preempts, Asin begins the interview talking about the good time she had shooting the film and how she feels far from threatened about being overshadowed. “It is commonly believed that when a film has too many girls, catfights are bound to happen. But instead, I have forged such strong bonds with them, especially Jacqueline (Fernandez),” she explains, adding, “Also, the makers have had great clarity on the characters etched out for each actor, so no one feels threatened.”
An established name in the South Indian film industry, Asin had made an impressive entry in Bollywood in 2008 when she reprised her role in the Hindi remake of Ghajini. She has since done only two films, London Dreams and Ready. The latter was a box-office success but neither of the characters or performances have had the spark to match up to the promise of her debut. Even her ad campaigns have failed to create that connect with the audience.
The actor confesses that she may have made choices that do not seem right at the outset, but the decisions have been driven by her need to adjust to the ways of Bollywood. “I came from a different discipline. The South Indian industry operates like a nine-to-five job and the audience also likes to see heroines in a different way; it is far more conservative,” she explains. However, the actor is finally coming to terms with the fact that working days in Mumbai begin late and often end with parties. And most importantly, glamour is an integral part of being an actress. She is now taking corrective measures: she has shed kilos and enhances her image through a glam avatar. The industry too, is not willing to write her off just yet. “She is a big name down South. She may not be among the top five leading ladies, but she does feature in the top-ten list,” points out trade analyst Vajir Singh.
According to Taran Adarsh, also an industry analyst, Asin has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry — Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan— which works in her favour. However, she has not capitalised on the critical acclaim for Ghajini and the box-office success of Ready. “You have to stay in news and be seen to be remembered,” he explains.
Housefull 2, therefore, is crucial for Asin. The fate of the Sajid Khan-Sajid Nadiadwala venture, along with Rohit Shetty's Bol Bachchan, will perhaps decide what direction her career takes.
Distributor and exhibitor Manoj Desai feels Housefull 2 is likely to be a success, especially in single screens, which will boost the career of not only Asin, but of every actor in the movie. “Now, she needs to act upon it and take up some good roles,” he says.
Unlike Vidya Balan, who has had a similar career graph and chose to experiment with characters, Asin is clear that she wants to remain in the commercial space for the time being. “The way my career is shaping up, I would like my films to have a mass appeal. Within that space, I would prefer to do meatier, character-driven roles for creative satisfaction. I hope to get such offers,” she says.