Home / Entertainment / Deverakonda, Dhanush: Call us Indian actors, not North or South

Deverakonda, Dhanush: Call us Indian actors, not North or South

Dhanush stars in The Gray Man releasing on Netflix today, while Deverakonda is looking forward to his August 25 release, Liger
Vijay Deverakonda and Dhanush
Vijay Deverakonda and Dhanush
@thedeverakonda,@dhanushkraja/ Instagram

PTI, Entertainment Web Desk   |   Mumbai   |   Published 22.07.22, 12:39 PM

Superstars Vijay Deverakonda and Dhanush have voiced a similar sentiment at two separate events regarding their identities as actors. 

Deverakonda said on Thursday that artistes from different industries need to actively work towards realising the dream of a united Indian film industry.


Deverakonda, who shot to nationwide fame with the 2017 Telugu blockbuster Arjun Reddy, said he hopes tags like 'north' and 'south' actors disappear soon.


Looking forward to the day we're called Indian actors: Vijay Deverakonda



"I'm looking forward to the day when it's no longer called north or south, just Indian cinema, and we are called Indian actors. That's the reality we should look towards," the actor said.

His comments came on the same day as superstar Dhanush appealed to the people to not attach regional identities with actors especially at a time when boundaries between industries are almost invisible.


Deverakonda, speaking at the trailer launch of his upcoming pan-India film Liger, shot simultaneously in Telugu and Hindi. The actor said while artistes across industries have always collaborated with each other, it has become a talking point today because filmmakers are mounting films that cater to the entire country.

"It has always been an industry where technicians from the south were always working in the north, we always had actors working down south. Anil Kapoor sir made his debut in the south, Sridevi ma'am was from the south. “It's just that now we are louder (about the cultural exchange). Now we are doing cinema that the entire country watches,” Deverakonda added.


Directed by Puri Jagannath of Pokkiri fame, Liger stars Deverakonda as an underdog fighter from Mumbai, who competes in an MMA championship. The sports drama will be released theatrically on August 25 in five languages - Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam.


The 33-year-old actor said his dream of making cinema for the country has come true with Liger. “I see (my Hindi debut) as getting to live a dream. I love telling stories, I love telling it to a huge audience in huge auditoriums. What bigger auditorium than India. I see it as a personal dream and ambition coming to life. I've always dreamt of doing big cinema, cinema for the entire country. To be able to make films in languages that you guys can watch and connect with, to be able to make it in my language is an absolute honour so early in my career. To have these people (director, producers) by my side helped me do this and scale it up...” Deverakonda said.


Liger is produced by Jagannadh and Charmme Kaur for their banner Puri Connects and Karan Johar and Apoorva Mehta via Dharma Productions. The film also stars Ramya Krishnan, Ananya Panday, Ronit Roy and features boxing legend Mike Tyson in a special appearance.


Doesn't make sense to call us south actor: Dhanush


The National Award winner, who features in director duo Joe Russo and Anthony Russo's much-awaited action spectacle, The Gray Man, said efforts must be made to produce movies as a united 'Indian film industry'.


“It doesn't make sense at this time to refer to me or anyone else as south actors... I would appreciate it if we are collectively called as Indian actors, and not south actors or north actors. It will be great if we function together and make movies for everyone, not just south or north audiences. Today, every film is a national film and especially with the digital platforms, people have access to watch everybody's work,” Dhanush said.


Based on the novel of the same name by Mark Greaney, the spy action thriller revolves around freelance assassin and former CIA operative Court Gentry aka Sierra Six, played by Ryan Gosling, who is hunted across the world by Chris Evans' Lloyd Hansen and other international assassins.

Dhanush, 38, plays Avik San, a “high-level assassin” with a strong code of conduct, the only one who could stop Sierra Six from revealing a dark agency secret.


In the film, his character is often addressed by Hansen as “Tamil friend”, a reference the actor said didn't bother him and rather added more “flavor” to his on-screen persona. "It's not absolutely necessary (to be referred to as a Tamil friend) but there is nothing wrong with it. Joe and Anthony Russo told me the more we get into the details, the more flavour the character will have. So, I don't think there is any harm in saying that he is a Tamil guy from India," the actor said.


While he has been working in the film industry for two decades delivering hits such as Aadukalam, Asuran, Raanjhanaa, and Maaran, Dhanush said filming high-octane action pieces for The Gray Man was a challenging experience.


The stunts were so inventive that he had to go back to "basics" to get into the groove, Dhanush said. “I got training for just a month-and-a-half, where they started with everything basic: How you should stand, how your fist should be, and feet should be. In my mind, I was thinking I've done 50 films, so many stunts, I know these things. But no! You're not ready for what's to come. They know it so they'll prepare you step by step where you feel like an actual pro. You need to be that good. So once we started filming, it was fun,” he added.


Dhanush has most of his scenes in the movie with Ryan and Ana de Armas, and the trio underwent "meticulous training" for the hand-to-hand combat sequences. "I still remember the first day, where I had to do a kick. I had to raise my leg, but it could only come to a certain point, so they (stunt crew) were stretching my leg to make it easy for me and then Ana came and boom! She was so good! Ryan was so into his character, he would try to make the stunt choreography suit his character, take it in and make it The Gray Man. It was amazing, I learnt so much from both these wonderful actors and had such a good experience," he added.


Also starring Rege-Jean Page, Jessica Henwick, Billy Bob Thornton, Wagner Moura, Alfre Woodard, Julia Butters, Eme Ikwuakor, and Scott Haze, The Gray Man has started streaming on Netflix from today.

Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.