Asin Thottumkal talks of her men, movies and money in an exclusive interview
No projects down South
Honestly, every single day I receive an offer from Malayalam, Tamil or Telugu cinema. And it is not a conscious decision to go away from the South. Somewhere I am very attached to my roots. I know that it's the Southern film industries that have made me an actor and that is where people relate to me the most. I would never give it up or separate myself from it. I have a personal connect with each of the industries there.
In Kerala people say, 'Asin is our very own Mallu girl'. The Tamilians love me because I have done the most number of movies in Kollywood and have worked with all the top stars. I have even stayed in Chennai for a few years and I have a strong connect with the city and the State of Tamil Nadu. As far as the Telugu film industry goes, I got my first Filmfare Award for a Tollywood film and also the Nandi State Award. So I am referred to as the 'Tamil Ammai'. My film "Garshana" is still spoken of. Few actors can connect with the different audiences and this is my real goodwill.
North for the moment, not South...
Yes, my bulk dates until March 2012 is with projects in Bollywood. Sajid Khan's "Housefull-2" and Rohit Shetty's "Bol Bachchan" will be finished by March. Then there is one bigger project that I am in talks for. The work being offered to me in Hindi is pretty exciting. In the South, I wish to get something unusual because I have done the routine stuff. Now if I accept a South offer, it has to be spectacular. Like I did "Kaavalan" recently only because it wasn't the typical song-'n'-dance roles that girls in Vijay movies usually have. I had already done two Vijay 'formula' films, "Sivakasi" and "Pokiri" earlier. But Meera in "Kaavalan" was a strong character, something I had not attempted before.
Out priced yourself
Money is not the driving force behind my decisions to accept or reject a project. From the start of my career I have always looked for five criteria while selecting a project - 1) script, 2) my role, 3) director, 4) production house and 5) co-artistes. The language of the film or the financial aspects comes into consideration only after this. And as I said earlier, money is not the criteria for me choosing a film in any language.
Salman Khan, 4 am friend
I like Salman because he is very genuine, very forthright. Salman appreciates me because I am exactly like him. I don't wear any masks. If I am happy, you get to see it; if I am angry, then you get to see that also. My acting ends in the front of the camera. In real life, I do not pretend. Yes, I can pick up the phone on Salman whenever I wish and he will always be there. However, I rarely meet him when we are not shooting together. I haven't seen him after "Ready". I am friends with his family. I respect his parents and I am in touch with his brothers and sisters. Salman doesn't need to show that we are friends in overtly ways.
SMS break up with Neil Nitin Mukesh
I don't know where such talk comes from. Neil is still a friend. What SMS break-up? I don't wish to react to talk like this.