Regional movies are often ignored in the mainstream media, due to the marketing strategies and budgets of films which have a reasonable amount of star power.
However, certain regional films tend to attract even the biggest of Bollywood stars, with their script, screenplay and art direction. At times, it may so happen that actors choose to challenge themselves and a regional film could provide them with that opportunity.
Bearing these points in mind, let us have a look at top 10 Bollywood actors who did reasonably well in regional cinema.
Hema Malini | Tamil, Telugu
Hema Malini’s talents include acting, singing, producing and even dancing. The actress has plied her trade for over forty years, with credits in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu movies. Her professionalism did not go unnoticed as various members of the Bollywood family desired to work with her. She has been lauded for her performance in ‘Sri Krishna Vijayam’, a Telugu film and the recent, ‘Gautamiputra Satakarni’.
Irrfan Khan | Bengali, Tamil, English, Punjabi
Last but not the least, Irrfan Khan is known as one of the best actors to have ever come out of India. His performances in Bollywood movies have grabbed the attention of various Hollywood filmmakers, who chose to cast him in big budget English cinemas. His method acting has also fared well in Tamil, Bengali in Punjabi movies.
Jimmy Sheirgill | Punjabi
Jimmy Shergill has made numerous appearances in various Hindi films, such as Mohabbatein (in which he played Karan Choudhry) and his debut film, Gulzar’s Maachis. However, his looks and intense acting acumen has granted him the title of “Hrithik Roshan of Punjab”. His acting prowess is displayed in its full glory in the Punjabi film, ‘Mel Karade Rabba’; a role for which he won the PTC Best Actor Award.
Juhi Chawla | Malayalam, Punjabi
An actress with a flair for comedy, as well as more serious roles, Juhi Chawla has made her mark in mainstream Bollywood. What you may not know about her is that she has also starred in her fair share of Punjabi and Malayalam movies. She has worked alongside Gurdas Mann, as well as Mammootty and Mohanlal. Her performance in ‘Des Hoya Pardes’, a Punjabi movie, was also praised by critics.
Nana Patekar | Marathi
Nana Patekar’s versatility is well respected in both Hindi and Marathi cinema. He has played the roles of heroes and villains both. His most noteworthy performance is as Baba Amte in the Marathi movie ‘Dr Prakash Baba Amte: The Real Hero’.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan | Telugu, Tamil, Bengali
The blue-eyed beauty made her debut with Mani Ratnam’s ‘Iruver’ and ever since, Aish has taken the audiences by storm, not just for her dazzling appearance and on-screen persona, but also her noteworthy performances in Indian cinema and Hollywood. Her performance in Rituparno Ghosh’s ‘Chokher Bali’ was highly acclaimed by the critics in the Bengali film industry. Her dedication towards her work and art has put her at the helm of national and international filmmaking.
R. Madhavan | Marathi, Tamil
Madhavan’s venture into Bollywood through the hits such as “3 Idiots” and “Rang De Basanti” has been quite noticeable. However, he continues to dazzle his South Indian audience with his acting prowess. He has starred in various Tamil and Marathi films, such as Alaipayuthey and Aayutha Ezhuthu, with the latter bagging him a Filmfare Award.
Riteish Deshmukh | Marathi
Riteish Deshmukh has garnered publicity in Hindi cinema through his comic timing and its implementation in various comedy films. He had produced a Marathi film, for the first time in 2013. A year after that, he starred in a Marathi movie called ‘Lai Bhaari’, for which he was praised by both critics and audiences.
Sridevi | Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu
The late Sridevi had mesmerized the world of Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu cinema with her praiseworthy acting and classy looks. Her performances garnered numerous accolades and awards, with her acting in ‘Meendum Kokila’, a Tamil movie being lauded till this day. She also portrayed the role of Queen Yavanarani in the Tamil film ‘Puli’.
Sushmita Sen | Tamil, Bengali
The former Miss Universe, Sushmita Sen has often used her elegance and beauty, along with spectacular acting skills, to great advantage. Apart from starring in numerous Hindi films, she has also tried her hand at Tollywood movies. Her role and performance in ‘Ratchagan’ won the hearts of audiences and critics alike. She also featured in Indian Bengali Drama film, ‘Nirbaak’ directed by Srijit Mukherji.