Last year this time, Nayanthara was the clear number one by a mile, as Billa made her the hottest heroine in the south.
She had top heroes, commercial directors and banners backing her and 2008 started well with Yaaradi Nee Mohini going on to become a super hit. She had proved that she was an actress of substance.
But what followed was disastrous as she had a hat-trick of high profile films – Kuselan, Sathyam and Aegan bombing at the box-office. However, she has managed to hold on to the number one position due to the lack of competition and the trade’s belief that she has an opening.
Now, the big question being asked is whether she will be able to hold on to her numero uno position which has become precarious as she is facing tough competition from Tamannaah and Shriya. Her competitors have got some real hot projects with saleable heroes lined up for release. Adding to the threat are glam girls from Mumbai like Sameera Reddy and Bangalore babe Anushka, who have signed big movies opposite top heroes like Ajit and Vijay.
The real test for Nayan will be to overcome her career setbacks and fight fiercely to hold on to the crown. A lot is riding on Vijay’s Villu, directed by Prabhu Deva, which released yesterday. The film has to be a super hit for Nayan to retain her title as arch rival Tamannaah has her first release of the year, Padikathavan, coming up this Pongal.
Nayanthara, who was shooting for her Malayalam film Bodyguard in Kottayam said, “I know Villu is crucial for me as my last few films have received lukewarm response at the box-office. I’ve worked very hard for the film and I’m proud to be a part of it. It was fun and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the unit, director Prabhu Deva, hero Vijay, Vadivelu and cameraman Ravi Varman.
Producers Karunamoorthy and Arun Pandian made sure that we were comfortable and above all it was excellent team work. Everyone has put their hearts and souls into the film. It’s a typical Vijay film, something that will keep you entertained till the end, with not a dull moment.”
When asked what went wrong with her last year’s releases, the actress reminds you that she had a super hit in Yaaradi Nee Mohini, while the other three she just does not understand what went wrong. Says Nayanthara, “I can only choose roles that come to me and I put my heart and soul into each and every film that I do. Well, sometimes it just does not work in your favour.” She is confident that Villu will succeed and says, “I’m a big fan of Vijay. A song in Sivakasi with him gave me tremendous reach. I think director Prabhu brought out the best in me. On the whole, the film rocks.” After all, her mantra of single-minded determination, professionalism and hard work is sure to pay off.