Samantha had five releases in 2016 but producers are shunning her now, she says.

Offers dried up after I announced marriage plans says actor Samantha
Features Misogyny Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 17:36

Actor Samantha had five releases in 2016, and it included two blockbusters, "Theri" and "Janatha Garage". But despite being on a career high, she says, offers have stopped pouring in the day she announced her marriage with actor Naga Chaitanya. Although extremely happy about her relationship, she’s equally devastated. 

In an interview to Deccan Chronicle, she said: “The day my marriage plans were announced, the offers dried up. Just like that! I was like…what happened? I am the same actress. I’ve given back-to-back hits throughout the year. My Tamil film "24" and my Telugu films "A Aa" and "Janatha Garage" were hits. So why am I suddenly being shunned.” When she wondered why the offers dried up, she realised, “Producers are now murmuring, "How can we work with her? She is Nagarjuna’s daughter-in-law.”

As is only to be expected, nobody is asking how Samantha's parents feel about her marrying a man who will continue to act in films.

The "murmurs" are not unique to the Telugu or Tamil industries. Even in "liberal" Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan's response to Aishwarya Rai's steamy scenes in "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" was closely monitored for disapproval. Jaya Bachchan's disaparaging comments about modern day actors were taken to be a reflection of her views on her daughter-in-law's choice of movies.

Samantha had previously said that she was unhappy about the limited roles that heroines had in films. The actor, who has proved her mettle in films like "Naan Ee", has since featured in a series of disappointing roles where she had nothing much to do other than look pretty. But even if Samantha might have decided not to do such flimsy roles any more, it doesn't explain why the offers have stopped coming. 

According to Samantha, Nagarjuna, Naga Chaitanya's father and a big star in the Telugu industry, has no hang-ups about Samantha continuing her acting career. “He was more worried than I was that I’d give up my career after marriage. Of course, I will continue acting. I just need to dispel the Telugu and Tamil cinema’s insecurities about married actresses. I don’t know about others. But I am not going anywhere after marriage," Samantha said. Although she has two new projects, including a film with Sivakarthikeyan, it needs to be seen if filmmakers will crowd her doors the way they did previously.

Samantha's candid views are refreshing, even as many South Indian female actors fall off the map as soon as they get married. Ideally, a woman doesn't need anyone's "permission" to continue working but under the circumstances, it's heartening that Nagarjuna has been vocal about his views to his prospective daughter-in-law. 

(With inputs from Digital Native)
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