If you're a South Indian film fan, there's a galaxy of 'stars' from which you can take your pick.
While everyone knows who the Superstar is - it's Rajinikanth, if you happen to be from Mars - there are numerous other 'star' related monikers that heroes go by. Some of these are bestowed on them by their fan clubs, others are self-chosen.
Actors and titles have always gone hand in hand in South India. In the Tamil industry, MGR was "Makkal Thilagam" (people's pride) and Sivaji was "Nadigar Thilagam" (actors' pride).
Karnataka's beloved, Rajkumar was nicknamed "Annavru" (elder brother) and was called a host of monikers, including "Devataa Manushya" (Godman).
Malayalam industry's Prem Nazir was hailed as "Nithya Haritha Nayakan" (evergreen hero) - after all, he holds the world record of playing the lead in the maximum number of films, a whopping 725! Telugu cinema's NTR, who shot to fame because of the roles he donned in religious films, was considered to be "the messiah of the masses".
These heroes from the past were usually given a title because of the nature of the roles they played or how the public perceived them. For instance, actor turned politician Ambareesh (Kannada) is called "Rebel Star" because he featured in a series of films in which he rebelled against the system. Gemini Ganesan (Tamil) was called "Kaadhal Mannan" for his colourful romances on screen and off it.
Some of their successors have followed this trend - Tamil cinema's Ajith, for example, is called "Thala" because that was his nickname in "Dheena", a film that won him hordes of fans.
Similarly, Sudeep is called "Kiccha Sudeep" (Kannada) and Vikram is called "Chiyaan" (Tamil) because of the roles they've played.
Many others, however, appear to have coined titles by flipping through a dictionary and going 'bingo!' at any adjective that caught their eye. How else do you explain an "Energetic star" (Ram Pothineni) or a "Challenging star" (Darshan)?
Here are a list of monikers used by South Indian heroes:
Hattrick Hero (Kannada): Since Shiva Rajkumar's first three films were blockbusters, he's known by this title.
Golden Star (Kannada): Ganesh began his career in television serials. He was initially known as Comedy Time Ganesh since he was part of the show. But after "Mungaru Male", a record breaking blockbuster, he became the Golden Star.
Power Star (Kannada): Puneet Rajkumar's "power" over the box-office appears to have inspired this title.
Challenging Star (Kannada): Darshan has chosen to go by this title, perhaps challenging other contenders at the box-office. Or does this refer to the "challenging" roles he wants to do?
Mega Star (Telugu): Chiranjeevi goes by this name because his image is pretty "mega" among Telugu fans of cinema.
Young Tiger (Telugu): Junior NTR faced a series of flops in the initial period of his career. Director SS Rajamouli is believed to have given him a "new look" by asking him to grow a beard. And that's when he became Young Tiger Junior NTR.
Prince (Telugu): Mahesh Babu's debut film, "Raja Kamarudu", was a commercial success and he became the box office's prince.
Power Star (Telugu): Pawan Kalyan is Telugu cinema's "Power Star" for pretty similar reasons as to why Puneet Rajkumar is Kannada's!
Energetic Star (Telugu): Ram Pothineni goes by this name for reasons best known to him.
Superstar (Tamil): Rajinikanth. He's also called "Thalaivaa" or "Leader".
Ulaganaayagan (Tamil): Kamal Haasan is the "World Hero" or "Universal Hero". Plenty of reasons to justify that name, given the man's long list of accomplishments.
Little Superstar (Tamil): Silambarasan made his debut in Tamil films as a child artist and went by this name which he continues to use.
Ultimate Star (Tamil): Apart from "Thala", Ajith is also called by this title.
Ilaya Thalapathy (Tamil): Vijay is Tamil cinema's " Young Commander". The Rajinikanth-starrer "Thalapathy" probably had a lot to do with this name selection.
Puratchi Thalapathy (Tamil): Vishal is called the "Revolutionary Commander".
Top Star (Tamil): The honours go to Prashanth who played the male lead in a number of films but isn't so top any more.
Power Star (Tamil): Srinivasan started as a hero in his own production but later became a comedian. He isn't a box-office phenomenon like the other "Power Stars" though he has his fan following.
Complete Actor (Malayalam): Malayalam cinema doesn't have too many titled gentlemen, but credits for Mohanlal films carry this one in recent years.
There are sure to be more. How starstruck do you feel now?