Kiara Advani finds a godmother in the South

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If Kiara Advani, who waded through a period of uncertainty in Bollywood, has found success in Telugu cinema, it is because of Namrata Shirodkar, the wife of her first Telugu starrer Bharat Ane Nenu’s lead, Mahesh Babu.

Sources close to the film reveal that it was Namrata who strongly recommended Kiara for the film. “They were thinking of several big names from AP, but Namrata saw pictures of Kiara and was immediately convinced that the actress had it in her. Namrata recommended her to the director and producer and even contacted Kiara on their behalf,” says the source.

Kiara was reluctant to go South. “She thought once she moves out of Bollywood, she’d be branded as a regional actress. Namrata convinced her that such demarcation between Bollywood and non-Bollywood cinema was rapidly disintegrating. She also made sure Kiara was paid handsomely,” says the source.

Even before Bharat Ane Nenu released, Kiara had signed her second Telugu film, this time with superstar Ram Charan Tej — once again courtesy Namrata. Apparently, Namrata introduced Kiara to Ram Charan and his team. Now that Kiara’s career has taken off, she is being considered for several other major Telugu films.

Kiara says, “Namrata has been too kind. She and Mahesh Babu have been like family. This feeling is inexplicable. I’m extremely overwhelmed and thankful to the Telugu audience for giving me such a warm welcome. A big thank you to my director Siva sir, and Mahesh sir, for reposing so much faith in me. The response has motivated me to work harder, so I can continue to do better.

“I have already shot for a day for my next film with Boyapati sir, and Ramcharan and the energy on the sets is infectious. I can’t wait to get back!”