There are many successfull actresses from neighboring states in Bollywood.
Aishwarya rai, Deepika Padokon, Shilpa shetty, Sridevi, Jaya prada, Tabu..
Please don’t say about Vidya Balan(she is a tamilian).
Something is holding malayalees back. What’s that?
Probably because Malayalee actresses are exactly that…actresses. They cannot do mindless nonsense like ‘bachaao…bachaao…‘ or ‘main tumhaari bache ki maa banne waali hoon’ or ‘shaadi…aur tumse…humph! Kabhi nahin!‘ in the name of ‘entertainment’.
Have you watched ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’? The introduction scene of struggling starlet Joanna Mendes (Amrit Maghera) describes exactly what Bollywood expects of its heroines.
There’s a dialogue where the director of the movie in which she is acting tells her that she has not been cast for her ‘acting’. She has been cast for her body and for the weak-woman dramatics that she is expected to display. She is not expected to ‘act’. She loses her cool and boxes his nose before walking out of the set. That’s another story 😛
Malayalee actresses know only how to act. And acting does not need any of the Bollywood heroine prerequisites. No dramatics. No item songs. No skimpy clothes. Take the case of any actress who comes to Malayalam cinema to act. They hone their acting skills…only. It doesn’t matter if she looks plain. We all look plain. Nobody walks around in Kerala looking like a walking wax statue. So we like seeing people we relate to.
Take the case of popular actress Nayantara. This is how she looks like in most Tamil/Telugu movies…
Glamorous. Stunning. Basically, everything a man dreams of.
The same Nayantara, when she works in Malayalam movies, looks like this…
This still is from one the latest movies in Malayalam that has been described as being one of the best performances of her career.
And then you have several Bollywood actresses who tried their luck in Malayalam cinema without having any real acting capacity. And before you could say Jack Robinson, they had made their speedy exits. Apparently having just a perfect body and a cute accent doesn’t sell in Kerala. In fact, your question could also have a corollary question – Why isn’t there any Bollywood actress in Malayalam cinema? with and addendum later on – I was talking about successful Bollywood Actresses.
You see, these girls tried alright…
But nothing clicked.
Bollywood has always objectified women…always. Malayalam cinema has never done it, doesn’t do it now and never will. Our girls don’t believe in doing something they don’t believe in themselves just for the sake of money. In Kerala, cinema is an art. Not just entertainment. And both the actors and the audience take it very seriously. If you want to survive here, you have to be exceptionally talented…and not necessarily exceptionally beautiful. These are a few Malayalee actresses who are regarded with great respect for their acting prowess in Kerala…
Not your typical stereotypical ‘movie star’, right? They look like any random Malayali woman on the streets of Kerala. They don’t look dolled up. They don’t have perfect skins. They don’t have hourglass figures. But they can leave you spellbound and enthralled and can even push you to tears with their acting. You see, there’s a reason why Malayalam cinema, along with Bengali cinema, is regarded by the rest of the Indian movie industries as being a class apart.
Asin had tried her luck in Malayalam. She was not successful. Because she was a pretty face, but not the kind of actress that Malayalam cinema sought. Thankfully Ghajini happened in Tamil and that paved her way into Bollywood. Vidya Balan (okay, no fighting or attacking on her ethnicity again please. I’ve had enough of it elsewhere! Spare me the agony!) had also signed her very first movie assignment in Malayalam opposite Mohanlal but the project was shelved. That’s when Parineeta happened and she moved over to Bollywood. Shweta Menon made her entry into cinema through Malayalam, moved over to Bollywood, got grossly objectified, moved back to Malayalam and is now a respected star in her own right.
So there you have it. I hope this answers your doubt.
P.S.: Why do I have a gut feeling that you’re going to downvote/report my answer? 😀 This isn’t probably what you expected to get as a reply.