Looks like the 'item' girls of Tollywood are no longer the first choice for titillating dance numbers anymore. Mana filmmakers seem to prefer leading ladies, Bollywood sirens, or international swimsuit models and the likes instead. The bigger the actress, the greater the buzz surrounding the special song. And that's the latest mantra in Tollywood.
A look at all ladies who sizzled in hit 'special songs' in the last few months indicates the demographic profile of the 'item' girl has changed. Whether it's Shruti Haasan's free style dancing with Mahesh Babu in the number Junction Lo, or Tamannaah's sizzling act in Naa Peru Silku, or Charmme's uninhibited latkas and jhatkas in Garam Chai, one thing is obvious — the good old dancing divas are a thing of the past.
The buzz that Tamannnah's special song in Alludu Seenu generated seems to be the driving factor for filmmakers looking to grab eyeballs. "Producer Bellamkonda Suresh wanted to have Tamannaah as the leading lady in the movie along with Samantha to create a bigger buzz. But due to date issues, we missed out on Tammu. But when we requested her to do an item number, she obliged and it really helped the movie," says the film's director VV Vinayak.
Following in Tamannaah's footsteps, Shruti Haasan too scorched the screen in an item number in Aagadu. The svelte actress, who even crooned the number, shook a leg alongside Mahesh Babu in what was her first-ever appearance in a special song. The novelty of having Shruti share the screen with Mahesh is what the filmmakers were looking for when they approached her.
"I was keen to show Mahesh and Shruti onscreen since it was the first time they are coming together. There's a situation in the second half in the film that needed an item song. When we approached Shruti, she responded positively. Initially, Mahesh said 'but Shruti is the heroine in my next film, can we cast her?' But I wanted to make the song look special and I convinced Mahesh to have her on board," explains director Sreenu Vaitla.
Charmme, who plays leading lady roles, seems to have become quite a popular choice for item numbers. The glam diva sizzled with Nagarjuna in Dhamarukam, with Ram Charan in the track Nellorae from Naayak, with Shahid Kapoor in Bollywood film R Rajkumar and would be soon seen in Vijay Milton's Tamil film.
"If you look at special songs I'm part of, they're very situational, which is what I look for in a film. Also, I love to dance to peppy numbers and I'm pretty happy that all my songs have become a rage," explains Charmme.
STAKES ARE GETTING HIGHER
With lead actresses doing item numbers the stakes around the 'special songs' have gone up. Filmmakers do not have any second thoughts when it comes to erecting special set for the song. Whether it's the setting, costumes, floor ambience everything is getting bigger and better. "Sunny Leone's special number Devadas Breakup for Current Teega, has been made on a whopping budget of around `1.5 crore. It'll be a very entertaining," said an official from the film's production house.
Similarly, for Charmme's item number in Vijay Milton's Tamil film, a huge set worth over a `1 crore has been erected, and will be shot at the locales of hills near Pune. Needless to say, the leading ladies come with a fancy price tag. The actresses get paid anywhere between ` 20-30 lakhs for a couple of days of shoot. "It's sort of quick money for the actresses because they wrap up the shooting in just a few days. But I think actresses are more concerned about the timing and credibility of their song in the film than anything else," says producer DVV Danayya.