Mahesh Babu has been in the news for saying he doesn't want to do Bollywood films This has obviously triggered some people but the fact of the matter is he is not the first actor to do so. He definitely is the most blunt one but that said, there have been stars from the South who have time and again refused to be part of big Bollywood blockbusters.
According to reports, Nayanthara could have been a part of Rohit Shetty's Chennai Express, sharing the screen with Shah Rukh Khan on the dance number One Two Three Four, but declined the role. The role then went to Priyamani, who if you are unfamiliar with, stars opposite Manoj Bajpayee in The Family Man.
2. Allu Arjun
Director Kabir Khan had initially approached Allu Arjun for the role of Pawan in Bajrangi Bhaijaan but the actor refused due to his busy schedule. Following this, the role was offered to Salman who starred in the Bollywood blockbuster.
3. Nivin Pauly
Malayalam actor Nivin Pauly has maintained that while he is open to new challenges, he won't be comfortable doing films in Tamil, Telugu or Hindi. He was even rumoured to be doing a film with Anurag Kashyap, which set social media ablaze for a few days but there has been no update on that. If reports are to be believed, he was also one of the choices to play Ayushmann Khuranna's rule in Manmarziyan. Pauly was also the first choice for Sushant Singh Rajput's Chhichhore.
4. Rashmika Mandanna
Mandana was the first choice to star opposite Shahid Kapoor in Jersey, but the actress declined the role saying she was only doing commercial movies at the moment and a film like Jersey would Jersey would require a lot out of her. Speaking to IANS, she said:
I got that opportunity because of the choices I have made till now. I don't think this choice is going to go bad. 'Jersey' needs a lot of you. It is almost realistic. Right now, only doing commercial films, I am going insane. Imagine doing something like 'Jersey' and not being able to pull it off.
5. Puneeth Rajkumar
Rajkumar was also one of the actors offered Kabir Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan but he refused to take on the role as he was reportedly unsatisfied with the script.
The star of the KGF films, Yash was the first choice for Laal Kaptaan, but he declined the offer and the role finally went to Saif Ali Khan.
7. Mahesh Babu
The Telegu superstar has been active in the industry for as long as one can remember, delivering one blockbuster after another. As a matter of fact, so many of Bollywood's action flicks, like Wanted and Ek: The Power of One, were remakes of his films. But the actor recently made it very clear that he had no intentions of working in Bollywood.
8. Anushka Shetty
Shetty has long been one of the most popular faces in South Indian films, across languages. You have probably seen her in films long before she did Baahubali. But the actress was also offered Rohit Shetty's Singham back in 2011, which she refused to do. Can't blame her, the role that eventually went to Kajal had so little impact in the film that it didn't even appear in the sequels.
The popular Kannada actor was offered to play the villain in Salman Khan's Dabangg 3 but he declined and the role went to his colleague Sudeep, who absolutely nailed it in the film.
While it would have been interesting to the intersection of regional cinema with Bollywood, the fact remains that regional cinema offers far better scripts and variety. This is not to crap on the Hindi film industry but all the actors and actresses mentioned above are doing very well for themselves in their respective industries.