Call it a promotional stunt or a friendly gesture to cash in on an actor's popularity. Southern stars like Suriya, Dhanush, Ravi Teja and Vishal Krishna Reddy, despite their busy schedules, have taken out time to play cameos in a range of upcoming films.
Suriya, who is busy wrapping up Tamil horror-comedy "Masss", is playing a cameo in his home production "Haiku", a children's film, along with popular actress Amala Paul.
Director Pandiraj said Suriya jumped at the opportunity to work with children.
"I casually asked Suriya sir whether he'd like to be part of the project. I had written a small role and he was excited to be part of the film, more so because it's a children's film. We've already started shooting it," Pandiraj told.
Actor Dhanush has played a brief role in his wife Aishwarya R. Dhanush's upcoming Tamil directorial "Vai Raja Vai".
According to insiders, Dhanush has reprised his role of Kokki Kumar from 2006 Tamil gangster drama "Pudhupettai" in the movie.
In upcoming Kannada film "Vajrakaya", popular southern stars such as Ravi Teja, Sivakarthikeyan, Ravichandran and Dileep matched steps with superstar Shivarajkumar for a special song.
Director Harsha says the song will be one of the major highlights of the film.
"Audiences expect something different from each film. We came up with this idea to surprise the fans of all the stars. It also shows the bond between the actors, irrespective of the language barrier. I'm certain audiences are going to love this track," Harsha told.
Harsha has also managed to rope in Dhanush to croon a song in his film.
"He's such a talented singer as well. It didn't take him much time to get the Kannada lines right," Harsha said.
Actor Vishal has played a cameo role in upcoming Tamil comedy "Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga". It is for the sake of friendship, Vishal took up the role in the film, which features his best friend Arya in the lead.
Arya, on the other hand, has featured in a cameo in his best friend Vishnu Vishal's upcoming Tamil release "Indru Netru Naalai".
A leading producer avers that star cameos can draw audiences in large number to cinemas.
"It's a simple tactic to bring audiences to the cinemas. If their favourite star is playing a five-minute cameo, fans usually tend to go crazy. It's slowly becoming a trend. Popular stars are willing to chip in with brief performances even for free for some of their friends," the producer told.
Veteran actor-turned-politician Vijayakanth, who bid adieu to acting a while ago, has played an important role in his son Shanmuga Pandian's debut film "Sagaptham".
Another popular Tamil star Silambarasan aka Simbu was roped in to croon a song in "Sagaptham", which is slated for release on April 2.
Telugu actor Allu Arjun, who enjoys a large fan base, is making his Hindi debut in upcoming dance film "ABCD 2".
"Arjun will be playing Aryan Chauhan. It's a guest role where he'll showcase his dance moves. It was at the behest of choreographer-director Prabhu Deva that he agreed to be part of the film. He has already shot his portion," a source close to the actor told.
So, get set to see the stars in cameos!