Southern leading ladies are a hit in B-town these days, literally. Reigning ladies from this part of the world like Ileana, Kajal, Tamanna, Priyamani, Samantha and Tapsee are all going to be seen in mainstream Bollywood movies in 2012.Except for the big Khans, most B-town stars like Ranbir Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Ritesh Deshmukh and Askhaye Khanna are keen to share screen space with South divas. A big reason for this new phenomenon is that compared to Bollywood actresses, South stars are pretty affordable with reported price tags between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 70 lakh and are very professional. With their abundant acting experience, directors love them as they can be moulded to fit any role.“Despite being a big name in South, Ileana allowed me to mould her for the unique role in Barfee. Actually, I didn’t watch her work in South films before but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise since I knew she was the girl I was looking for as soon as she stepped into my office,” says “Barfee” director Anurag Basu.More than money, it’s a bigger platform with huge exposure and it was a plum project as well,” says Ileana, who is discussing offers to star opposite Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar.Nisha Aggarwal, sister of Kaajal Aggarwal, on the other hand, feels that the North-South divide is just a myth. “Film-makers will always look for talent. South has a big pool of talent so they are just exploring it.”Priyamani, who has signed films with Ritesh Deshmukh and Akshaye Khanna, points out “Bollywood’s expansive reach gets us mileage and puts us on a bigger pedestal.”Even Tamanna has offers opposite Ranbir and Ajay Devgn. “I met Tamanna a few times and she has a Madhuri Dixit-like charm. I would like to work with her soon,” says Anurag Basu, who feels that the actresses’ popularity in South will help market their films better. “Of course, it’s an added advantage for the producers,” he adds. Film-maker Rensil D’Silva admits that South stars are more affordable.“Budgets make films now-a-days. And we also have only six to seven bankable male and female stars, so we have to look for talent down South. South actresses are pretty and talented and their popularity is an added value,” he says.