Fourteen years after actor Trisha Krishnan burst on to the celluloid scene portraying an enchanting lass in Lesa Lesa, she is basking in all the favourable reviews of a hard-to-get substantial role she has craftily essayed in Dhanush starrer Kodi. Trisha plays an ambitious rural politician whose love-life with gets inexorably intertwined with her goals to climb up the political ladder. With understated sexuality, and often displaying cold and brutal ways to get things turning her way, Rudra (Trisha’s name in Kodi) is in many ways a breakaway from the cliched typecasts women with ambitions are portrayed in films.
Trisha is, indeed, basking. In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview to CNN News 18, she talks about her latest movie, stalking being promoted in films, plans to enter the food business . On her bucket-list sits this big wish: she wants to play J Jayalalithaa. Here are the excerpts from the interview
Q: Congratulations on the success of Kodi. This is the first time you are playing a negative role. What was that one factor that made you work on this project?.
A: It was the character, of course. Initially I had a lot of apprehensions. I was not very sure I would fit the bill. I have a very different image from all the films I have done. It was actually trying to break a stereotype as well and if not now, I don’t think Í would ever do it.
Q: You are playing a politician’s role. What sort of homework did you do to focus on your body language?
To be honest, we didn’t try to do the cliché of villains or “villis” in Tamil Cinema. We were trying to break that image. In terms of homework, my director was very clear he wanted a look. Rudra is not someone who would take much time worrying in terms of how she looks when she wakes up in the morning. She is fiercely ambitious. So we did a bit of homework before we started the shoot…a few looks, that is, rather, and we decided this is how a politician looks before she becomes a politician and after she becomes a politician. Body language was a bit hard for me because firstly I’m city bred. This girl is not only a girl who is born in a village, she is totally evil. So that is something I could not relate to at all. My director was like just be yourself. Let it not be like you are bad. You don’t have to look like a villain. A normal innocent girl can be pure evil as well. So that is what we tried to capitalise on.
Q: Now that you have played a politician’s role, would you enter politics say 20-30 years from now?
A: No no. not at all. I couldn’t even relate to this character fully. I have no plans as of now. I can’t talk about the future but right now in the present, No
Q: Would you like to do a biopic on any politician?
Of course. I’d love to do a biopic on Jayalalithaa because I think she is all woman power and that’s the biopic I would like to do because she has got a very interesting career graph as well a political graph and very intriguing.
Q: Your latest movie Kodi is about women empowerment in a male-dominated political arena. We have seen this in Indian politics as well. What is your take on it?
Rudra is not about women empowerment. She is ambitious. I like the grip she has but I don’t think what she does is the right way to get it. But regarding women politicians, it is a struggle. I don’t think it is easy. Being a woman is a struggle but it is something we should be proud of. Our women are doing great. It is amazing to see some of them do so well.
Q:What are the projects in your pipeline?’ Will you continue to choose different roles?
Very consciously, I’m trying to do different over the last 2 years. Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails. I do what I believe in but it is not necessary that it has to be a woman-oriented films. I’m trying to different things. I’m working on Mohini and we are talking about a few others which I should be starting in January. But I’m looking forward to Mohini as it is a different film.
Q: Apart from films, we hear that you are interested in a food business?
I am a foodie. I’m passionate about food just like how I am with cinema. I would like to get into the food business. At the same time, I do go out and see the trends — what works, what doesn’t. Chennai today has a lot of places where people hang out every weekend. It has to be something different but what’s going to make it sustain is what we need to think of and work at that
Q: Do you think stalking shouldn’t be promoted in films? You friend and actor Siddharth has acknowledged that stalking should not be promoted. What is your take?
Do you think films are the reason people are stalking though. If you look at stalking being bad because it’s shown in films, then a lot of things shouldn’t be shown in films. One mustn’t smoke; one must not show a hero slapping a heroine because at the end of the day, people need to know its a film, it’s a fantasy. I don’t believe in half the things I do in cinema. If you think stalking is something we need to stop showing, then a lot of things need to be stopped, not just stalking. So I think, it’s just wise to say it’s a film, you go watch it, enjoy it and then forget about it.
Q: You received an award from Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. What do you think of our Chief Minister?
Honestly, the first time I met our CM was in school when she was ruling then. This is something I’m so proud of saying- we both are from Church Park. So it’s a very Church Parky thing. Anyone from Church Park…we just love each other. I remember, when I was in my 6th or 7th grade, she was our Sports day chief guest at that time. I still remember we had planned small performance to welcome her. She sat through the entire day, she gave away all the awards. She has an aura about her. It started then and then of course, the whole thing was that she was actress from where to where right. When 100 years of cinema happened, I was shocked that I was picked and I was so honoured that I was standing there with the veterans of the cine industry like a Rajini sir, a Kamal sir. Her people were telling me that she kind of picked the list and she took so much of trouble for that function. She has this kind of aura and it is just amazing to be in her presence.