Trisha Krishnan, who entered the film industry in 1999, is still among the top three heroines in Kollywood. That's nothing short of a miracle, given that the average shelf-life of a leading lady is only about five years or so at the maximum.
Not only has Trisha survived and retained her fan base, she now appears to be interested in experimenting with different kinds of roles. Her latest, "Kodi', a Deepavali release, has her playing a role with negative shades.
In this frank conversation with industry analyst Sreedhar Pillai for â€śRed Carpetâ€ť, a show he anchors on YouTube for Indiaglitz, the actor opens up about her career and personal life. Excerpts below:
"I want cinema to be something that I die with," says Trisha, when asked if she has an idea about how many years she wants to be in the industry. Clarifying that she doesn't mean to be dramatic or that she wants to die with her make-up on, the actor says, "I want cinema to be a part of me. This is my anchor. I realize that today. I probably wouldn't have said this a few years back. Films are my stability because it's my work."
Trisha added that even if she were to marry or get into a serious relationship - the usual point when heroines bid goodbye to their careers - she would still want cinema to be part of her life. "There is nothing else I know," she smiles.
"I could do different kinds of cinema. I could venture out globally. I'm not looking at doing only mass films," she says, admitting that though a female actor's shelf-life does become shorter once she marries or has a baby, there are still other ways in which she could be engaged with cinema.
"My stressbuster is just me-time. It's just spending a lot of time with myself, re-inventing, self-healing and I spend a lot of time alone. I have a great family, wonderful friends...they're my stress-busters and all I need to do is pick up the phone and talk to one of them," says Trisha. The actor confesses that when new people like Samantha and Keerthy Suresh entered the industry, she did feel discomfited but that she is now in a very secure place.
Trisha also acknowledges the role of her mother, Uma Krishnan, who manages her career, stating that she wouldn't have survived for this long if not for her.
"For me, everything that happens behind the scenes is her. Everything," she says. "We do have our bad days, we argue, we fight like any mother-daughter, but when it comes to my career, we're on the same page. Always."
Ajith: "He's my favourite. I've always said that and have even gotten into trouble for it! He's a complete gentleman. When I go on the set, he asks me what would you like me to cook for you today. So who wouldn't like him?!" Trisha recalls Ajith going for guitar classes at 5 am when they were shooting for "Yennai Arindhal" only because he was interested in learning the instrument. She expresses her admiration for the way in which he's conducted his life, choosing to do whatever interested him and calls him a wonderful husband and father.
Simbu: "I'm still very close to Simbu. He's still a very dear friend of mine. We did a film called "Alai" together and our friendship began from then. I've known him for ten years now. We have a lot of mutual friends. He's crazy, as everyone knows," laughs Trisha.
Rana Daggubati: "I've known him since I was 18. We were neighbours...we go through phases when we're great friends and then we don't talk at all. I guess with Rana it's a love-hate relationship. He's a very gracious person."
Kamal: "He's my school," says Trisha, adding that she has learnt so much about cinema and life from him.
She also spoke about Dhanush, Vijay, Chiranjeevi and Mahesh Babu during the course of the interview.
Trisha put to rest rumours about her spats with female stars, stating that she's not close enough with any of them to have a tiff. She, however, added that she admires Asin for the way she has conducted herself and that Nayantara and she wish each other well.
On personal life
"People ask me when are you getting married? Because that's what you're supposed to do in your 30s. You've had fifteen years, what more do you want? The way they ask it is what I dislike about the question," says Trisha, when asked when she plans to tie the knot.
"I don't believe in divorce. I don't want to go in for a divorce when I get married. And I'm someone who will. I know tonnes of married couples around me who are in it for all the wrong reasons...I don't want to be in a marriage like that. I'd rather wait and do it with the right person. And if it doesn't happen, I'm okay with that as well," she says candidly. Trisha also draws a distinction between marriage and companionship, saying that while she's okay with not having the first, the second is of absolute importance to her: "I want to meet someone I can share life with."
Trisha reveals that she might do something in the food industry next as she's someone who "lives to eat".