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Trisha’s 15 years in Tamil films: A look at the actor’s unconventional choices

Trisha has mostly featured in big budget mainstream films but she’s also played some interesting roles that go against the grain.
Actor Trisha, who came into the limelight after she won the Miss Chennai beauty pageant, had sworn at the time that she would never enter cinema.

Cut to 2017 and Trisha has more than survived in an industry where heroines have a shelf life shorter than the average avocado. The star has acted with nearly all the bigwigs in the industry, save Rajinikanth.

Trisha has always been a mainstream actor, featuring in mostly big budget films. Known to be nimble on her feet, she has given many memorable dance performances like Appadi Podu in her career. The actor has also been mired in controversy a few times, not in the least because of the unapologetic way in which she leads her life in a conservative state like Tamil Nadu.

After having spent 15 years in Kollywood, Trisha, like her contemporary Nayanthara, is looking to do meatier roles that offer her more than a song and a dance. She recently walked out of Saamy 2 with Vikram, the sequel to the 2003 blockbuster, citing creative difference. It’s rumoured that the actor was unhappy with the role given to her in the second film and had chosen to walk out of the big budget project rather than stick with it.

Here’s a look at some of the unconventional choices that Trisha has made in her career in Tamil films:

Lesa Lesa: Early in her career, Trisha played the role of a woman who is in love with a death row convict and refuses to move on in life. The film had two heroes, Shaam and Madhavan, but the plot revolved around her character.

Abhiyum Naanum: In this film which explored the relationship between a father and daughter, Trisha had ample scope to perform. She plays a young, assertive woman who falls in love with a Punjabi man and convinces her father (a hilarious Prakash Raj) that she knows what she’s doing.

Manmadhan Ambu: Trisha played an actor who breaks up with her fiance because he wants her to give up her career after marriage. Usually, Indian films have treated ambitious women with very little respect. Trisha’s Ambu came as a surprise.

Yennai Arindhal: Trisha had a very successful outing with Gautham Menon’s Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya, in which she plays a Malayali woman from a conservative Christian family. In her second film with the director, she played a single mother to a young girl, a role which most mainstream heroines would be reluctant to touch.

Thoongavanam: Trisha played an Intelligence Officer on a job all through the film. It’s perhaps one of the rare times when a mainstream heroine in Tamil films has been shown completely in the context of her profession rather than family or love life.

Kodi: Trisha played a villain who kills the hero in cold blood to fulfill her political ambitions. Although a female villain, Trisha’s character in Kodi was mostly free of the misogynistic trappings that usually accompany such characters. The actor was willing to take the risk to play such a role despite knowing it could backfire badly in a state where heroes are deified.

Trisha has an interesting line-up of upcoming films including Garjanai, the Tamil remake of Anushka Sharma’s NH 101818, which is based on the Mumbai terror attacks and in which she’s the central protagonist, and 96 with Vijay Sethupathi. She is also making her Malayalam debut with Nivin Pauly in Hey Jude.
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