– Rinku Gupta

She’s riding high on the recent success of Dharmadurai where her role as Anbuchelvi has fetched her accolades. But in her upcoming release, Kuttrame Thandanai ( KT), we discover in a chat with her, that the pretty AISHWARYA RAJESH is doing a negative roles with shades of grey.

Aishwarya Rajesh’s new avatar for Kuttrame Thandanai

“I play Shwetha, an IT professional in KT, directed by M Manikandan, my Kaaka Muttai director. In fact, I signed this film long before Kaaka Muttai was released, but it’s releasing only now,” says Aishwarya. The movie stars Vidharth, Pooja Devraiya, Nasser and Rahman with music by Ilayaraja. Telling us how she came on board, Aishwarya laughs, “Initially, Manikandan had approached other heroines for my role since he wanted a known face at the time. But no one accepted it. I have a feeling everyone who said no at the time will regret their decision after seeing the film! Eventually, Manikandan came back to me since I had worked in Kaaka Muttai and he knew me well. I asked him if he was absolutely sure and when I was convinced, I said ‘yes’.”

Aishwarya is known for elevating any scene with her magnetic performance however big or small the role. She feels that her role is not that big in KT but will leave an impact. “I’m playing a girl with shades of grey so this will be my first negative role,” she grins.

Aishwarya Rajesh’s new avatar for Kuttrame Thandanai

Basking in the positive response to Dharmadurai, she smiles happily, “People tell me that you’ve played Anbuchelvi just like namma ooru ponnu (the girl next door). That’s the biggest compliment for the hard work we put in.” Ask her if she did any homework for the role and she recalls, “My references were roles done by Radhika and Revathy mam in the 80s. I just decided to get into the skin of the character and live like her. When Seenu Ramasamy told me about this role, I knew he wouldn’t disappoint me, even though there were two other heroines. When he narrated the script to me in Theni, I realised my character was the soul of the movie, since the hero becomes a drunk because of me. Seenu sir and I have worked together in Idam Porul Eval and I’m very happy he thought of me for this role.”

Getting into the role required a mix of preparation and improvisation. “We worked on my hairstyle , de-glam, no make –up look and clothes and didn’t want it to be a repeat of Rummy in any way. Personally, I improvised on the way she speaks English, using words like ‘saari’ for sorry etc. being an innocent but intelligent girl. For the song sequence, I told the cameraman to just leave me in the hut for ten minutes where I tried to get into the skin of the character. I improvised on the way she walks with the ducks in a duck walk, and several of the things you see in the song, Andipetti Kanava Kaathu. I wanted it to be like I am Anbuchelvi and what I would do in her place. That’s how we got the natural touch which people have appreciated. It’s all thanks to Seenu sir and his team for their support.”

Aishwarya’s other films include Moo, a supernatural film and Katappa Va Kaanom, a comedy.