Being self-aware is a trait Aishwarya Rajessh is clearly quite proud of.
She knows that the Tamil film industry has an unfortunate opinion on her suitability to play the heroine in commercial films. Does it bother her? Not one bit!
“I think I’d be third or fourth choice on the list [of probables]. But I don’t even care. I’m not interested working the two songs and four [romance] scenes routine. It is not my kind of film,” she says.
That she holds this opinion, after having been part of Saamy 2 as recently as last year, is interesting. Aishwarya, though, doesn’t hold back on her judgement.
“[Saamy 2] was not a film I wanted to do. I only agreed because I was personally requested. Nobody else was interested in playing the character of Bhuvana (played by Trisha in the first film),” she says.
Aishwarya’s tendency to speak her mind, while appreciated by fans, tends to ruffle feathers in the industry. “Many people have told me, ‘Aishu bold ah pesatheenga’ (Don’t be so outspoken). But I have never said anything wrong. I don’t put anyone down,” she adds.
The actor is now venturing into the Telugu film industry with three films back-to-back.
One is a remake of her Tamil hit Kanaa, where she will be reprising the female cricketer’s role. The other is an anthology film starring Vijay Deverakonda, where she plays “a village belle”.
The third is titled Mis Match, in which she plays a wrestler. “It is an interesting role. The character [Mahalakshmi] is a loosu ponnu type, but she is also a wrestler. I loved the balance in my characterisation when it was narrated to me,” she adds.
Following Kanaa’s success, the actor says that she has been receiving offers to do more female-centric films but she’s trying to be “very very choosy”. She reveals that she has signed on to do at least two such films.
Last week, the actor, a self-confessed fan of Shah Rukh Khan, was revealed to be part of an ensemble cast for the Sivakarthikeyan film produced by Sun Pictures and directed by Pandiraj.
While there is speculation on the nature of her role in the film, what is certain is that Aishwarya isn’t paired opposite Sivakarthikeyan. Anu Emmanuel, who debuted in Tamil films with the Vishal-starrer Thupparivaalan, plays the heroine.
“You don’t have to play the heroine to be considered a film’s lead. I’m playing a strong and crucial role. I see it as a lead role,” she remarks.
She took down rumours on her relationship status a few days ago with the same finesse.
“I think [the rumour] started with a Tamil TV channel. I thought I’d ignore it. But it just kept getting bigger, and that is why I reacted,” says Aishwarya.
In a tweet on May 10, the actor wrote, “Hey guys I have been hearing rumours on my love story… pls let me also know who tat guy is .. very much eager to know,” adding, “very much single an happie”. (sic)
The actor is surprised that the rumour even gained traction.
“At the very least, someone should have spotted me hanging out with a guy at some place for them to cook up a rumour. That has not happened. I’ve not been close with any of my co-stars because all of them are married and have children,” she laughs, before adding, “Really, they’re all just friends. I’ve just not had the time to date anyone, and I’ve not come across anybody that I liked.”
A note to prospective suitors — she takes relationships seriously.
“I’m not the type of person who tries things out just to see if it works or not. Relationship is something I worship, and remain sincere to. My past relationships have all been long [duration]. There was never one that lasted just a few months,” she adds.
A relationship of hers, albeit onscreen, that often catches moviegoers’ attention is the one with Vijay Sethupathi.
They have been paired together in three films so far — Rummy (2014), Pannaiyarum Padminiyum (2014) and Dharma Durai (2016). They are also a part of the unreleased film, Idam Porul Yaeval.
Ask her why there hasn’t been another collaboration since Dharma Durai, and she quips, “Do you have his phone number? Why don’t you ask him because I have tried!”
“I ask him why is it that he either does films back-to-back with me, or he does nothing at all, and he only keeps saying ‘Aishu, nalla script vantha padam pannalaam’ (If I get a good script, we’ll do a film together).”