Her first Malayalam film was about to hit the screens when I had my first interaction with Trisha Krishnan. Piqued by the trailer and her role, I had approached Trisha for a quick chat. Arguably one of the leading and busiest stars in South, I wasn’t sure of getting a reply. But not only did I get a prompt reply, she agreed for a quick chat as well. Clear and prompt yet warm and congenial, Trisha’s approachability belied her star status. After all, we are talking about a heroine who has ruled the hearts of audiences across industries for more than fifteen years.
In an industry which still is surprised by leading ladies who choose to act after marriage, spending 15 years as a sought-after heroine is no easy task. Trisha still had a year to complete at Ethiraj College for Women when she began filming for Priyadharshan’s Lesa Lesa. But Trisha has managed it, not only with talent but also with some smart choices. Her choice of scripts has always been relevant — making sure she struck a balance between masala films and performance roles. For every Tirupachi, there was an Abhiyum Naanum. For every Aranmanai 2, there was a Kodi. From being the quintessential girl-next-door who did the part of a commercial heroine with finesse to tackling heavier roles, Trisha’s choices made sure she remained at the top.
Her angelic smile and fetching have made sure that Trisha was noticed right from the start. Fresh from her pageant success, Trisha reportedly had four films with big banners in her kitty even before her first film got released. Due to the delay in Lesa Lesa’s release, Ameer’s Mounam Pesiyathe became Trisha’s debut on screen. The effervescence when she says ‘Pesalame’ to Suriya in that film has only become stronger over the years as she pirouetted her way to becoming a fetching mix of aspirational qualities with a relatable twist.
In my interview with her, Trisha credited her director and her choices as well for her longevity. “I would attribute it to my choices in films and the directors I have worked with — especially those who have written roles with me in mind. And of course, I do believe in luck as well,” she said. I am not sure if the role was written with Trisha in mind, but there is a character that certainly seemed tailor-made for her. It is also my most favourite character played by Trisha. That’s Jessie from Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya. There is an opening monologue that describes Jessie in the film — beautiful, classy, well-read with a unique sense of style. For all its worth, it might have well been written for Trisha herself. One of most realistically-written characters ever, Jessie was annoying. Her inconsistency irks you, but it is impossible to judge her for it. With someone like Trisha, it was just magic. But one does have to notice that the film happened eight years after she stepped into the spotlight.
Trisha’s career is noteworthy on several points. She is one of the important names who are now trying to get rid of the industry’s ageist prejudices when it comes to women. If you can give what it takes to look and emote the part, nothing else matters.
With several interesting projects including one on India’s first female detective, Trisha is a classic example of what consistency can achieve. And she turns 35 today — while not being on the right side of 30 might be a cause of worry for other heroines, it definitely won’t be one for Trisha. She is just getting into her most interesting phase yet.