It’s important to have an impactful character rather than screen time, says Trisha Krishnan

When working in a Mani Ratnam film, actor Trisha Krishnan says screen time isn’t an issue as the ace filmmaker presents all of his characters in an “impactful” way. Trisha first worked with Ratnam on the acclaimed 2004 film “Aayutha Ezhuthu”. The duo reunited for the magnum opus “Ponniyin Selvan-I,” in which she tries out for the role of Princess Chola Kundavai.

Previous period dramas such as SS Rajamouli’s “Baahubali” and “RRR” films as well as the “KGF” series were criticized for lack of screen time for female characters. For Trisha, the depth of her character matters more than the length of her role. “I know how impactful and powerful the characters are. Screen time is not an issue. More than screen time, your scenes and what you do in a movie should have power and impact. And if you can do that, you’re pretty much a winner. Your character is a winner,” the 39-year-old actor told PTI in an interview.

The lavishly staged historical drama “Ponniyin Selvan-I” boasts of a star-studded cast including Chiyaan Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

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But Trisha, known for Tamil and Telugu hits such as ‘Varsham’, ‘Ghilli’, ‘Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa’ and ’96’, said she has complete faith in Ratnam’s vision.

“I know what I did and I saw the rushes during dubbing. And I know how Mr. Mani visualized Kundavai.

“With space and screen time, you never know the end result. Only Mani sir knows, but I’m very convinced that everything I’ve done has a huge impact,” she said. added.

It’s always an actor’s dream to work with Ratnam, Trisha said.

“It was a dream 20 years ago and even today every actor wants to do another movie with him,” she added.

What sets the award-winning director apart, the actor said, is that he makes an artist “different.”

“You would never have seen yourself this way in any other film. And there is an aura around him that all Indian cinema believes in and knows about. So who wouldn’t want to be part of that,’ she said.

Based on the Tamil novel of the same name by author Kalki Krishnamurthy from 1955, “Ponniyin Selvan” tells the story of the early days of Arulmozhivarman, one of the most powerful kings in the south who became the great Chola Emperor Rajaraja Chola I in the 10th century.

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For the actor, the film was special in more ways than one. It’s also Trisha’s first landmark project, a genre she’s wanted to try for a long time.

“I’ve been in the industry for 20 years now but I’ve never done this genre. So it’s very important to me. As an actor you are always looking for something different.

“Even for your fans, because after many years in the industry, you also want to try to do something different for them. So it was a very important film for me because I’ve never been part of a historical drama. There is a first time for everything,” she added.

Trisha is one of the best actors in southern cinema and, like her contemporaries, she also stepped out of her comfort zone to make a Hindi film – Priyadarshan’s satirical comedy “Khatta Meetha” (2010), opposite Akshay Kumar.

“Khatta Meetha” remains the only Hindi project of his career, which began with a supporting role in the 1999 Tamil film “Jodi”. Then and now, the actor thinks “cinema is global.”

“Everyone watches everything, whether it’s subtitled or dubbed. “Ponniyin Selvan” feels like an original Hindi movie because that’s how much care they took from the lyrics, songs, dialogues, everything.

“I am very open to all forms of cinema. As an artist, I think we should be. Otherwise, you limit yourself. I am open to good scripts. So I sincerely think that language is not a barrier,” she said.

“Ponniyin Selvan – I”, backed by Ratnam’s production house Madras Talkies and Allirajah Subaskaran’s banner Lyca Productions, is set to be released nationwide in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam on Friday.

Music maestro AR Rahman provided the music with cinematography by Ravi Varman.