She’s the latest entrant from God’s Own Country to Kollywood this week, with the release of Apple Penne, directed by RK Kalaimani. But heroine Aishwarya Menon is a Chennai ponnu at heart, having been born and brought up in the city. Aishwarya, who started as a model, is happy to have stepped into K Town, with her heroine-centric debut being the icing on the cake.
In a chat with CE, Aishwarya says, “It’s not everyday that such roles come by. The story is about one-sided love and focuses on me all through. Its about a mother–daughter relationship, with Roja playing my mom. I’m thrilled with such a debut, which gave me so much scope to perform.”
Aishwarya shares the screen with National Award winner Thambi Ramaiah as well. So was she nervous? “I’m used to the camera, having modelled earlier. But both Roja and Thambi Ramaiah were very sweet to me. Ramaiah sir even gave me some tips on dialogue delivery which were very helpful,” she recalls.
Shooting for the film took place in areas around Courtallam and Athirapally. For Aishwarya, it has been an unforgettable experience. “Through most part of the film, I’m seen on a cycle which I had to learn to ride. The scary part was riding it on slopes and dangerous hairpin bends that are abound in that area,” she says.
The actor also got severely tanned during the shoot. Recalling a painful moment she says, “Flower pot crackers were burst before me during one song shoot to create an effect. But I got hurt when some of the sparks fell on my hair and hands.” Aishwarya seems passionate about her cinematic career which she chose to pursue, despite having her engineering degree from SRM University.
Though she signed Apple Penne first, her debut Kannada film Dasavala has already release in October, opposite Jogi Prem. With a finger in two pies, Aishwarya is keen to make it big in hometown Chennai. High on her wishlist is acting with Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Ajit, Vijay and Suriya. But before her dreams come true, she wants to settle the issue of a name change.
“My current screen name Aishwarya is also my real life name. But I’m changing it to Akshara. The reason is that there are many Aishwaryas already, including Aishwarya Rai. I want to carve my own identity,” she says.