Lakshmi Menon essays a city girl with a refreshing look in Naan Sigappu Manidhan

It seems no Tamil actor can escape the image trap even though most of them hate it. Lakshmi Menon, who has emerged as the quintessential small-town girl hopes for a fresh start and an image makeover with Vishal's Naan Sigappu Manidhan. With her decision to lock lips with Vishal, she has already signalled that she means business. Ask her if it is part of her rebranding exercise, and she replies matter-of-factly, “It was required for the script.”

Laskhmi protests when anyone asks her if she only likes playing characters living in tier-2 cities. “It's completely wrong to say that I choose to do only such films. Naan Sigappu Manidhan was the first film I signed up after listening to the complete script. I did the other films because they were offered to me.”

Though she won't be looking like a hip, runway model from Milan, she promises she will not look the same. “For this film, I have worked with designer Vasuki Bhasker, who helped me decide how I must look in the film. I have also shed a lot of weight and will look a bit fitter. Also, Thiru and I put in a lot of effort to get the look right.”

She wouldn't talk much about her role for, she says, it would reveal the film's plot. However, she was kicked about featuring in a narrative that, she says, wouldn't work without her. “This would be my first film in which the plot is woven around my character. I play an urbanite, but what impressed me was how Thiru developed the character.”

While she has signed up movies without listening to the script, she has had a few conditions. One among them is that she wouldn't wear clothes she isn't comfortable in. “So far I have been careful not to wear clothes that don't look good on me. But since I have started to repeat my roles, I am looking to play urban characters with a different sensibility. I will also experiment with western attire more from now on.”

What made her change her mind? “Confidence,” she says and goes on to add, “One needs to be confident about oneself to experiment, be it with clothes or characters. Now that I am well on my way towards shedding a few kilos, I am more than happy to try different things.”