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Is Lakshmi Menon quitting cinema?

Lakshmi Menon is bored stiff of paavadai-dhavanis and village stories. She tells that she wants to take a break and do all the things teenagers do

January 31, 2015 07:22 pm | Updated 07:22 pm IST

Lakshmi Menon

Lakshmi Menon

The world may look at Lakshmi Menon as the girl with the Midas touch, whose very presence in a film guarantees a hit. But the 19-year-old hates the idea. “That’s belittling the script, the cast, the crew… how can one person make such a difference?” she asks.

Lakshmi, awaiting the release of Karthi-starrer Komban , last visited the sets of a movie some months ago. She’s been busy catching up on studies, with Class 12 board exams up in March. After that, she plans to take up fashion designing or commerce.

Komban , she says, might be her swansong. “I never got into movies for the love of it. It just happened. Now I would like to explore other fields.”

The decision, says Lakshmi, is well-considered. “I’m bored of wearing similar clothes and acting the village ‘belle’ again and again. I would love a film where I can be the real Lakshmi, someone jovial, happy and wearing a pair of jeans and top or casual salwar-kameez,” she says. Is she missing the real worth of what she’s achieved because it all came too easily? “Not really. I realised I could act when I first saw the rushes of Kumki. But I need roles that challenge me. I’m fed up of having to choose from a line-up of village subjects. It pains me that everyone thinks I can only do dignified roles. I am a happy-go-lucky teenager,” says Lakshmi.

It hurts her when people say she wants to be part of great projects. “That implies I’ve actively sought roles. That’s never happened. Sometimes, I just go by instinct and don't even listen to the script. I did Jigarthanda only because I’m such a huge fan of Siddharth,” she says. Lakshmi has always juggled school and the sets. “It helps that my schoolmates don’t really know what I’ve done in Tamil films. It means I've never missed out on a regular life. It’s my poor manager who suffers, juggling dates to fit in all my activities,” she smiles.

Even at the heights of dizzying stardom — with hits such as Kumki, Sundarapandian , Pandiya Naadu, Naan Sigappu Manithan, Manjapai and Jigarthanda — Lakshmi has been particular about her studies and music. “There is a life beyond films and I realise that. Music is everything to me. It will inspire me till my last breath,” says the actress who has also sung for films. Travel is something else she loves. “I’d like to take off somewhere by myself, experience new cultures, live lives…”

Will a dream role tempt her? “Dream role?” she smiles. “That would be something like what Cameron Diaz did in The Holiday .” Is it a definite no-no to movies then? There’s a huge pause. We just have to wait and watch.

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