Tamil movie star Trisha Krishnan, who is well-known for playing glamorous characters, portrays a police officer for the first time in her latest release, Thoongavanam (Sleepless Forest), alongside Kollywood stalwart Kamal Haasan.
"I've done a lot of films, so it's always nice when you do something new. You break the monotony," the 32-year-old Chennai-based actress says of the new role, which is the 50th in her career.
The film, a remake of 2011 French crime thriller Sleepless Night, opens in Singapore today and will be screened in Tamil and Telugu.
It is one of two big Deepavali film releases in South India, going up against Vedalam (Phantom), an action-masala film starring Ajith Kumar and Shruti Hassan.
Trisha, who goes by one name, is not worried about competition at the box office. "I'm not concerned. The more, the merrier. They're different genres - one is a classic thriller, the other is more of a mass film," she tells Life.
Describing Thoongavanam as an action-packed, pacy film, she adds: "You can never tell how a film is going to fare at the box office, but one thing I can assure you is that the audience won't get bored."
The actress was in Singapore on Sunday for the opening of Rex Cinemas' new outlet at Golden Mile Tower.
Formerly known as the Golden Digital Theatre, the cinema is Rex's second branch after the Mackenzie Road one.
The new single-screen, 1,000-seat theatre, which will screen Tamil, Hindi and Malay films, was refurbished over seven months at a cost of $1.5 million.
Trisha last paired up on screen with Haasan for the 2010 romantic comedy, Manmadhan Ambu. She says working with veteran Haasan the second time around was anything but intimidating.
Then again, she adds, "it wasn't hard the first time either".
"The input he expects from everybody - whether you're an actor or the crew - is the same," she adds.
The Thoongavanam filming schedule, spread out over 45 days, was intense, but she enjoyed the process.
"There's a lot of homework and a lot of rehearsals, but you have a lot of fun while you're at it. By the time you go to the set, there's no stress," she says.
This year has also been about trying new film genres for Trisha. After more than 10 years in the film industry, the actress says she believes in always having a mixed bag of film projects. She also hopes to do a period film eventually.
"I believe in big, well-packaged commercial films, but at the same time, I believe in films like Nayaki, which are heroine-centric, where you have a lot of scope to perform," says Trisha, who made her debut in Lesa Lesa (2003).
She won the Filmfare award for best Telugu actress three times and has been nominated for the Tamil equivalent in the same category thrice.
The actress is in the midst of filming a 1980s-style horror-comedy in Hyderabad and will return to the set the day after celebrating Deepavali with her family in Chennai.
Having been in blockbuster films with marquee actors such as Ghilli (2004) with Vijay, and Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010) with Silambarasan, she would love to work with superstar Rajinikanth.
"He's the only one I haven't worked with," she laments.
The past year has also been about "self-realisation" for the actress, whose engagement to film producer and real estate entrepreneur Varun Manian in January ended after three months.
Admitting that it has been a "crazy year", she speaks candidly on the decision to end the engagement.
"I follow my heart. As long as my family is okay with it and as long as I'm okay with it, that's all that matters at the end of the day."
•Thoongavanam opens in Singapore today and will be screened in Tamil and Telugu.