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Aishwarya in a scene from Bride and Prejudice.Devdas, in which Aishwarya
joined Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit, was a
huge hit, lavishly produced as it was. The film attracted overseas attention
as well, receiving a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival.
In 2003, Rai was a member of the jury at Cannes. In 2004, she was chosen
by TIME Magazine's Asian Edition as one of Asia's "100 Most Influential
People." Rai was the subject of a 60 Minutes profile on January 2, 2005 -
"The Most Beautiful face in the Bollywood." A month later she appeared on
the Late Show with David Letterman, and on April 25, 2005, she was
featured on Oprah's "Women Across the Globe" segment. A wax figure of
Rai is on display in London's Madame Tussaud's wax museum.
Although frequently the subject of gossip column speculation about an
imminent Hollywood career, it was only in 2004 that Rai finally acted in a
foreign film. By an Indian director Gurinder Chadha hired her to play the
heroine in Bride and Prejudice, a Hollywood-funded but Bollywood-ized
version of Jane Austen's classic novel, Pride and Prejudice. The movie
failed to break even at the US box office but more than made back its cost
in the rest of the world; as a result, Aishwarya's Hollywood profile rose a
She appeared at the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games
in Melbourne, as part of a performance showcasing Indian culture, on
behalf of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be held in New Delhi.
Earlier in her career, Aishwarya had a turbulent relationship with Bollywood
star Salman Khan. Since breaking up with Salman, she has been
romantically linked with Vivek Oberoi and Abhishek Bachchan...Well now shez married to legendery actor's son,who himself is a superstar..yh Mr.Abhishek Bachchan...they got married on 18th April'07.
Most of Aishwarya's films are in Hindi, except where noted below.
Rai made her acting debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil biopic film, Iruvar (1997) with Mohanlal.The controversial film was a critical success and won many awards including Best Film award at the Belgrade International Film Festival, two National Film Awards, and two Filmfare Awards South. Rai appeared in dual roles, opposite veteran actor Mohanlal, with one of her roles being a cinematic depiction of political leader and ex-actress J. Jayalalithaa. Rai made her Bollywood debut in the film, Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya opposite Bobby Deol, which also released that year; the film did not do well at the box office, and was also panned by critics. However, her third project, S. Shankar's Tamil film, Jeans(1998) was a commercial success. The film was also noted for the song "Poovukkul", written by Vairamuthu, and some reviews of the music video compared her to prominent world monuments.
In 1999 Rai starred in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam opposite Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan. The film was centered around Rai's character, Nandini, who is forced to marry Devgan's character despite being in love with another man (Khan), and as her husband tries to get her to her previous love, she eventually falls for him. Rai's portrayal won her critical acclaim, with a review on Rediff.com writing, "Aishwarya looks beautiful as usual... This film will most likely draw her accolades from all over, maybe even get her recognised as an actress the way Manisha Koirala did in Khamoshi. In many scenes, there is no trace of makeup and she looks very fresh". The film also became her first box office success in Bollywood and earned her first Filmfare Best Actress Award for her. In the same year she appeared in Subhash Ghai's Taal, in which she played the role of a young village girl Mansi, who becomes a big Pop star after being hurt by her lover played by Akshay Khanna, the film was an average performer in India but was a big success among the international audience, especially in the United States, where it became the first Indian film to reach the top 20 on Variety's box office list. Her performance in the film was praised with Rediff.com writing, "After being praised for her looks and acting talent in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Aishwarya has excelled in Taal. She looks etheral and unlike the former film, has a very sober and soft role. Though she looks pained and tragic in most of the film, she does a good job of a woman who is very protective of her father and one who doesn't think twice before rejecting a lover who has insulted her father." She received another Best Actress nomination at the Filmfare for her performance in the film.
In 2000, she appeared in Mansoor Khan's Josh alongside Shahrukh Khan and Chandrachur Singh, in which she played a Catholic girl named Shirley who falls in love with the sibling of her Brother's enemy. The film was a commercial success. Later that year she appeared in Satish Kaushik's Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai opposite Anil Kapoor. It was a moderate success and her performance earned her a Filmfare Best Actress Award nomination. Later that year she played a supporting role in Aditya Chopra's Mohabbatein alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan. The film was a major commercial success and became the second-highest grosser of the year, and it earned her a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award nomination. Later that year, she starred in the Tamil film Kandukondain Kandukondain, alongside Mammooty, Ajith Kumar and Tabu.
In 2002, Rai appeared alongside Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas, an adaptation of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay's famous novel by the same name. She played the role of Paro (Parvati), the love interest of the protagonist, played by Khan. The film received a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival. It became the highest-grossing film of the year in both India and overseas, earning a revenue of Rs 390 million domestically. Devdas won numerous awards, including 10 Filmfare Awards, and Rai received her second Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance. In 2003, she acted in Rituparno Ghosh's Bengali film Chokher Bali, an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore's novel by the same name. She portrayed the character of a young woman called Binodini, who is left to her own devices when her sickly husband dies soon after they are married. That year she also appeared in her home production Dil Ka Rishta alongside Arjun Rampal and Rohan Sippy's Kuch Na Kaho alongside Abhishek Bachchan, none of which succeeded.
In 2004 she appeared in Gurinder Chadha's Bollywood-style English adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Bride and Prejudice alongside Martin Henderson. In the film she portrayed the role of Lalita Bakshi, the film's counterpart of Elizabeth Bennet in Austen's novel. This was followed by Rajkumar Santoshi's Khakee alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan and Jayapradha, in the film she played a negative role for the first time in her career. In the same year she appeared in in her second film with Rituparno Ghosh, Raincoat alongside Ajay Devgan. The film was highly acclaimed by the critics, whereas Rai received rave reviews for her performance.
In 2005 she appeared in Shabd a film based on a love triangle alongside Sanjay Dutt and Zayed Khan. The film was a box office flop wheraeas it received average reviews from the critics. Her next release that year was Paul Mayeda Berges's The Mistress of Spices based upon the novel The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni in which she starred alongside Dylan McDermott. The film received negative review by critics and was also a commercial failure. The same year she made a special appearance in Shaad Ali's Bunty Aur Babli in a hugely popular seven-minute dance sequence for the song "Kajra Re", alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan.
In the year 2006, Rai starred in J P Dutta's Umrao Jaan, a second film adaptation of the Urdu novel Umrao Jaan Ada (1905), written by Mirza Hadi Ruswa. She portrayed courtesan and poetess by the same name from 19th century Lucknow. The film was a critical and commercial failure, though Rai's work was generally well received. Critic Taran Adarsh wrote, "Aishwarya Rai looks ethereal. She has looked heavenly and performed so convincingly. She emotes through her expressive eyes and the consistency in her performance is evident from start to end". Later that year she appeared as a master thief, Sunheri, in Yash Raj Films's Dhoom 2 directed by Sanjay Gadhvi, with an ensemble cast of Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu and Uday Chopra. The film turned out to be a blockbuster and became the highest grossing film of the year in India, earning revenues of over Rs 770 million domestically. The film also sparked a controversy for a scene containing a kiss between her and Hrithik Roshan. However, Rai's performance in the film received mostly negative reviews with a reviewer on Rediff.com writing, "Ash's character too is all gloss and no depth. You seldom feel any tension in her behaviour and expressions as she accompanies the master thief on potentially dangerous missions. Sunehri enters the film nearly 50 minutes after its opening in a disguise. In no time, she is wearing the flimsiest of clothes. Once she opens her mouth'and she does it two minutes after appearing in the film'she spoils the image. There is no sensuality anymore, and half an hour later, one wonders what made the master thief fall for her. Nonetheless, her performance earned her a sixth nomination for Filmfare Best Actress Award.
In 2007 she appeared in Mani Ratnam's Guru as Sujata. Speculated to be based on the life of Indian businessman Dhirubhai Ambani, it was a rag to riches story about an ambitious small town man who ends up as the owner of the biggest corporation in India. The film was premired at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, Canada, making it the first Indian film to have a mainstream international premiere in Canada. The film was critically acclaimed and performed well at the box office. Critical reception for Rai was mixed. While Nikhat Kazmi from The Times of India wrote that she is "just okay and fails to register the growth in her character", Rediff.com's Raja Sen described it as "arguably her finest performance, visible especially when she takes over the film's climax." Rai got her seventh Filmfare nomination for Best Actress for the role. In the same year she starred in Jag Mundhra's British film Provoked as Kiranjit Ahluwalia (an NRI woman who killed her abusive husband after facing severe domestic violence) alongside Naveen Andrews. The film was panned by critics and was also a commercial failure, though Rai received positive reviews from critics. In the same year she appeared as a female Indian warrior from Kerala named Mira in Doug Lefler's epic film The Last Legion alongside Sir Ben Kingsley, Colin Firth and Thomas Sangster. The film was a critical failure.
In 2008, she starred alongside Hrithik Roshan in Ashutosh Gowariker's historical drama Jodhaa Akbar, a partly fictionalised account of the life of Muslim Mughal emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, played by Roshan and his Hindu wife Jodha Bai, played by Rai. The film was a critical and commercial success, earning revenues of over Rs 590 million domestically. Rai's performance in the film was praised by critics, with Rajeev Masand writing, "Aishwarya Rai is wonderfully restrained and uses her eyes expertly to communicate so much, making this one of her finest outings on screen". She earned her eighth nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare for her performance. Later that year she co-starred with husband Abhishek Bachchan and father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan in Ram Gopal Verma's Sarkar Raj, a sequel to his previous film Sarkar. She played the CEO of a major power company proposing to establish a new power plant in rural Maharashtra.
In 2009 she appeared in Harald Zwart's spy comedy film The Pink Panther 2 playing the role of criminology expert, Sonia Solandres. Like its predecessor, the sequel received negative reviews from critics and did a moderate business of $75,871,032 worldwide. As of August 2009, she is slated to appear with Rajinikanth in the Tamil movie Endhiran, directed by S. Shankar,with Vikram in Mani Ratnam's next film, Ashokavanam which is also to be simultaneously made in Hindi, titled Raavan, with Abhishek Bachchan in the lead. She will also appear in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Guzaarish opposite Hrithik Roshan, Vipul Shah's Action Replay opposite Akshay Kumar, Abhinay Deo's next film produced by Farhan Akhtar and Vishal Bharadwaj's next directorial venture.
In 2009 Rai was awarded the Padma Shri for her contributions to Indian cinema. In the same year she refused to accept the second-highest Order Of France, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as her father was suffering from serious illness, and she wanted her whole family to attend the award function. She is only the fourth Indian actor after Amitabh Bachchan, Nandita Das and Shahrukh Khan to be chosen for an Order Of France. In June 2009, she was declared the Female Star of The Decade at the tenth International Indian Film Academy Awards held in Macau.MEMBERS OF ASH FAN CLUB:(84)
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