Posted: 31 January 2005 at 9:44am | IP Logged
A Shabd from Ash
Aishwarya RaiAlthough the past year hasn't been very successful for
Aishwarya Rai in terms of box office success (or fashion for that matter),
this Bollywood pin-up girl seems unconcerned.
As confident and beautiful as ever, she talks about her new film Shabd,
her Hollywood projects and constant battle with the media.
You have lent your name to several Hollywood projects. Which ones are
you finally doing?
Well, I am definitely doing Michael Douglas' Racing Against The Monsoon
and Meryl Streep's Chaos. Although I have agreed to do other Hollywood
projects, what tends to happen in the west, is that there is a huge
time lag between my saying yes and the film's production.
Why do you think you have become Bollywood's pin-up girl in UK and US?
I have no idea honestly, but I am grateful for their support. Maybe my
looks or my acting appeal to a foreign audience.
Bride and Prejudice wasn't very well received by the critics or by
The movie was made by a British filmmaker for a British audience, where
the film did very well. I don't know why the film wasn't appreciated in
India, but it was partly due to unrealistic expectations. This was my
first English film and my performance has been appreciated.
Why do you think you have been persecuted by the media?
Accolades and criticisms are part of the game. I don't feel persecuted
by the media, but they often start focusing on really inconsequential
things, which trivialises the issue on hand. When I went to Cannes, my
outfit became the focus. When Bride and Prejudice was released, again
the media lashed out on meaningless things.
In 2004 you didn't have any hugely successful films. Is there a lot
riding on Shabd?
Do you think so? I have been in this industry for long enough, where I
don't have to prove myself anymore. I work on a film because I want to
work with a specific director, or because or I like a script — or maybe
both. I don't focus on hits and flops at all.
Tell us about Shabd and your role in the film.
Shabd is one of those films that actually earns the distinction of
being different. It is a tale about passion and about discovering who you
are. Sanjay Dutt is a writer, and I play his wife, Antara.
The story revolves around his struggle to write his next book. A lot of
the film was shot without any cuts, so it was incredibly hard.
Definitely, one of my most realistic roles.
What are you doing next?
I am doing a song for Shaad Ali's film Bunty Aur Babli, which Aditya
Chopra is producing. It's really just a favour for a friend though.
The best compliment and worst criticism you have received…
Recently, this producer on a LUX shoot told me that after 12 years I
was still the same — that was really one of the nicest things I have been
With regards to criticism you take your pick — there is so much of it