Mr and Mrs Bachchan will soon be back together in reel life with Rajkumar Santoshi’s romantic comedy, Ladies & Gentlemen, which flags off in July. Aishwarya says, “I met Rajji a week ago and he told me that before I start giving my dates to other producers, he wanted to lock a chunk for his film. Abhishek and I are his dream pair, he’s always wanted us for this film.”
She admits to having immensely liked this script, which she had heard years ago. Ladies & Gentlemen will be the star couple’s ninth film together. Their last film together was Mani Ratnam’s Raavan, which didn’t quite set the cash registers ringing.
So, why did she back out of it before, prompting her husband to suggest that they were not a “couple package” but “two independent actors who didn’t play any role in getting each other cast”? She reasons that she didn’t have the dates earlier since Guzaarish demanded two-three months of single-minded focus. “But the movie got delayed and with Abhishek and Rajji on board, I’m happy to be back,” she says. “As far as this script is concerned, it was always a yes.”
Since their marriage, the duo has been wary of over- exposing brand Bachchan, insisting that they’d work together only when a film would offer them something new and exciting. Earlier, Aishwarya had opted out of Dostana, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se and Game. More recently, she reportedly refused a Vipul Shah film opposite her husband, suggesting he cast Katrina Kaif instead.
She says that the last three years have been hectic. In 2008, she had Jodhaa Akbar and Sarkar Raj. In 2009, she was juggling between the English film, The Pink Panther 2, Raavan and the Tamil film, Raavanan. Last year there was Robot, Action Replayy and Guzaarish.
“I took a small break after The Pink Pather 2 but then the last couple of years have been really busy. We actors enjoy our work so much that there are times when we commit to projects without realising that we’ve locked away a lot of ‘own’ time,” she says. “I’ve tried to approach work differently but haven’t always succeeded. This break was necessary.”
She spent time with Abhishek in New Zealand where he was filming Players and then flew off to Los Angeles for a much-needed vacation that turned out to be eventful when they were invited to the Oscars. Now she’s raring to return to the sets. Ladies & Gentlemen will be shot across Mumbai, Rome, New York and Malaysia. “It’s wonderful to be doing another movie with Abhishek. We had a great time during Raavan even though I had to work really hard on both Raavan and Raavanan, which were critically acclaimed.”