Even though she returned to films after a gap of five years (she was last seen in Guzaarish; 2010), Aishwarya Rai Bachchan doesn’t like to use the word ‘comeback’ vis-à-vis her latest film, Jazbaa. “I haven’t felt the absence, though going by the time and number of releases that we do have, of course, I wasn’t making movies,” says Aishwarya, who was busy looking after her baby daughter, Aaradhya, in the meantime.
Interestingly, Aishwarya isn’t the only actress who has returned to the big screen with a full-length role, after a few years. The list also includes names such as Kajol, Vaani Kapoor, Diana Penty, Raveena Tandon, Esha Deol and Sushmita Sen.
While Diana admitted, in an interview, that the sabbatical helped her “grow as a person”, and that she “is more comfortable in this space (films) now”, Raveena says that she wanted to do something challenging as well as fun. So, her character in director Onir’s next, Shab, offers her that.
Experts, though, feel that there are “different parameters for different actresses”. “When some like Aishwarya or Kajol took a three-four year break, it doesn’t affect them much, since they are iconic figures, and people won’t forget them so soon. But the same can’t be said about other actresses who have done just one or two films,” says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi.
But there are a few newbies, who have no issues with staying away from the big screen till they get the right project. “It has been two years since my first movie (Shuddh Desi Romance) came out, and the years post that have been quite tough, even though I won most of the new talent awards that year,” says Vaani.
She adds that after her first film did well at the box office, she expected to be flooded with interesting offers. “Clearly, things didn’t fall into place, especially the way I pictured. But at that time, Adi (film-maker Aditya Chopra) shared his undoubted belief in my potential. So, I waited and waited and waited,” says Vaani in a video interview posted by Chopra’s production house. She will now be seen in his next diretorial venture.