After Aishwarya Rai paraded her international projects, Perizaad Zorabian, Gauri Karnik and Sushmita Sen have followed suit. Ditto Mallika Sherawat, Celina Jaitley and Koena Mitra. But what do these projects really mean?
"I am doing an international project" is a great line for any actor to peddle.. it's also an escape route. Aishwarya Rai explored Hollywood when her showbiz career in the Bombay movies was going nowhere. Same's the case with Jaitly, Mitra or Sherawat.
However, it all depends on the quality of the project one gets. At least, Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai bagged plum assignments. Sen's film Karma, Confessions and Holi is co-produced by Saregama Films and Rapture Productions Inc., owned by Drena De Niro, Robert De Niro's daughter. Rai did the The Last Legion opposite Collin Farrell and has signed on for the Pink Panther sequel.
Among the insignificants are Koena Mitra. She's doing a film to be co-produced by Pritish Nandy Communications and a Los Angeles-based production house.
Celina Jaitly's Love Has No Language, is a New Zealand-Australia co-production. Sherawat did a nine-minute-sequence in The Myth. Such exposure perhaps doesn't matter. Rai did not get any brownie points for Gurinder Chada's Bride and Prejudice and Paul Mayeda Berges' The Mistress of Spices. She needed Dhoom 2 to resurrect her Hindi movie career. After The Myth, Sherawat went to Cannes and got her next international film, Unveiled.
According to trade experts, "It gives them publicity and helps them stay in the news. What has Shilpa Shetty gained after winning Celebrity Big Brother?" Most leading ladies with a global tag don't even dare hike their fees back home.
Kunal Kohli asserts, "The projects would eventually help them. We need to wait," he says. While Rani Mukherji, Preity Zinta or Priyanka Chopra would think a 100 times before signing an international project, smaller stars are less hesitant.
Koena Mitra concludes, "I'm doing it for exposure. It will help me grow since there is professionalism abroad. I was chosen from among other actresses who were there for the screen test," To each her own.