While Aishwarya Rai understands the constant need for people to check out her clothes and accessories at important events, what the star actor can't fathom is why her clothes at the Cannes Film Festival become more important than what she does.
"I don't even want to think about what people thought of my clothes earlier and what they think of it now. To me how I conduct myself at Cannes and how people react to me are far more important than what I wear," Aishwarya, who has been attending the prestigious film fest since 2002, told IANS.
"Cannes has always been a marvellous and memorable experience. This time was no different. It's never about the wardrobe for me. I don't focus on that at all," added the actress who went there for the first time with "Devdas".
She reminisces about each year she has attended the Cannes fest, saying: "That was the year of Devdas. That experience remains embedded in my mind. It wasn't just about how much they liked me in a sari or walking the red carpet. It was more memorable for the standing ovation that we got after the screening of Devdas. What an ovation! It was a very special experience.
"Next I was in Cannes as a jury member and that's where sections of the media formed their own jury and began to assess my dress. After that I was there to inaugurate the festival and thereafter each year as the brand ambassador for L'Oreal."
What made Aishwarya's visit to Cannes special this year was the fact that the entire Bachchan family was there.
"Also," she added happily. "It was always flash visits to Cannes. This time I was actually there for four days. Otherwise, I've always been there in the middle of things. I spent two full days with the family. We're all so happy when we're together.
"In an interview there I was asked if our visit to Cannes was a delayed anniversary celebration. I was like... noooooo!"
Apart from attending events and obliging shutterbugs, the actress managed to entertain herself by catching up with a couple of movies.
"I caught three and a half movies including the opening film
and the new
film. And I could only catch the latter half of
Kung Fu Panda
because I had to do some press interviews during the second half.
"I've to catch the rest of the film; it was so entertaining. And I also saw the new Woody Allen film Vicky Christina Barcelona. And, yes, I met Woody Allen. He's wonderful."
Speaking on her stunning sartorial grace on the red carpet, Aishwarya said: "I guess I had more time to prepare."
She smiles at the memory of bonding with Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives.
"We bonded so well at Cannes no one would believe we had just met. Actually Eva, Rachida Brakni, who did the original French version of Chaos, which I was supposed to do and who's now been taken on as L'Oreal's brand ambassador - all of us got married recently. So all three of us had something in common."
She refers to meeting French actor Jean Reno as another memorable moment at Cannes.
"Jean Reno came up to me and said he had heard good things about my film Pink Panther. These legendary actors are so hassle-free. They don't think twice about approaching you with a smile and kind words. That stays with you. So much less taxing than making an effort to avoid people," she said.
On the home front, her fans are eagerly waiting to see her with Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan in Sarkar Raj, which is releasing June 6.