For Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, working on her latest release was a “joyride”. She sailed through Pink Panther 2, which was “not an intense acting piece”.
Ash plays a detective in this super-successful franchise created around a diamond and the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, a role first made famous by the legendary Peter Sellers and now given a new twist by Steve Martin.
Martin, one of Hollywood’s top comedians, is “a multi-faceted personality”, feels Ash. “He has a very serious side to him as well. He writes a lot and he has written a script, too. Then, he plays the banjo and the piano, and knows Indian music. We talked about it.”
Preparing for her own role did not trouble her in the least. Not only was the film pure fun material, no real accent training was necessary either. “The accent there is a little more exaggerated than my normal accent,” says Ash. “I’m like a sponge — when I’m in the south, I sound like a south Indian; when I’m in Calcutta, I pick up the Bengali lilt...”
‘Our talent has won’
The inevitable question to Aishwarya at this point of time is whether she endorses father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan’s opinion that Slumdog Millionaire has sold India’s poverty to the West. She replies, “I’ve not seen it. It’s just a film — if you want to watch it, go watch it, or don’t. Our talent has won accolades, at the Oscars, BAFTA, Golden Globes. When people achieve something, it really does not take much to appreciate their effort. Applaud them and get on with life.”