Aishwarya Rai has refuted rumours that she was to play the female lead opposite her husband Abhishek Bachchan in Ashutosh Gowariker's next Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se. The actress says that the director knew about her packed schedule and the discussion never took place.
Recent media reports suggested that Aishwarya was to play the lead role before Asin was finalised for the film opposite actor Abhishek. But both - the actress and filmmaker - deny it.
"I don't have the dates right now as my schedule diary is super packed. This film (Khelein Hum...) starts next month. So there never was that possibility," Aishwarya, who played Rajput princess Jodhabai in Gowariker's historical epic Jodhaa Akbar, told IANS.
"And since Ashu (Ashutosh Gowariker) is a close friend and his main lead is my husband, they obviously knew it. So the discussion didn't even arise," she added.
Gowariker confirmed it saying: "I had not approached her (Aishwarya) for Khelein Hum.... Aishwarya, for me, belongs to a fairytale. She is a quintessential princess and by far one of the finest actresses we have.
"But we need to plan things in advance. She is extremely professional and hence I would never like to upset her schedules in any way. I'm very happy with the coming together of Abhishek and Asin."
Khelein Hum... will feature Abhishek as freedom fighter Surya Sen, who was the chief architect of anti-British freedom movement in Chittagong, now in Bangladesh.
This will be Gowariker's second period film after Lagaan.