Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowarikar’s comments on Aishwarya Rai being ‘more deserving’ of the Best Actress award than Priyanka Chopra for Fashion at IIFA 2009 are beginning to create a furor. Gowarikar, whose production Jodhaa Akbar swept the awards at IIFA said on-stage, “Priyanka, I love you, but I don’t know how you got the best actress award when Aishwarya was also nominated in the same category for Jodhaa Akbar.” He later added: “PC is very hard working but Ash is a natural.”
Ironically, Priyanka is currently working with Ashutosh on What’s your Rashee? She was understandably upset after his remark, but chose to maintain a dignified silence.
The director of Fashion Madhur Bhandrakar, on the other hand, is clearly agonised. Just before flying out to showcase Fashion at the Moscow International Film Festival, he said, “Ashutosh shouldn’t have been judgmental like this. We have been friends for a long time. Even our wives are friends and meet often. Why make such a remark?”
He adds, “To begin with, he has no authority to demean someone’s work by comparing it to another’s. Priyanka’s performance in the movie has been appreciated in all popular award ceremonies this year. Such a remark is detrimental to both the jury and public, who chose Priyanka as the best actress. He has embarrassed everyone associated with these awards.” Ashutosh refused to comment.