The Ash season has started in right earnest. After Umrao Jaan and Dhoom2 last year, it’s Mani Ratnam’s Guru.
“I’ve Provoked and The Last Legion coming up one after another early this year. So between now and March I’ve four more releases. Is that too much of me?” she laughs.
“Working with J P Dutta on Umrao Jaan was truly a joy. In Umrao Jaan, one didn’t get to see the same me as Devdas or Taal. Again in Dhoom 2, Guru and Provoked audiences will get to see me playing distinct characters.”
The reluctant queen of controversies has said yes to two new films in 2007. One is Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar 2 and the other is produced by Karan Johar, directed by Tarun Mansukhani. Both will pair her with Abhishek Bachchan again.
“There are other projects that I will sign this year. Currently, I’m having the time of my life shooting for Jodhaa Akbar. Ashutosh Gowariker is not just a meticulous director but also a very sweet and sincere human being.”
According to Gulzar who wrote the lyrics, Aishwarya has never looked more beautiful than she does in Guru. “That’s so sweet. It’s a very simple middle-class look. In Guru, I got work with my guru again. If you remember I started my career with Mani Ratnam in Iruvar. Now after ten years we’re working again. Guru has been a very special experience.”
Ask her if she supports Abhishek’s work in Guru just as he supported her performance in Umrao Jaan, and she protests, “I don’t know if ‘support’ is the right word. We’ve both worked with full commitment in both films, regardless of the length of our roles."
“I enjoyed working with Abhishek in two such different films. When we were doing Umrao Jaan talks were on for Guru. We’d keep smiling about the irony of it. I was working with Abhishek’s first director and mentor for the first time. And he was working with Mani sir who’s my first director. There was a huge comfort level on both the sets,” she says.
As for the question that’s looming large over her life, Ash sighs deeply, “I’m a normal girl. And I do believe in the institution of marriage. As a normal girl I’m definitely looking forward to marriage in my life. It’ll be a joyous occasion for me, and one that I’d like to share with everyone. But please wait for the announcement and do not make assumptions.”
Her best and her worst ¦
Dhoom 2 (2006), Raincoat (2004), Khakee (2004), Chokher Bali (2003), Devdas (2002), Josh (2000), Taal (1999), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) ¦
Kyun...! Ho Gaya Na (2004), Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin (2002), Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke (2000)
1. Julia Roberts called her the most beautiful woman in the world.
2. At the IIFA awards in Amsterdam, Rai had a breed of tulip named after her.
3. She appeared at the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, to showcase Indian culture.