When Aishwarya Rai put family before career, turned down Will Smith’s film to return to India
Did you know that Bollywood actor Aishwarya Rai and Hollywood actor Will Smith have always wanted to work with each other but things never really worked out. Will had offered her his films Hitch, Seven Pounds and Tonight He Comes but Aishwarya could not agree to any of them due to time constraints.
But for Seven Pounds, the reason was quite different to what was presented in the media. In 2008, Aishwarya told IANS that she did not turn down the film because she wanted to celebrate Karwa Chauth back home. “That’s what they wrote in the US press... that I preferred to return to Mumbai to ‘starve’ myself for a religious occasion than to meet Smith for the film. That’s completely incorrect,” she had said.
“The script reading for The Seven Pounds was just after Diwali when Dadimaa (Teji Bachchan)’s health dipped drastically. So I didn’t make that trip out to LA for the reading session with Will. Is that wrong? Not to me. I’d any day put family over career.”
About turning down Tonight He Comes, she had said, “That’s true. I had to say no to Will for Tonight He Comes. I feel awful about it, but I’ve my priorities very straight. Yes, family always comes first.”
“I really do want to do the film with Will. When we met we really hit it off. And the subject that he has in mind does sound very interesting for me as an actor and as someone who wants to be part of films that create a global impact,” she had said in another interview with IANS in 2006. “Unfortunately, Will wants to make the film during the time when I’ll be shooting for Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Jodhaa-Akbar. But I am keen to do Will’s film.”
Will had reportedly offered the role to Aishwarya in 2005 when he visited India. Talking about her, he had said, “I really wanted to work with her... She has this powerful energy where she doesn’t have to say anything, do anything, she can just stand there. Anything she’s making, I’ll be there.”
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