When Aishwarya Rai turned down Troy, Brad Pitt expressed regret: ‘I think we missed an opportunity’
For a brief stretch in the 2000s, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan appeared in several English language films. Her first was The Mistress of Spices, which she followed up with Bride & Prejudice, Provoked, The Last Legion and The Pink Panther 2. But did you know that Aishwarya was also supposed to star in the 2004 historical epic, Troy.
According to a Pinkvilla report, the actor was supposed to play Briseis, but turned the part down because she was uncomfortable filming certain scenes. The role eventually went to Rose Byrne. Troy was a major box office success, which went on to make close to $500 million worldwide, and was nominated for one Academy Award.
In 2012, while promoting his film Killing Them Softly, Troy star Brad Pitt expressed regret that he couldn’t get a chance to work with Aishwarya. He told IANS, “Given a chance, I would like to work with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, because she’s a versatile actor. She is one of the most popular actresses of Bollywood, who has achieved huge acclaim in the west for her style, beauty and acting. I think we missed an opportunity to be cast together for Troy.”
Troy wasn’t the only big-ticket Hollywood project, starring a major actor, that Aishwarya turned down. The actor was in talks for Will Smith projects such as Hitch, Seven Pounds and Tonight He Comes. In a 2008 interview to IANS, she said 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.”
Like Pitt, Will Smith was also regretful: “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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