When Aishwarya Rai deftly handled Oprah Winfrey's query on 'sex out of marriage'. Watch
- Much before Priyanka Chopra created waves across the world, it was Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who reigned supreme. Watch her 2004 Oprah Winfrey interview here.
Well before Priyanka Chopra became the flag bearer of the Indian way of life in the US, there was another Indian global star who made heads turn - Aishwarya Rai. As Priyanka prepares to come on celebrity chat show host Oprah Winfrey, Aishwarya has appeared in the early 2000s and done it well.
Aishwarya had deftly fielded questions on a range of topics that Westerners find odd about Indians. She spoke about sexuality, arranged marriages, the English language, perceptions of American women in India, and skin colour.
Aishwarya Rai appeared on Oprah’s show back in 2005 and was asked about kissing in public. She said: “It’s not really a familiar sight. People kiss, but it doesn’t happen around the street corner. It’s a more private expression of emotion, so I guess art imitates life and that comes across in our cinema.”
Oprah then asked her if 'sex out of marriage' was a norm and whether it was taboo. Aishwarya said: "Broadly speaking, it isn't the good thing to do."
She was also asked about some of the most common misconceptions she faced as an Indian. Aishwarya said it had to do with her ability to speak in English and the fact that she lives with her parents. She said people would often ask her if she had studied abroad to be able to speak the language so well. “Why would people think that we don’t study English? And that kind of took me aback and really shocked me," she confessed.
On the topic of staying with her parents, Oprah told her how in the US, if at 30, parents were living to throw them out. “In India, it’s more about the family, about living together and remaining connected, and that’s probably the most special thing," Aishwarya said.
Speaking arranged marriages, she explained: "Arranged marriages in urban India would be like a global dating service where the families study each other’s backgrounds, and they bring (the) couple together, and they get engaged and they date and if it works they get along with the alliance, and if it doesn’t work they fall out."
Aishwarya returned on Oprah's show again in 2009. Incidentally, in 2004, she had also made Oprah wear a sari while on the show.