When Aishwarya Rai was asked to imagine she's seducing 5 men for an ad: 'I found that very embarrassing'
- Aishwarya Rai and ad guru Prahlad Kakkar had once revealed that the actor couldn't shoot for the famous Pepsi ad easily.
Before Aishwarya Rai became a popular actor in India and overseas, she was known for her appearances in advertisements. The actor has featured in numerous ads since her modelling days. Her commercial with Pepsi, which also starred Aamir Khan and Mahima Chaudhry, continues to be popular even today.
While it did propel her popularity, Aishwarya Rai had once revealed it was a difficult commercial to shoot. The actor had appeared on late actor Farooq Sheikh's Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai where many people from her personal and professional lives were present. One of them was ad guru Prahlad Kakkar. Speaking about their Pepsi collaboration, in which Aishwarya played the role of Sanjana/Sanju, Prahlad and Aishwarya recalled how tense she was on the sets.
"When this advertisement ended, wherever I travelled in India, from 4-year-olds to 90-year-olds, especially male, would ask me who is Sanju," Prahlad recalled, speaking in Hindi. "I couldn't forgive him, he made me do that red lips and wet hair, I couldn't do it, I had several retakes," Aishwarya chipped in.
"Aishwarya was this little innocent, young thing. I was trying to brief her (about the) posture. I would say pose this way, pose that way (explaining the gestures with his hands), it wasn't happening. She was very awkward and she's saying 'No, I don't like this, what do you want me to do.' I said you have to seduce five men in this room," Prahlad explained.
"I found that very embarrassing," Aishwarya added before Prahlad continued, "She managed." The actor explained, "I was feeling so bad because he had done this and there was Aamir, who is so sincere, so he said I'll stand for cues. So he stands behind the camera and give that look and I was like completely new and completely nervous."
"I'm like, 'No, first of all, he's asking me, he's saying strange things like think you're walking into a room full of men', and I was like 'No, why is he saying these things in front of everybody, I'll get more embarrassed and get it all wrong' and there's Aamir standing there and I think out of the sheer frustration that I can't be taking everybody's time so much and going into so many retakes and it's only going to get worse and his cues are only going to get worse so get it over and done with," she added. Prahlad revealed that Aishwarya took 21 retakes that day.
Almost three decades since the advertisement aired, Aishwarya has starred in numerous movies and commercials. The actor was last seen in 2018's Fanney Khan and is currently working on Ponniyin Selvan.