Aishwarya said, “We have a series of premieres lined up beginning with the one in New York on February 3. From there, it’s a crazy whirlwind trip that will take me to several countries and continents from Paris to Berlin to Moscow to Madrid. Abhishek is with me in New York. But he won’t be able to accompany me for my other premieres because he has to be in India for the promotion of Delhi 6. The final destination of my 15-day trip will take me to the screening of the film at the Berlin film festival. Then I get back to resume Mani Ratnam’s film.”
However, Aishwarya’s big day on the international platform is gloomy. A section of the press has been writing about how minuscule Aishwarya’s role is in Pink Panther 2. Aishwarya reasoned, “It’s a bit silly and exhausting to even talk about the length of my role based on what is seen in the trailers. Did anyone question my role in Khakee, when there was only one shot of me in the promo? Isn’t that a very myopic view of contemporary acting? And I thought I had transcended this footage fetish in my first film Iruvar (1997).”
Aishwarya makes it crystal clear that footage is not a burning issue for her. She elaborated, “The choices I have made in my career aren’t just about footage but an opportunity to work with actors, directors and technicians who enrich my life. I didn’t work in Pink Panther 2 only because it was an international project. It was a wonderful experience working with a stalwart like Steve Martin and the rest of the cast and crew.”
“Of course, Pink Panther is a Steve Martin vehicle. Is that s o m e - thing to question? All the rest of the wonderful cast including Jean Reno and Andy Garcia play supporting roles. I treasure the experience of working in Pink Panther 2. Why spoil it by questioning how much footage I have? So many Indian actors have worked in international ensemble casts.”
Meanwhile Aishwarya is all set to team up with the one director she has always wanted to work with — Vishal Bhardwaj the project will go into production at the end of the year.
Aishwarya said, “Vishal and I have wanted to work together ever since he was the music composer of a project that got shelved. We had promised one another that I would star in his film whenever he turned director.”
Vishal had offered Aishwarya a film called Timbuctoo, right after his directorial debut in the children’s film Makdee (2002), but that got shelved. The actor recollected, “I was very impressed with Vishal’s work. But he insisted that we would work together only when he found the right project.”
Interestingly, 2009 will mean a flurry of activity for Aishwarya, what with her giving the nod to new films with Rituparno Ghosh, Abhinay Deo and Vipul Shah.
And, as par media reports, the glam gal could also go the Munna Bhai way. Samajwadi Party workers and leaders in Bihar have decided to offer Ash the party ticket. When we quizzed her about joining politics Ash quickly brushed aside the rumours “Rumours seems to precede me its impossible to keep up with them I have already confirmed to media about not contesting elections there is no truth to these rumours” Ashiwarya confirmed.
What you make of this debate that perhaps west still tends to see India in stereotype. What’s your opinion on whole debate surrounding Slumdog Millionaire?
“Firstly I did like to congratulate the whole team for the accolades that they are receiving because it’s just a film. I don’t know why everything gets dissected I am very happy for Rehman, a talent we have always been proud of has been given the awards and he deserves it.”
Lately its being raining awards on Ash but the green-eyed Bollywood beauty seems to be holding an umbrella! It seems that more than the Government of India’s recognition of her distinguished contribution to cinema, Aishwarya is tickled by husband Abhishek’s acknowledgement of her Padma Shri.
When the civilian honours were announced, Bachchan Jr was shooting in Orcha near Jhansi and Aishwarya was in Chennai. And from there he sent his lovely wife a bouquet of flowers with an affectionately penned note. “It was addressed to Padma Shrimati,” said Aishwarya with a peal of laughter.