“I don’t know how many box office hits I have”
After “Raavan”, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan stars in another bilingual “Endhiran” in Tamil and “Robot” in Hindi -- opposite Tamil superstar Rajnikanth.
In a recent interview the actress talked about the big budget film, working with Rajnikanth and more:
Rajnikanth is almost the age of your father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan. And you are romancing him on screen.
Aishwarya: When I started my career, I worked in “Iruvar” (with Mohanlal) and tried to dispel all the conventions about acting at the very beginning of my career. I did not take up “Iruvar” and “Jeans” because I was not getting work in Hindi films. I did them because I genuinely respected those filmmakers and the kind of movies they make.
I am not in the industry to become a standard heroine for someone, or to belong to some camp.
Shankar has proved himself as a director. Everybody knows his work and vision. I am very happy with the outcome. Rajni Sir is a legend. It is truly wonderful working with him.
How much does a film's failure affect you, especially one where you worked hard, like “Raavan”?
Aishwarya: We try to do new things every time. We don't know what will work. If we know the winning formula and keep making only that kind of movies, then creatively it won't be as exciting for everyone who belongs to the world of cinema.
We are entertainers and our biggest verdict is from the audience. We are obviously open to their criticism and strive to entertain the next time. When you set about to make a film, nobody ever dreams that the vision will not be accepted. The important part is to make that effort and not slide back.
I have played so many characters so far and I don't know how many box office hits I have. I am fortunate my career is not charted literally by numbers or box office results.
How different is your character in “Robot”?
Aishwarya: In one year I got to work in four very different films. I got to do “Raavan” and “Raavanan”, “Robot”, “Action Replayy” and “Guzaarish”. As an actor, it's very exciting. I haven't been part of the conventional commercial genre. So for me in that sense it is new to do a livewire character of someone who is bubbly and fun through the film. “Robot” is an entertaining movie.
What was the best thing about working with Rajnikanth?
Aishwarya: Just like all of you, I have seen his work and have read about his work. I have read how fascinated his viewers are. I have seen how enthralled his audiences are. He is full-on entertaining and to see that in person every single day and to see how simply he does it has been an experience. He comes regularly to the sets with such humility and quietly surprises and fascinates us during the shots, it brings a smile to your face.
Will you ever do a small budget film?
Aishwarya: True, I have done a lot of big budget films. But at the same time, I have also done “Chokher Bali” and “Raincoat”, which had conservative budgets. So I think this question is redundant. I don't say yes to a movie asking the budget of the film. My criteria of saying yes to a film are the director, the script, and the character.