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chat Aishwarya Rai looks forward to Action Replayy and Guzaarish which are releasing back to back

W ith the recently released “Robot” making waves, Aishwarya Rai talks about what it was like working for the second time with Shankar who directed her for “Jeans” and now “Robot” . As for sharing screen space with Superstar Rajinikanth, she says what struck her was his amazing humility. Excerpts from the interview:

You have three major films — “Robot”, “Action Replayy” and “Guzaarish” — releasing back to back.

It was fun for the last two years while the films were being made. For anyone, that's the most exciting time.

You are the only married actress today who has had a consistent career in Bollywood.

I would like say “thank you” but it won't be right to take delight alone in this compliment. There have been many actors who have continued to work after getting married in different decades. In recent times, it had become a preconceived notion that leading ladies would probably not work after marriage but I never paid attention to this even when I was single. I choose to be in films as a professional.

With Rajinikanth playing the title role in “Robot ”, do you have a substantial role?

When I work on a film I am not myopic about my role; I see the film in its totality. After “Devdas”, I have been on this trip wherein I want to ‘experience' movies. Of course, my part is important; as an actor I have to be excited about my role, but what also counts is the experience of working with the filmmaker and the team.

What did you like best about working with Rajinikanth?

I have seen Rajini sir's work, I have read about it, and seen how enthralled his audiences are with what he does. Many of our colleagues are those with whom we began our careers, but though Rajini sir has experience, he comes on the sets with amazing humility and quietly surprises you with his shots. In Robot, he had so much work every day, including the technical aspects, that it involved another level of commitment. I recognise him as a superstar. But as a person, he is so humble.

Was it difficult to speak in Tamil?

I would take down all the dialogues for the next day and prepare. Fortunately we had an amazing group of assistants. Rajini sir was cute — each time I delivered a dialogue he would remark, ‘What Tamil!' I would respond with, ‘Sir, don't do this.' I was all confidence till he said, ‘What Tamil!'

After Ravaan and Robot you must be quite fluent in Tamil.

I'm far more comfortable about working in Tamil today. I have travelled so much, the language falls easy on my ears; I understand and I respect it and would not risk breaking into a conversation unless I'm with a very forgiving group because on a set you learn dialogues that are already constructed for you. But I'm far more confident now than I was during Iruvar and Jeans, especially the latter.

In Iruvar, my character was not as talkative as both my characters in Jeans were. Tamil was new to me. Those days it was like examination time, but today I am at ease.

Any directors on the wish list?

There are many directors I haven't worked with.

JIGAR SHAH

Bollywood News Service

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