Aishwarya and AbhishekThe Ash season has started in right earnest. After Umrao Jaan and Dhoom last year , it’s Mani Rathnam’s Guru. “I’ve Provoked and The Last Legion coming up one after another early this year. So between now and March I’ve four more releases. Is that too much of me?” she laughs musically, undeterred by the tepid response to Umrao Jaan.

“It was a great role, and working with J.P. Dutta was truly a joy. According me the film was everything it was meant to be…In Umrao one didn’t get to see the same me as Devdas or Taal. Again in Dhoom 2, Guru and Provoked audiences will get to see me playing distinct characters.”

The reluctant queen of controversies has said yes to two new films in 2007. One is Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar 2 and the other is a film to be produced by Karan Johar and directed his assistant Tarun Mansukhani. Both will pair her with Abhishek Bachchan again

“There’re other projects that I’m on the verge of signing this year. Very interesting scripts that I’ll most probably say yes to. But at the moment I’m having the time of my life shooting for Jodha-Akbar. Ashutosh Gawariker is not just a meticulous director but also a very sweet and sincere human –being.”

According to Gulzar Saab who wrote the lyrics , Aishwarya has never looked more beautiful than she does in Guru. “That’s so sweet. It’s a very simple middleclass look. In Guru I got to work with my guru again. If you remember I started my career with Mani Rathnam in Iruvar. Now after ten years we’re back together again. Guru has been a very very special experience.”

Ask her if she supports Abhishek’s performance in Guru just as he supported her performance in Umrao Jaan, and she protests, “I don’t know if ‘support’ is the right word. We’ve both worked with full commitment in both films, regardless of the length of our roles. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Abhishek in two such different films. When we were doing Umrao Jaan talks were on for Guru. We’d keep smiling about the irony of it. I was working with Abhishek’s first director and mentor for the first time. And he was working with Mani Sir who’s my first director. There was a huge comfort level on both the sets.”

Ash goes into a flashback. “JP was among the filmmakers who had called, asking to launch me…As luck would have it I was launched by Rahul Rawail in Aur..Pyar Ho Gaya. And never mind if it didn’t do well. We had a blast making that film. I remember Mr Subhash Ghai saying that the best thing to have happened to the beginning of my career was Aur …Pyaar Ho Gaya because thereafter there was only one way to go. Everyone needs to go through the grind.”

And now Ash is fully into Jodha-Akbar. “I’m doing a bit of sword-fighting and horse-riding. I’ve done some sword-fighting for The Last Legion. I’m enjoying my first Indian historical. … Umrao Jaan was different. It was a costume drama, yes. But look at the amount of attention we’ve paid to the costumes in Dhoom 2. Would you call that a costume drama? Detailing is as important to Umrao Jaan as Dhoom 2. In the latter I’ve got a new hair-stylist and hair-desser to give my character a new look. Sunehri was as much a first in my career as Umrao.”

Ash finds the roles coming her way very challenging. “I’ve been around for ten years and there’s still something new to bring to the table every time.” As for the question that’s looming large over her life, Ash sighs deeply, “I’m a normal girl. And I do believe in the institution of marriage . As a normal girl I’m definitely looking forward to marriage in my life. It’ll be a joyous occasion for me, and one that I’d like to share with everyone. But please wait for the announcement and do not make assumptions.”

Source: Indiafm

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