Aishwarya Bachchan is the highest paid actress in India. Before tying the knot with actor Abhishek Bachchan, the whole country knew her as Aishwarya Rai. She was born on November 1st, 1973. She is the daughter-in-law of the most successful Indian actor ever-superstar Amitabh Bachchan. She is currently aged 33.
Aishwarya was crowned Miss World in the year 1994. She has also acted in Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and English films. She was born in Mangalore, Karnataka. Her parents are Krishnaraj Rai, a marine engineer and Vrinda Rai, a writer. She heralds from the Bunt community of Mangalore.
Aishwarya has done her schooling from Arya Vidya Mandir at Santacruz, Mumbai. She has done her college from Ruparel College in Matunga. Aishwarya was enthusiastic about being an architect when modeling came her way. In fact, she used to do modeling part-time. Aishwarya’s strikingly beautiful face and her lithe figure charmed many as she featured in advertisements and got noticed. She participated in the 1994 Miss India Contest, and was crowned Miss World, second to Sushmita Sen who was Miss Universe. Films were the next logical steps with producers making a beeline to have the beautiful Aishwarya Rai in their films.
Aishwarya dated two Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Vivek Oberoi. The relationship with both the actors ran into rough weather. Aishwarya did not approve of Salman Khan’s alleged volatile behaviour. There were also reports of Salman afflicting physical abuse on her. As a result, she walked out of the relationship. The media then had field day writing about the relationship of Aishwarya Rai and Vivek Oberoi. Though Vivek was much in love with Aishwarya, she never approved of him talking about the relationship in the media. There were rumours of the relationship dying down and it did following the super-flop Kyon Ho Gaya Na. The movie was quite aptly titled because after all it was the case of ‘Kyon..Flop Ho Gaya Na.”
Soon after the relationship ended with Vivek Oberoi, there were rumors of a relationship brewing between Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan. Soon the rumors and speculations were laid to rest when a formal engagement between the two was announced on January 14, 2007. It is believed that Aishwarya always had a soft corner for Abhishek, which nurtured into love, that later culminated into marriage. The run-up from the engagement to the marriage was the hot topic with media in the first half of 2007. It is said that the marriage of Abhi-Ash was the biggest celebrity event in 2007. The marriage however was a private event at the famous Bachchan bungalow ‘Prateeksha’ where only a chosen few attended.
Aishwarya debuted in Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film ‘Iruvar’ where she starred with Mohanlal. She entered Bollywood only to make a debacle out of her debut film, ‘Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya(also known informally as ‘Aur Flop Ho Gaya and Aur Public So Gaya). Her third film ‘Jeans’ in Tamil which was latter dubbed into Hindi was a commercial success and critically acclaimed. The Hindi dubbed version was a super flop. You can safely say that Aishwarya’s ‘Jeans’ tore when the critics ripped them apart. Producer Shanker’s(Shrunker’s) Jeans did not impress the Oscar jurists because they only wear tuxedos. Jokes apart, Aishwaya’s Jeans still got her first Filmfare Best Actress Award for the same film. Aishwayra Rai had two more superhits Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and for Taal in the same year. She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
Aishwarya Rai was on and off Hindi films, appearing for a short role in Mohabbatein in the year 2000. She played herself in the film-a plastic ghost! Mohabbatein was a Hindi version of Casper, the lovable ghost. The same year, she was in ‘Josh’ as Shahrukh’s twin sister in Josh. Aishwarya resurfaced as ‘Paro’ in the 2002 hit Devdas, one of the most costly movies of recent times, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the bearded maverick. Aishwarya again won the Best Actress award Filmfare award in Devdas. The film was a turning point in her career when Devdas was screened at Cannes Film Festival. The western world began to take notice of her beauty and talent. Soon Aishwarya found herself delving her fingers in some Hollywood projects. The year 2003 saw Aishwarya Rai featuring in a critically acclaimed Bengali film Choker Bali, an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Rabindranth Tagore.
The Time Magazine in 2004 chose Aishwarya Rai as one of the "100 Most Influential People." Aishwarya had the ‘time’ to appear as the cover face of the Time Magazine in 2003. Aishwarya Rai was also the guest on the Late Show with David Letterman and 60 Minutes Profile. She was also the guest on Oprah’s “Women Across the Globe.
Aishwarya Rai starred in Raincoat in the year 2004. The ‘Raincoat’ was drenched wet in the box-office. In the same year, Aishwarya Rai did a negative role in ‘Khakee,’ which till date, some believe is her best performance. She also did a tri-lingual movie ‘Bride and Prejudice,’ based on Jane Austen’s novel ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ The film did not work in India as people do not appreciate a pseudo-English film parading as cross-over. People cross over from such theatres and love their Aishwarya doing her usual song and dance, which she did quite successfully in ‘Kajra Re’ the superhit item number from the film Bunty and Babli. Bunty and Babli released in 2005 featured Aishwarya Rai as an item girl in the item song but incidentally it was the main stay of the film. Though the movie was about two thieves, Aishwarya ‘stole’ all the limelight.
The same year in 2005, she did Bunty and Babli, Aishwarya also starred in one of her biggest debacles, Shabd. This movie matched the caliber of the other superflop blunder Kyon Ho Gaya Na. The critics had no words to say for Shabd and audiences felt snubbed. It is such an irony that Aishwayra did Shabd and her father in law did ‘Nishabd’ in 2007. Aishwarya had quite a few steamy scenes with Sanjay Dutt, but the only thing ‘stiff’ was the box office response. Aishwarya Rai had three releases in 2006-Mistress of Spices, Umrao Jaan and Dhoom 2. Mistress of Spices was bland and Umrao Jaan was another colossal failure. Dhoom 2 showcased Aishwarya Rai in a pencil slim new look. However though the film was one of the biggest hits of 2006 and a boost to Aishwarya’s career, she did not exactly receive rave reviews. It was a Hrithik Roshan movie all the way and people cringed on seeing a malnourished Aishwarya Rai.
The year 2007 began with a bang for Aishwarya Rai both on the personal as well as professional note. Her performance in Guru, a biopic loosely based on Dhirubhai Ambani, the first big release of 2007 was widely appreciated by both the critics as well as the audience.
Though the movie mentioned above are some of the noteworthy films of Aishwarya Rai, there were a lot of movie which would have reduced her career to nothing short of ‘ash.’ Some of the forgettable turkies were Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke, 23rd March 1931: Shaheed, Hum Kisise Kum Nahin, Dil Ka Rishta, Kuch Na Kaho, and Albela.
Aishwarya Rai has been a familiar face at the Cannes Film Festival since 2002. She was also a jury member at Cannes in 2003. Aishwaya Rai has also earned the distinction of being waxed eloquent, as her wax statue was carved on display in London’s Madame Tussaud's wax museum. It can be aptly said that the plastic figure was recreated into a wax model. Her first Hollywood film ‘The Last Legion’ was released in Netherlands and in Russia in April 2007. The film is supposed to hit theatres in August 2007