Monday, February 21, 2011

Aishwarya Rai, the eighth wonder of the world

“The eighth wonder of the world”, lyricist Vairamuthu aptly described her in the song "Poovukkul", and he seems to have had a vision of the future then. Currently Aishwarya Rai is working with Rajanikanth for the big budget Tamil film Endhiran (Robot), for the song sequence of which Aish and Rajanikanth have been at Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, is often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas" constructed around 1462. On July 7, 2007, Machu Picchu was voted as one of New Open World Corporation's New Seven Wonders of the World. Endhiran, directed by S. Shankar, will be the first Indian movie to be filmed at Machu Picchu.

In S. Shankar's Jeans (1998), the song "Poovukkul", written by Vairamuthu, dubbing Aishwarya Rai as the "eighth wonder of the world", comparing her to Seven Wonders of the World. Machu Picchu was not in the earlier Seven Wonders of the World and in fact, as she was praised, it is the eighth and befits her to be at Machu Picchu being filmed for Endhiran.

The 35-year-old former Miss India (1994), Aishwarya Rai (also known as Aish, Ash, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Aishwarya Bachchan), made her debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil film, Iruvar (1997) alongside Mohanlal. After her flop debut Hindi film Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, she turned again to Tamil films acting in S. Shankar's Jeans (1998), which also was her first commercial success. Aishwarya Rai’s next Tamil film was Kandukondain Kandukondain, alongside Mammooty, Ajith Kumar and Tabu.

Also Aishwarya Bachchan is co-starring with Vikram in Mani Ratnam's next film, Ashokavanam, also being made in Hindi with the title Raavan, with Abhishek Bachchan in the lead. In 2007 she appeared in Mani Ratnam's Hindi movie Guru.

Aishwarya Rai’s first commercially successful Bollywood film, which also had one of her most memorable performances, was Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) opposite Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan. The story was spun around Rai's character, Nandini, who is forced to marry Devgan's character despite being in intimate love with another man (Salman Khan). She won her first Filmfare Best Actress Award for the film.

Another of her memorable performances was as the master thief Sunehri in the Bollywood blockbuster Dhoom 2 with Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu and Uday Chopra. The film also sparked a controversy for her kissing scenes with Hrithik Roshan. She is also set to appear opposite Hrithik Roshan in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's next film.

Her international projects include Bride and Prejudice alongside Martin Henderson, Mistress of Spices alongside Dylan McDermott, Provoked alongside Naveen Andrews, The Last Legion alongside Sir Ben Kingsley, Colin Firth and Thomas Sangster, and The Pink Panther 2.

Some of Aishwarya Bachchan’s hit films are Devdas, Dhoom 2, Mohabbatein, Guru and Jodhaa Akbar, and some of her flops are Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, Dil Ka Rishta, Kuch Na Kaho, Shabd, and Umrao Jaan.

Aishwarya Rai had previously dated Bollywood stars Salman Khan and Vivek Oberoi. On April 20, 2007 she married Abhishek Bachchan.

Aishwarya Rai appeared on the cover of Time magazine, Asia Edition in 2003 and in 2004 she was Time magazine’s one of the “World's 100 Most Influential People". In October 2004 a wax figure of Rai was put on display in Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, London.

In 2005 Aishwarya Rai became a global brand ambassador of perfumes and cosmetics giant L'Oreal along with Andie Macdowell, Eva Longoria Parker and Penelope Cruz. Rai became the first Indian to appear on Late Show with David Letterman, and she was the first Bollywood star to appear on Oprah's "Women Across the Globe". In 2005, Harpers and Queen's list of “10 Most Beautiful Women in The World” ranked Aishwarya Rai at the 9th position.

In 2003 Aishwarya Rai became the first Indian actress to be a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2009 Rai was awarded the Padma Shri for her contributions to Indian cinema.

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