Over the years, one thing that always remained constant in Aishwarya Rai’s life is her admiration for Mani Ratnam. About 22 years ago, Aishwarya Rai had a bemused look when she first came face-to-face with Mani Ratnam. Rajiv Menon had introduced her to Ratnam. Cinematographer Menon was a good friend of Ratnam, who made headlines in Tamil cinema at that time.
She has worked on a number of ad movies with Rajiv and played Roja’s music during one of the shoots. She fell in love with the tunes even before it was published. Rajiv knew how big an admirer Aishwarya was of Ratnam’s work, and when he told her she was approached for a script, she thought he was pulling her leg.
Mani Ratnam shared some thoughts about Iruvar when Aishwarya walked into his office. He had the wisdom to tell her if she would do it. To Aishwarya Rai back then, it was like sitting in front of a teacher and listening to him. She just knew this was the perfect place to begin her work as an actor. She has no prior training. No one ever had any connection with the film industry in her life. She was excited about it, and she realized that this was where she had to start when she met Mani Ratnam.
The actress will be a part of the Ponniyin Selvan’s filmmaker’s magnum opus. It is rumoured that in the screen adaptation of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s historical Tamil book, she will play the antagonist. Sources say that Aishwarya Rai will be seen in a dual role in the upcoming film Ponniyin Selvan.
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