Interview exclusive d’ Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Translated from a French interview with Aishwarya…
The Martinez Hotel hosts for many years L’Oréal and studio includes various lounges for interviews, makeup muses and their preparation spaces for photographs and interviews.
Aishwarya Bachchan wears a dazzling red lips L’Oréal number 430 and advance in a muslin pants together cream. His pants had little grounds for tigers with some very discreet golden touches. The pictures are on the terrace under a blazing sun and it offers to return to the lounge for the interview to put everyone at ease.
Its natural and its very directness enable each journalist to take its place easily. One feels that she appreciates those moments and lends itself with charm and enthusiasm, as demand for more a journalist?
First question, with L’Oreal what kind of message do you want to go to the world?
Well, the L’Oreal slogan is very clear, saying, “We are worth much, you’re worth it” here that says it all, and this is one of the main reasons why I am pleased to be associated L’Oréal. I like the fact that L’Oréal encourages women in science. We are sponsoring female education, we are working on projects to facilitate the empowerment of women, educating, we have training programs in the fields of aesthetics, makeup, hairstyle. When women receive training, they have the opportunity to emerge from their cocoons and start their own personal business! This is what gives them power.
And confidence also …
Absolutely! There is also the new forum, the celebration trophies Women of Worth . It’s fantastic because we really are highlighting women who make such a remarkable social work! And it is important for them to be recognized, to be rewarded and applauded by many people as possible. This is a huge project we are working with L’Oreal, but it’s also a great cosmetic brand that allows women to enjoy some form of art.
I’d like to talk about your career. What is the movie which you are most proud of?
Most proud of? (Cry of reflection)
I have known you by Devdas , (yes) then I discovered Jodhaa Akbar (ohhhh) and Dhoom 2 (laughs) and I saw Raincoat in which you offered us a great performance (oh thank you) and is rather next to the art house cinema …
Yes done for me, what is important is happiness to vary the movie styles. Take the examples you just gave, what’s great is the opportunity to play women who are so different. So on one side we Devdas , what I like to call a “Opus Magnum” ( a Great Work, ed ). It’s like a beautiful, huge painting, a fabulous display of culture, color, creativity at the height of his form, music, songs, dance. What people identify as the essence of Indian cinema in the content, in the visual and auditory experience. On the other hand, I had the chance to shoot a historical film, Jodhaa Akbar , but with the film language of a director like Ashutosh Gowarikar, that is to say very large, ostentatious as should historical films. On the other hand it very subtle with nuanced performance that still give a realistic side in this particular genre, typical of this director. Then there are films like Dhoom 2 which amount to a film of the kind of Fast and Furious . It was so different …
Ah yes, with action …
Yes, and dance and perfect body and sexy clothes, so it’s a completely different environment. It’s good to have the opportunity to play a character like that. And then there are films like Choker Bali and Raincoat with Ritu-da ( Rituparno Ghosh, audios ) or Iruvar , Guru and Raavanan with Mani Ratnam , HDDCS , Devdas and Guzaarish with Sanjay ( Leela Bhansali, audios ). These are directors who do such different things in their own unique creative space.
You shot three or four movies with Sanjay Leela Bhansali I interviewed there two years.
Yes! Oh! When he was in Paris to Padmavati ? ( opera he has directed for the Châtelet theater in 2008, editor’s note )
No, I went to India two years ago.
Oh really? It was after Guzaarish so.
Yes, it was at the time of Raam Leela . We can say that you have worked with him!
I have worked with all these directors and I love having been more varied experiences, so as you can see I am unable to choose a favorite movie!
Sanjay Leela Bhansali sees you as a goddess.
This is a very dear friend and he did not stop bothering me with this film. He kept saying that he did it on purpose to look a lot like the character Leela Aishwarya in HDDCS (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam) and I thanked him for that. He kept laughing and saying, “You know I do not get you out of my head so I invented a new character but that is like the one we created together a few years ago.” He also told me “you became mother, good for you, but I miss you and now, Leela is there.” I find it so cute! It’s so special when a director tells me that kind of thing lovely and Sanjay is a great friend, a great director, I have always loved working with him.
Let me ask you a question about the place of women in Indian cinema because two years ago I had the opportunity to interview Zoya Akhtar (oh, she’s a friend!) and said it was difficult for an actress in India because the filmmakers want young and new actresses very quickly and therefore experienced actresses increasingly hard to get roles.
But it is a director so she should instead think about how to change this situation! This is a close friend, when I go back I will speak to him and tell him that instead of shrug and say it is difficult, it must do something to change that! She does not play with this cliché, period! Here is your answer!
There are more and more films that have the main characters of women, as Queen , Kahani …
Well, you know, I think it is time that the films are seen as films. I wish we did not have to define … you know what I mean? We are forced to do this because of marginalization or preconceived ideas, these little quiet revolutions or rebellions that people keep talking … but I look forward to the day when we no longer have to speak of “subject feminine “as a genre. This should just be the film, a film that must be seen. For example, Queen was a movie itself enjoyed by everyone, not just women. Kangana ( Ranault, audios ) has received praise for his performance, and the director, who is a man, was applauded for the film he did and that’s all, that’s how it should be! As I said, Zoya is a friend, a wife and what is more fulfilling, and if this is really what she believes, then it must initiate change and not play on stereotypes.
Sometimes I fear that people think that I completely delirious, but I have no idea how long I spent in the movie business. It’s been a while and I certainly had a wonderful and successful years. They are just flown by working with different directors, experimenting all film genres. To be honest throughout my pregnancy, I received scripts and the only thing I can say is that the ease and freedom that writers and directors may have with me surely is that I broke snapshots from my first film. I did not need to pretend in the different phases of my life. I did Dhoom 2 after 10-year career, this was not my first film. My first film was Iruvar that may be deemed genuine cinema. I played the roles of mature women, women wearing the sari ( ie “serious”, audios ) from the beginning of my career, and I’ve done the Regional and independent cinema in the beginning, but also after Devdas . There really was a mix. I played a mature woman like Sofia in Guzaarish Sanjay Leela Bhansali, that before I became mother. It is a very mature character, like that I interpreted in Raavanan then I went to a very light film like Action Replayy and commercial cinema with Robot .
So in my opinion, if you know from the start dose, then you can not be categorized, locked in a role. You will not hear “this actress can play a glamorous role it can play a girl or a more adult role,” and when one gets a little older, you do not feel any stress to play different roles because ‘was done from the start. This kind of thing is built into the minds of filmmakers about me, so I am very grateful for the films I have chosen from the beginning of my career because today I do not have to worry about this stage my life and creative work for me. For me it is not a revolution, because I had this kind of proposals there ten years, there has even five years. I found in the scripts that I get since I am a mother the same ideas as those in which I received it five years ago.
My next question is about your new movie Jazbaa . It is presented, and finally a small portion is presented here in Cannes .
Yes it was in Variety ( magazine famous movie at Cannes, ed ) the other day and tomorrow there was another presentation that I really hope you will come. It is a Sanjay Gupta film he talks me long enough …
Is this is a turning point in your career to play a lawyer?
Not really, I know it will be perceived that way, but that’s the role of a strong woman that I could play there some years. As the main character is a mother, today is more real to me … in fact, there was just some things that become more real in our work with our own experiences and it is extraordinary. It’s really a strong role on an interesting and complex subject.
One approaches the thriller?
Yes indeed, especially because it is the preferred language of film for Sanjay Gupta. There thrilling aspects, which does not prevent a strong and serious content. We are so happy the cast together, we have actors like Irrfan Khan or Shabana-ji ( Shabana Azmi , ed ) that will allow to bring the voice of the truth about.
Have you finished filming?
I only have a small turning sequence in June but we got more than half of the film.
Will he European filmmakers you would like to work and turn voudriez- you in France? I know you shot in Switzerland and we are very jealous because France is next door!
I’d love to! In fact we came a few times over the years for very short sequences, and have always loved it. In fact Thierry ( Fremaux, general delegate of the Cannes Festival, ed ) can not stop asking me if I would not do a French film and I replied that I would really like that. God willing!
Thank you a lot!
Interview collected by Brigitte Leloire Kérackian
Cannes Film Festival 2015, May 18
English translation by Kendra.