Birth date: 1st November
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
"Aishwarya Rai is one of Bollywood's pre-eminent leading ladies. This
Indian darling burst upon the world stage when her striking beauty,
poise and commanding intelligence won her the Miss World crown in 1994.
This former architecture major soon became one of India's most famous
models landing a prestigious Pepsi campaign and appearing in Vogue
Magazine. India's top Bollywood directors were soon lining up to work
with Ash. Her film debut in Mani Rathnam's 'Iruvar' (1997) received
critical acclaim and her performance in Rahul Rawail's '…Aur Paar Ho
Gaya' (1997) garnered her the Best Female Debutante Award. In 2000 she
was awarded Best Actress by FilmFare and Zee Cine for her work in Sanjay
Leela Bhansali's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam", in that same year, nominated
for Best SUPPORTING Actress for her special appearance in Aditya
Chopra's MOHABBATEIN. In 2001 Ash was nominated for FilmFare's Best
Actress Award for Satish Kaushik's "Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai".
Ash's star continued to rise in 2002 working again with Sajay Leela Bhansali in 'Devdas'. 'Devdas' is the most ambitious and most successful film in Bollywood history. It became the first Bollywood picture to ever receive a special screening at this year's Cannes Film Festival and broke box-office records in India and the United States. Daily Variety's (06/12/02) Derek Elley describes 'Devdas' as "…some of the most sumptuous production values in Bollywood history…" Elley describes Ash as "almost Audrey Hepburn-like", Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann says "I loved her in Devdas" and Julia Roberts calls her "the world's most beautiful woman."
Ms. Rai has not made very many appearances on AoM, but she's made plenty of headlines in the States. Out of all of the recent generation of Bollywood actors, Aishwarya is getting the most attention here in the U.S. She has a few Hollywood productions in the works, as well as keeping busy back home. Here's hoping that she can balance both.
I am increasingly pleased with her work. The first couple of films I saw her in, she did not have as much opportunity to show off her talent as an actress. Luckily the more recent films have capitalized on her acting ability and offered her more challenging roles. She's an amazing dancer and looks incredible, but as luck would have it she can carry a tough role with the best of them.
No doubt we all will be seeing a lot more of her in the years ahead.