Regarded widely as the epitome of beauty and glamour, actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan says she wanted to be known more for her performance than looks.
The former Miss World, 41, who is making a comeback to the big screen after five years with “Jazbaa”, said there was a perception in people’s mind that she will opt for glamorous role but she preferred otherwise.
“When I chose to start my career with ‘Iruvar’, I genuinely believed I was liberating myself as an actor. I came to the industry after Miss World, modelling… There was obvious perception that ‘Aishwarya Rai means glamour’.
“So when I chose to work with Mani Ratnam in a south Indian film like ‘Iruvar’, which had Mohanlal, Revathi, Tabu, I wanted to be free as an artist. I didn’t want to be in the mould of perception… I wanted to be free from this perception,” she told reporters here during the promotion of the film in the capital.
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In the Sanjay Gupta-directed film, which releases this Friday, Aishwarya plays a doting mother of a girl child.
The mother of one took insights from her real life to portray the character of Anuradha Verma.
“There was no apprehension of playing a mother. I would have chosen this film five years ago too but the difference is today I am a mother. So, I am playing Anuradha Verma in a given situation, I do know what a mother is experiencing. I have brought the truth towards acting through this film.”
Asked whether it was a challenge to strike a balance between motherhood and professional commitments, the “Guzaarish” actress said, “Every working woman, every mother has her own challenge to multitask. It brings a certain joy which is difficult to put to words but if you think I am looking content, it means I have found my balance.”
The actress said she did not have any inhibition of taking a long break from films to raise her three-year-old daughter Aaradhya.
“I am a very committed mother, and professional. So only when I knew that I can balance both, I took up ‘Jazbaa’.”
However, the actress does not like to label the film as her comeback project.
“Honestly, I don’t feel like I was gone anywhere. I became a mother and during that time, through advertisements, endorsements and social work, I was always in touch with fans.
“Though I wasn’t working in cinema but I really didn’t feel that I was away. So, I didn’t realise the time that has gone by.”