Dressed impeccably in her couture gowns, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan cuts a perfect picture at the Cannes Film Festival year after year. But unlike earlier, in tow, this time, is her three-year-old daughter Aaradhya Bachchan who has been attracting her share of clicks too, as she accompanies her celebrity mother around town — something Ash has mixed feelings about.
Talking to us from the festival, Ash says, “I used to initially wonder what she must be making of the media around her. What she must be thinking every time we walked out of an airport or got surrounded by the media. But this is normal for her. She is born to believe that this is life. However, the mother in me will always be protective about her. Whenever we’re surrounded by paparazzi, I get extra protective to ensure that she isn’t affected by the ruckus around — it is a natural instinct that’ll always be there. But it is certainly interesting to see how, as she grows up, her perception of things will evolve.”
Coming back to Cannes, the film festival holds a special place in her heart for reasons more than one. “Aaradhya completed six months here. Also, my mother’s birthday is in the same month, and I am invariably here to celebrate it. It does have a personal mother-daughter connection,” she says.
This time around, Ash is in Cannes to promote her film Jazbaa. The first look of the film was unveiled at the festival. But the actress isn’t too happy about it being touted as her comeback film. “I had signed Mani Ratnam’s film last year, but that did not get made for technical reasons. Meanwhile, Jazbaa happened and it became the first. I wanted Mani Ratnam’s film to be the first because it is based on a very strong subject. I spoke to him recently and he said that he plans to revisit it.”
Meanwhile, after years of playing hide and seek with Karan Johar, Ash has finally agreed to work in his upcoming film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. “I would have said yes to Karan all along, but my schedule never permitted me. Since I have just gotten back to working in films, I have the time to prepare a schedule. Since the time I joined the industry, I have always juggled four films on an average, which is why I never could accommodate Karan’s film,” she tells us, explaining why she couldn’t be part of blockbusters Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and Dostana — all of which were first offered to her.