Its difficult to imagine that Aishwarya Rai (Bachchan) is in her forties. On her birthday, we track her inspirational journey from winning the Miss World title to working with the biggest names in Bollywood and Hollywood.
Often referred to as the most beautiful woman in the world, Aishwarya Rai has proven that she is still the queen of Bollywood after all these years.
Born: November 1, 1973 (age 45), Mangalore (Karnataka). Zodiac sign (Sun sign): Scorpio. Height: 1.7 m
Born into a Tulu speaking family in Mangalore (Karnataka), Rai made her acting debut in 1997 with Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film Iruvar. She also made her Bollywood debut the same year with Rahul Rawail’s Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, which released on 15 August 1997.
Her film career took off with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Later she played in several memorable films like Devdas (2002), Dhoom (in 2006), Guru (2007) and Provoked. After taking a sabbatical, she made a stunning comeback in Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
Aishwarya Rai Bahchchan has a huge fan following not just in India, but also in foreign countries, and has many friends in Hollywood as well.
Since motherhood, Aishwarya had taken a sabbatical from films but was seen in commercials. She made a comeback with Sanjay Gupta’s Jazbaa (that also starred Irrfan Khan). One of the highest paid actresses in India, Aishwarya Rai Bahchchan was seen opposite Ranbir Kapoor in ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ (she stunned everyone with her bold performance in the film).
Brilliant Quotes by Aishwarya Rai
Top inspirational quotes by Aishwarya Rai to get you through life.
- “Life will take its toll on all of us. We get injured, we get old … Looks are not everything. I am not going to look beautiful all the time.”
Watch: Aishwarya Rai Miss World 1994 Crowning Moment
- “Women in the industry have been exploited very often, but there are some actors who believe that the short cut to stardom is through nudity.”
- “I know for a fact that if there’s a role which I am suited for, I’ll be signed on. I’ll never go begging.”
- “Sexy in India is not considered positive. But, with today’s crop of fresh faces in the modelling arena, being sexy is an asset.”
- “My family is my strength and my weakness.”
- “She (Mother, Brindya Rai) is the nucleus of my existence; who has gently molded me, shaped me, picked me up when I’ve been down, has faith in me and taught me to be the very best version of me that I can be.”
- “God has given me plenty of reasons to smile and I feel it’s time to spread it around.”
Watch: Aishwarya Rai made her debut with the film ‘Jeans’, directed by Shankar
- “Strangely, nothing makes me feel tired, fatigued, at all. I’ve gone days and nights without sleep, and still the mind is in such a positive space it just doesn’t make you feel fatigued.”
- “Many of us are privileged to have opportunities and the confidence in ourselves that assures our safety, but most women in our country do not have that. A lot is being said but a lot more needs to be done about this issue. The day we have definite laws for the wrong doers and immediate punishment to them, that is when things will change.”
- “A lot of actors have kissed before that movie, they continue to kiss on screen till this very minute, but public display is not that common in Indian culture. Even our actors, it’s very rare that actors look comfortable in our cinema on screen kissing.” (On her Dhoom 2 kiss)
- “It’s splendid, it’s inescapable…the bliss is just wonderful. A smile from my daughter and thats it” (Ash on her daughter Aaradhya)
- “I’ve always said that haters are a drop in the ocean. There’s that much more love. Any kind of negativity in any case just doesn’t stick, it drops off and it doesn’t matter. People have given me so much love throughout my career, my life in the public eye, at every phase.”
- “After I got married, for the next two years, I was congratulated everywhere and felt like a new bride. Same goes true for when I was pregnant. Wherever I went, the amount of love I, Abhishek and Aaradhya have received…it’s a blessing to be in this place. I take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone for their love, good wishes, blessings. That’s the real thing, the rest of it is opinion that varies and it doesn’t matter. This is the reality.”
- “When it comes to food, I love my food, I am comfortable with my foods. I have never dieted. Never. I really enjoy food.”
- “Right now, I’m following the Buddhist principle: Smile as abuse is hurled your way and this too shall pass.”
- “This is who I am. I am a mother. This can happen and it has happened with me and it’s fine (weight gain). I’ve never been the one who endorse size zero anyway. You guys speculated I was pregnant way before I actually was. It goes to show that I have lived real life in the public eye. That continues.”
- “I am very, very thankful to Gurinder because that film [Bride and Prejudice] was such a clever piece of work, because there she was adapting an English classic, making it so human and so normal in that very Indian family atmosphere which is so natural to us, and presenting it with what was recognised as very signature Bollywood, bringing the musical aspect – and it was widely appreciated the world over. Wherever I went, people recognised that. I was amazed at the number of people who had given it [an] audience.”
Watch: Aishwarya Rai in The Pink Panther 2 opposite Steve Martin
- “I’d be accused of bias, but worldwide currently Pa [Amitabh Bachchan] is absolutely iconic, he’s celebrated, he’s respected. He definitely is deservedly iconic, and I say this without any bias, and if I am accused of it so be it.”
- “Working with Salman is out of the question. And you can quote me on that.”
Watch: Aishwarya & Salman in Chand Chhupa Badal Mein from – Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
- “I’m not the type who’ll yell about my achievements from the rooftops.”
- “‘Aaradhya’ means ‘one who is worthy of worship’. It was a name both Abhishek and I had always considered, but we threw it open to our extended family.”
- “Elegance is innate…individual…eternal…it stands the test of time!”
Lesser Known Facts About Aishwarya
Here are some little known things about Aishwarya Rai:
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a regular at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, and was even approached to play the host at the 77th Annual Academy awards in 2005. However Aishwarya could not be a part of the Oscars that year as she was busy shooting for the film ‘The Mistress of Spices.
- The actress refused to do a Hollywood film opposite the handsome hunk Brad Pitt in Troy (because of the intimate scenes). Brad Pitt said, “Given a chance, I would like to work with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan because she’s a versatile actor. She is one of the most popular actresses of Bollywood, who has achieved huge acclaim in the west for her style, beauty and acting skills. I think we missed an opportunity to be cast together for the movie Troy.”
Watch: The Pink Panther 2 – Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Interview
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan have appeared together on a talk show with Oprah Winfrey. In 2005, they were the first Indian actors to appear on the show.
Watch: Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan on The Oprah Winfrey Show
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s wax statue exists at the Madame Tussauds museum. She was the first Bollywood actress to have her statue there and joined her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan there.
Also read: Bollywood stars at Madame Tussauds
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had commended the organisers of the international beauty pageant for removing the swimsuit round from their competition, and acknowledged that she herself didn’t have the ‘fittest beach body’ when she was crowned in 1994.
Watch: Aishwarya Rai & Sushmita Sen – Miss Indian Contest (Questions Round)
- In 1994, Aishwarya Rai bagged the second place in Miss India pageant (losing to Sushmita Sen) and went on to be crowned as Miss World. While participating in the Miss World pageant, Aishwarya experienced a rather awkward situation; Richard Steinmetz- the host of the pageant that year, had asked Aishwarya out after she won the title. However Aishwarya politely declined him.
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has turned down several projects during the course of her career, one of them being Karan Johar’s film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. But Aishwarya could not do the film because her dates were already given to Shankar’s ‘Jeans’.
- Madhur Bhandarkar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had an alleged fallout, as Aishwarya backed out of the movie Heroine, because of her pregnancy (the movie was later done by Kareena Kappoor). However, things are normal between the two.
- Aishwarya was at a grocery store with her mother when she was tapped on the shoulder by Rekha, who recognized her from advertisements and also complimented her at that time.
Watch: Aishwarya Rai created a sensation when she first appeared in the Pepsi commercial with Aamir Khan (& Mahima)
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan apparently wanted to pursue medicine and her favourite subject was Zoology. Ash says she never intended to get into the film industry; modeling happened by accident, which was then followed by films.
Also read: Top Salman Khan controversies