Bollywood Princess, Hollywood Hopeful

 

Last October Aishwarya Bachchan grappled with a tough choice. The Bollywood star could either stay in Los Angeles to pursue a lead role in Will Smith’s new film, “Seven Pounds,” or she could return home to Mumbai to celebrate Karva Chauth, a daylong ceremonial fast that some married Hindu women observe as a prayer for their husband’s health and long life. (The observance is a new one for Ms. Bachchan; in April she married Abhishek Bachchan, an actor and the son of the Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan, a union that prompted Time magazine to describe the three as “Bollywood’s Father, Son and Holy Babe.”)

Ultimately Ms. Bachchan chose to return to Mumbai and starve with a smile. National television channels covered her first Karva Chauth as headline news. Two months later she shrugged off her loss in an interview. “You do what you have to do,” she said. “Feeling torn and thereby unhappy, confused or guilty is not something I want to feel. So you make your choices and go with it. You get some and some you don’t.”

This month Ms. Bachchan brings some of that clarity and traditionalism to a role she was born to play: that of Queen Jodhaa in the sumptuous-looking historical drama “Jodhaa Akbar.” The $10 million film is one of Bollywood’s biggest productions this year. It will be released worldwide on Friday, in more than 115 theaters in the United States alone, making it the biggest American release ever for a Hindi film.

(Source: New York Times)


Actors, International Cinema


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