Happy Birthday Aishwarya: Five highlights from her life
Published on November 1, 2020 at 13.37
Miss World 1994: Aishwarya was only 21 when she won the coveted Miss World crown, in a contest that saw participants from 87 countries. She floored the judges with her answer to a question about what qualities a Miss World should embody. "The Miss Worlds that we have had up to date, have been proof enough that they have had compassion. Compassion for the underprivileged and not only for the people who have status and stature. We have had people, who can look beyond the barriers that man has set up - of nationalities and colour. We have to look beyond those and that would make a true Miss World. A true person, a real person."
Film industry debut: The light-eyed beauty played dual characters (Pushpavalli/Kalpana) in Mani Ratnam’s 1997 Tamil film ‘Iruvar’. She was paired opposite South Indian superstar Mohanlal in this engaging political drama inspired by the lives of popular politicians MGR and Karunanidhi, which Ratnam in a 2013 interview said was his ‘best film’.
Hollywood, here I come: Aishwarya dazzled in her first film in the West, Gurinder Chadha’s ‘Bride And Prejudice’, inspired by Jane Austen’s classic novel ‘Pride And Prejudice’. The film boasted a multi-ethnic cast including Australia’s Martin Henderson, Anupam Kher, Namrata Shirodkar, and British star Naveen Andrews. After that she starred in a couple of Hollywood flicks including ‘The Pink Panther 2’, and ‘The Mistress of Spices’.
Cannes showstopper: Known as much for her fashion and style as for her work in films, Aishwarya has been turning heads on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival since 2002, when her Bollywood epic ‘Devdas’ premiered on a global platform. She was the first Indian actress to be a jury member at the 2003 festival. She also became a global brand ambassador for L'Oreal in the same year.
The big hitch: Aishwarya made headlines when she married the scion of the famous Bachchan clan, Abhishek, in 2007. On how he proposed, Abhishek had said, "I was filming in New York for a movie. And, I used to stand on the balcony of my hotel room and wish that, one day, wouldn't it be nice if I was together with her, married. Years later, we were there for the premiere of ‘Guru’. After the premiere, we were back in the hotel. So, I took her to the very same balcony, and I asked her to marry me."