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’I don’t believe in proving a point to anybody. Nobody is that important.’’ (aishwarya-spice.com)

‘’Life may be one BIG drama, and we, character in it.... But....LIVE IT.....Every moment in it’’ (aishwarya-spice.com)

“Beauty is transient and changes with time.” (aishwarya-spice.com)

’My family is my strength and my weakness.’’ (aishwarya-spice.com)

’You give to the world your greatest gift when you’re being yourself.’’ (aishwarya-spice.com)

‘’It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.’’ (aishwarya-spice.com)

‘’God has given me plenty of reasons to smile and I feel it’s time to spread it around. There are a lot of children out there who so desperately need help, but can’t receive timely care because their families cannot afford this surgery or are ill-educated about this condition.’’ (aishwarya-spice.com)

‘’I consider myself lucky to be born in today’s era where a woman has far more freedom to exercise her rights. It took them ages to get ready for one appearance, and imagine staying behind curtains all day long. ’’ (aishwarya-spice.com)

’Wow! Me the most bankable Bollywood star in Hollywood? Thank you! I must confess that any acknowledgment of hard work makes me feel content. In all humility I want to thank all those who feel I’m bankable.’’ (aishwarya-spice.com)

About her long career in entertainment: "This is my tenth year now, so things have changed within this span of time - so drastically that when I look at the work done when I just joined, it`s like, "Oh my God!" So much has changed in these ten years. You get to see how you`re part of the process of change within the Indian film industry. That`s all positive, that`s all a good sign." (Forbes Magazine, August 25th 2005)

It is a very tricky situation when you get the chance to work in English films. I do films based on characters, not to get an entry into Hollywood or whatever. In English, my Bride & Prejudice did well world over. I don`t know how it did in Hindi, but I know Jurassic Park too didn`t do well in Hindi. I was glad audiences worldwide liked an English film that was Indian. When I did Mistress of Spices, I did it for Paul (Mayeda Berges, the director and husband of Gurinder Chadha) as a team. The film found its audiences. When the Provoked script came to me, I felt it was a very important story of an Indian woman based in London who killed her husband because of marital abuse. Kiranjit Ahluwalia made a big impression in England, and so I did this film because I felt it was an important story to be told. Provoked is an important film for many other Kirans in the world. (November 2006)

Sexy in India is not considered positive. But, with today`s crop of fresh faces in the modelling arena, being sexy is an asset.

Someone asked me why I`m politically correct, even when people hit out so openly at me. But the truth is, I`ve never been brought up to behave any other way. I can`t say anything hurtful about anyone. I just don`t believe in saying mean things. I won`t feel good doing that. It`s strange why being well behaved is perceived as being too `propah` and staid. This is the way I am. I`m amazed how many people feel good hitting out at me. They`re welcome to do it. Earlier, they had more leeway to deny their indiscretions in print. But now on television they look pretty ridiculous denying what they say.

On her role in Umrao Jaan (2006) :"Playing Umrao Jaan was a demanding emotional journey. When a story takes that course, it is following an entire arc; it goes through all the possible emotions. The process was satisfying, inspiring and challenging. It forced me to deliver the best in every moment." (October 2006)

About director _J.P. Dutta_: "J P Dutta is a committed taskmaster. I have danced to songs before. But he always added to choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant`s steps, and that was quite challenging. He would shoot an entire mukhda in one shot. To do all the songs at that level required remaining focused at all times. In that moment, I felt I became Umrao Jaan. It was interesting to deliver a performance that shows her passionate but tragic story. The film is also reflective of the art that was at its zenith in that era. The sex trade was called the performing arts then and not prostitution." (October 2006)

Her thoughts on modern women versus the queens of the era of Jodhaa Akbar (2008): I consider myself lucky to be born in today`s era where a woman has far more freedom to exercise her rights. It took them ages to get ready for one appearance, and imagine staying behind curtains all day long. (2008)

Upon hearing that Julia Roberts had said that Aishwarya was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen: "That was embarrassing; at first I didn`t believe she said that. I thought it was a rumor started by a journalist. But it`s sweet. She`s an incredible actor and she seems like a wonderful person, so all you can do is say, Thank you." (April 2007)

I always believed that my silence on several topics will be an advantage in the long run.

I have a great story to tell... and I tell it well. No holds barred.

Women in the industry have been exploited very often, but there are some actors who belive that the short cut to stardom is through nudity or exposure. Such success is, in fact, very short-lived.

I believe that as an actress all my fears and phobias exist till I sign on the dotted line for a film.

On celebrating her 33rd birthday: "I am just not the birthday bash kind. My day will start with a visit to the Siddhivinayak temple with my family, something I do every year. There will be no loud parties... my birthday is a very private affair. Concidering I have to leave for Dubai tomorrow, it will be over early too. Only family and friends will be there." (November 1, 2006)

I don`t believe in proving a point to anybody. Nobody is that important.

On being compared to Rekha in the original version of Umrao Jaan (1981): "For me, as an actor, it`s a special experience to get the opportunity to play Umrao Jaan who has been already iconised on our celluloid. When I played Paro in Devdas, I went through the same area of questioning about how my role will be compared with the ones played earlier." (rediff.com,October 2006)

On her character in _Mistress of Spices (2005)_: "I have related to each character I have performed thus far, including Tilo. I am very sensitive to moods and one`s inward feelings and emotions. I am a true people person and people watcher. I look forward to meeting interesting people and understanding their experiences in life." (4-26-06)

Even in India the Hindi film industry might be the best known but there are movies made in other regional languages in India, be it Tamil or Bengali. Those experiences too are different from the ones in Bombay.

On why she participated in the Miss World Pageant in 1994: "For me, it went beyond being a beauty queen. For me, it was about being the 20-year-old girl from India on international platform and a lot of people actually would assume that I wasn`t even educated in India because of the way I`d speak. And they`d be like, `Have you studied in India? Do you actually speak English out there?` and, I was like, `This is so interesting that so many people know so little about my country.` and this is exactly what I wanted to do when I set out on this little mission in my head." (Jan 2005, 60 Minutes Interview)

About Rekha: "Rekha is very inspiring. It is not necessarily relative to just one performance, but her entire career, the span of characters that she has essayed, the performances that she has delivered itself is extremely inspiring. I am inspired by her performance. But I cannot ape her." (October 2006)

I have never deliberately driven attention to the fact that I am working in Hollywood films. I have categorically stated that I am working in different kinds of films, be it British, Hindi, Tamil or Bengali. It`s all about doing films, which are my passion.

It`s nice to be important, but it`s more important to be nice.

I have never done a kissing scene nor do I have intentions to.

Life is a stage, and we are all characters. So play your part and play it well!

I was more excited than scared, at the opportunity to work in an English movie.

I`m not the type who`ll yell about my achievements from the rooftops.

Ever since I went to the Cannes festival, the media overseas really encouraged me to consider the possibilities of working in the West. Then I got a call from some people who worked in the business in America, who asked me to first obviously get an agent so that they could have direct access because that`s the way they work.

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.

On Umrao Jaan (2006) being her first Urdu language film: "Since our generation speaks English, we are not very fluent in Hindi, leave alone Urdu. I loved those dialogs and the experience to work and know about that era. For me, it was a study of Urdu on the sets under the guidance of JP and Javed saab."

You give to the world your greatest gift when you`re being yourself.

I always knew I would be successful. So there was no element of surprise.

I am not comfortable about kissing or nudity. I am clear about what I want. I`ll work only with good directors who`ll offer me two-dimensional roles. The director and the role are most important. (Movie Mag International, September 2004)

I`m just average woman with average concerns.

On the rumors that her black eye was the result of abuse by Salman Khan: "For some perverse reason, no one wants to believe me, that I fell down the stairs. First the media calls me the woman of the millennium, a woman of substance. Then how can the same media make me out to be such a doormat? I`m a self-respecting woman, I don`t take nonsense from anyone. No one tries caveman tactics on me. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger can fall and get hurt, so why should I be any different?"

About her film Chaos (2006): When this came to be early this year, I was ecstatic. I couldn`t believe that I was actually going to work with Meryl Streep, someone I`ve always admired. In all my interviews 10 years ago people used to ask who is your favourite actor and actress and I would mention Robert de Niro and Meryl Streep. On my first trip there I met up with de Niro and my first film is with Meryl Streep, and I said, `Oh God that`s really, really cool. Really wonderful.

About being on the Oprah show: "Yes, I was extremely happy to be on her show. I absolutely admire her. I never thought I`d actually be meeting her -- and that too, on her show! It`s so strange. But prior to our meeting, during my visit to the US for the premiere of Bride & Prejudice, I had some afternoons off and I watched Oprah. I thought how wonderful it would be to be on her show. And within a month, I was!" (Rediff, May 18, 2005)

It`s strange that Rakesh Roshan thinks I look older than Hrithik. In fact, he`s approached me for all his home productions.

The audiences feel I am part of their life so they worry about me. I think that is very sweet of them and I tell them that when I will marry I will announce it. When I get married, you`ll know. I believe in marriage and it is a beautiful institution. (November 2006)

About the sari on the Oprah show: "I thought I`d wear one on the show, and packed two of them, in case Oprah wanted to wear one too. As luck would have it, my flight was delayed and I reached minutes before the show went on air! So I had no time to change, which is a pity. Americans love the garment but have no clue how it`s tied. Oprah is very respectful and appreciative of all cultures. She was very curious about the sari and I helped her put it on, on air! She has sent me an autographed picture saying, `Next time we change the blouse.` She was very sweet." (Rediff, May 18, 2005)

On attending the dinner for Time Magazines 100 Most Influential People of the Year in 2005: "I am surprised at my life`s turn of events. Six of us were asked to raise the toast for the evening. And I raised it for my parents and for my fans, without whom I wouldn`t have reached where I am today. Nicole Kidman had to rush out for some premiere, but she said that she and her son loved Bride and Prejudice and I told her how I loved all her performances. Sean Penn told me that I spoke well and I told him that I`ve always been his fan!"

On meeting producer Harvey Weinstein for the first time at the 2005 Time Magazine`s 100 Most Influential People: "He is a big fan of Indian films. He has seen Devdas (2002/I), and said he respected my work. It`s a big compliment coming from somebody who has such an immense body of work and yet is so humble from him? He discussed a few ideas and scripts with me. He is starting his own company. We are discussing projects. Time will tell all."

Right now, I`m following the Buddhist principle: Smile as abuse is hurled your way and this too shall pass.


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