Five long years after Gujarish (2010), the beauty queen and former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai returns with an author-backed role in Sanjay Gupta’s Jazbaa. “Jazbaa” narrates the story of a prominent and respected lawyer, Anuradha (played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), a suspended cop (played by Irrfan), as they race against time and corruption to save Anuradha’s daughter Sanaya. The mega star talks about her return to the limelight, her motherhood, playing a lawyer and a lot more in an exclusive interview with Indus Age. Excerpts:
Once an artist always an artist. Whether there is a gap or not doesn’t matter. An actor gets satisfaction from the work he or she does. As far as nervousness is concerned, I don’t follow the conventional path. I enjoy the process of making a film. With every movie that we make, we hope that it appeals to the audience because it is made for them.
Did you miss being in the limelight over the past five years?
I have not felt the gap. There is no plan to it … I kept doing films before marriage, during marriage and after marriage, during my pregnancy and now. I respect the integrity of commitment. I am a very committed mother. When I felt the time was right to venture out to figure out the balance, I did so. I am still figuring it out. I think in a mother’s life every day is a first whether the baby is one year old or five year old … as you have not been a mother before. Every day you keep discovering. Fortunately, I think, it has all fallen into place.
What are your expectations from Jazbaa?
It is an exciting time for us in the movies. A variety of subjects are appreciated and enjoyed by the audience. We creative people are very grateful for it. We too get to enjoy a variety.
What preparations did you make for your role?
It is for the first time that I am playing a lawyer so the film educated me about the life of a lawyer. Cinema is part of our culture; so we have certain impressions about what a courtroom scenario is likely to be. But we wanted to keep it as real as we could and that’s the way we have played it — with the conviction of a lawyer, not necessary the dramatics.
You are working with Irrfan Khan for the first time in this film.
This was a dream cast for me. When I read the script, he was mentioned, and I was glad he did the film. When you are working with him, you don’t feel like you are working. He makes the atmosphere relaxed. Sanjay made things easy and effortless for all of us.
With Irrfan and you both being international stars, will the film make a breakthrough in world cinema too?
We are thinking only national. When I am introduced, either there is reference to Miss World or to an “international beauty title” or to an “international presence.” I am very thankful for the opportunities. When we did this film, we were happy to come on board as actors.
Like most other actors, will you also make your presence felt on the social media?
I have not been on the social media. Whenever I say something, it is through his (Abhishek’s) account and it is just to thank everyone for their good wishes, love and blessings. I am grateful for everything.
Sanjay Gupta says there are plans for your singing debut.
Let’s talk about future things in the future. It is not new. Paa has been singing forever. Today actors have started singing probably because they want to appear natural onscreen.
Did you miss the limelight and why the apprehension with the word Comeback?
Being a working mother, I really did not delve into this absence factor. And probably that’s why I haven’t necessarily focused on the term ‘comeback’. There’s no going away from it and running away from it. And it will forever be the comeback film. So I’m not denying it but when I turn around and say that I haven’t felt it, that’s just the way it is.
Jazbaa, produced by Essel Vision Studios, White Feather Films and Viikings Media and Entertainment is scheduled to release worldwide on 9th October 2015.