I don't regret my bit role in 'Pink Panther': Aishwarya Rai

Mumbai, Feb 5 (IANS) Much has been written about Aishwarya Rai's so-called minuscule role in Hollywood film "Pink Panther 2". While the actress admits it is an out-and-out Steve Martin film, she maintains she signed it for an enriching experience and not for extra footage.

"It's a bit silly and exhausting to even talk about the length of my role based on what's seen in the trailers. Did anyone question my role in 'Khakee' when there was only one shot of me in the promo? Isn't that a very myopic view of contemporary acting? In my very first film 'Iruvar', I thought I transcended this footage fetish," Aishwarya told IANS.

Aishwarya, a former Miss World, doesn't regret doing the film.

"I didn't work in 'Pink Panther 2' because it was an international project. I got the script. I happily chose to be part of the film. They shot exactly what I was offered. I don't need to work with stardust in my eyes.

"Of course, 'Pink Panther' is a Steve Martin vehicle. Is that something to question? All the rest of the wonderful cast including Jean Reno and Andy Garcia play supporting roles. I treasure the experience of working in 'Pink Panther 2'."

Aishwarya says footage is not a burning issue for her.

"The choices I've made in my career aren't just about footage but an opportunity to work with actors, directors and technicians who enrich my life. Believe me working in 'Pink Panther' was a joy.

"It was a wonderful experience working with a stalwart like Steve Martin and the rest of the cast and crew. Why spoil it by questioning how much footage I have? So many Indian actors have worked in international ensemble casts."

The actress attended the film's premiere in New York Tuesday along with husband Abhishek Bachchan.

"They wanted me to be here for the film's promotion from earlier on. But I couldn't because of my prior commitments in India. We've a series of premieres lined up, which started in New York on Feb 3. From there it's a crazy whirlwind trip that will take me to several countries and continents from Paris to Berlin to Moscow to Madrid.

"The final destination for my 15-day trip will take me to a screening at the Berlin film festival. Then I'm back and I go straight to resume Mani Ratnam's film."

It is a double celebration for Aishwarya in New York this week. First is the premiere of "Pink Panther 2" that is followed by Abhishek's birthday Thursday. The couple plans to celebrate his birthday in style.

"Abhishek is in New York with me. But he won't be able to accompany me for my other premieres because he has to be in India for the promotion of 'Delhi 6'," said Aishwarya, who returns to India Feb 14.

Interestingly, Aishwarya was offered the lead opposite Will Smith in "Seven Pounds" which opens in Mumbai this week.

"Will Smith and I will work together for sure," laughed Aishwarya. "There have been a number of offers. Dates just don't work out. If he's keen to work with me, so am I," said the actress.

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