By Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Aishwarya Rai is flooded with offers for films. But her priorities right now are slightly different. She wants to focus on her family duties while doing very selective work. Says a source very close to her, "Even about Pink Panther she wasn't sure, what with Mrs Teji Bachchan being so critically ill. Aishwarya didn't want any distraction from her family duties. It was Abhishek who urged her to take up the offer. Now she's ready to sign a couple of films. But she will choose very carefully. "
Producer Rohan Sippy's film directed by Sriram which is supposed to bring the never-before pair of John Abraham and Aishwarya Rai is awaiting the leading lady's approval. Though the shooting for the untitled love story has commenced with John, Aishwarya's nod is still awaited. And the only reason why she hasn't given the green signal is because the director hasn't come up with the script yet.
Says a source close to the project, "Ash has always been very close to the producer Rohan Sippy. After all she met and got to know Abhishek on the sets of Rohan's Kuch Na Kaho. Since then she and Rohan have always been close. When this project with Sriram Raghavan came up, Aishwarya's dates were a problem. Rohan flew down to Boston where she was shooting for her Pink Panther movie to convince her. Touched by Rohan's sincerity she immediately said yes. However, she made it clear that she would like to see the script."
Months have passed but no script. Sriram was busy finishing Johnny Gaddar and then sorting his projects out. Continues the source, "Though Ash has heard Sriram's idea and loves it, she has always insisted on a script from the start of her career. Remember how years ago Indra Kumar got pissed off with her because she had asked for a script before saying yes? Ash remains unchanged in her professionalism. Whether it's a completely professional arrangement with Indra Kumar or a friendly producer like Rohan Sippy, she wants the script."
Pooh poohing stories of how she was distracted and distracting on the sets of Jodhaa Akbar the source says, "If anything Ash is today even more professional than she used to be before marriage. Forget about causing distractions by bringing guests to Karjat where Ashutosh was shooting, or not giving Hrithik Roshan his cues while he was emoting, Ash wouldn't even speak to her husband on the phone while shooting." Sriram's film is crucial for Ash because after Jodhaa Akbar and Pink Panther this would be the only film she's signing.
Concludes the source, "Some people are suggesting that Aishwarya's dates for Sriram Raghavan's film are a difficulty. Not true. She has already set aside a large chunk in the first quarter of 2008 for this film. The problem is the script. She's still waiting for it." Aishwarya who's just back from a wedding in Jaya Bachchan's family in Bhopal remains the same. "My attitude to my career remains unchanged. I remain the same. It's people around me who imagine I've become a different person. They insist on portraying me the way they perceive me to be in their minds. And never mind if they're way off the mark. One report says I'll be performing the Salsa at a soap-sponsored event. Does that look anything like me?"