Rohan Sippy determined to cast Ash opposite John

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By Subhash K Jha

Mumbai, Oct 11 (IANS) Aishwarya Rai is reluctant to do a non-Abhishek Bachchan love story. But producer Rohan Sippy is very keen to have her in his film and is planning to fly to Boston this week to convince her.

Sriram Raghavan, who is directing the yet untitled film, told IANS: "The project is a love story which I need to go into right away in the first week of November. John's dates are in place. He can't give us dates after January 2008. Aishwarya is shooting in Boston and Rohan is flying to meet her. Hopefully, things will be in place once he returns. "Ramu (Ram Gopal Varma) showed me a promo of 'Sarkar Raj'. Aishwarya's performance just blew my mind. I really want to work with her."

The film's male lead John is also eager to be cast opposite Aishwarya. He believes they'd make a very handsome screen pair. And when their first celluloid coupling in Raghavan's "Happy Birthday" fell apart, John was bitterly disappointed to lose out on an eminently viable co-star.

Things worked out pretty smoothly after the Birthday fiasco. Raghavan, who has just released a fascinating noire film "Johnny Gaddaar", was quickly convinced by John to launch another project with Aishwarya.

However, Aishwarya, currently shooting in Boston for "Pink Panther 2", has serious second thoughts.

"Aishwarya opted out of Karan Johar's film because she didn't want to play a woman who has a multiplicity of men in her life. Now in Sriram's film she'd rather not do an intense romance with John," said a source.

"After marriage Aishwarya's personal and professional priorities have changed completely. She was always conscious of her image. Now she'll do nothing that would even remotely compromise her position as the Bachchan daughter-in-law," added the source.

Rohan remains convinced Aishwarya is the right choice for Raghavan's film. He flies to Boston for an emergency meeting with the actress, hoping to convince Aishwarya, who played the main lead with Abhishek in his debut film "Kuch Naa Kaho", of the project's urgent need of her presence.

Until the producer's return, everyone on the project has their fingers crossed.