Aishwarya Rai-Miss India & Cannes To Controversies & Being Trolled For Purple Lipstick!

As Aishwarya Rai celebrates her 48th birthday, we look at the highs & lows of her journey from winning Miss World to getting involved in controversies!

For the longest time, the first answer on any Indian’s mind when asked, ‘Who is the most beautiful woman in the world?’ was Aishwarya Rai. The stunning & talented actress began her journey in movies in 1997 and hasn’t looked back since.

As Aishwarya Rai Bachchan celebrates her birthday today, we look back on her splendid journey in the film industry. From Miss World to a statue at Madame Tussaud’s, Aishwarya Rai’s career track is one of inspiration and success.

Making a debut in a Tamil film Iruvar, Aishwarya Rai went on to star in an era of glorious films like Devdas & Jodhaa Akbar!

Aishwarya Rai was born on November 1, 1973 in Karnataka and came from a completely non-filmy background. While she aspired to become an architect and was studying the same, her life took a turn after she won the Miss World beauty pageant in 1994.

While Aishwarya Rai is popularly known for her Bollywood movies, her cinema journey did not start here. Her movie debut was in Tamil film, ‘Iruvar’ (1997), directed by Mani Ratnam. In the movie, she starred alongside Malayalam star Mohanlal and played a dual role. The film won critical appreciation. Around the same time, she also won a Screen Award for her role in ‘Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya’ even though the movie was not successful.

Beyond beauty, Aishwarya Rai has become beloved across the world  for her impeccable acting & screen presence. Her portrayals of diverse characters and graceful dance performances has been widely appreciated.

Aishwarya’s Bollywood career took off with success of ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’. She marked her return to Kollywood with ‘Jeans’ (1998), an iconic film of its time and an Oscar-entry as well. She also went on to star in ‘Kandukondain Kandukondain’ (2000) wherein she played the role of a care-free, young singer who ends up falling in love with a retired major. Her performances in the films won her the praise of the audience.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Devdas’, on the other hand, brought out her true talent and stardom. Her character ‘Paro’ remains etched in our hearts till date. She once again collaborated with Mani Ratnam in ‘Guru’, starring alongside Abhishek Bachchan, and it remains one of her most memorable roles.

Another unforgettable movie of Aishwarya is ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, which was centred around the story of King Akbar and Princess Jodha. Aishwarya also gave impressive performances through Raincoat, Dhoom 2, Enthiran, Raavan and Guzaarish before taking a five-year long break from acting. She came back with the movie Jazbaa in 2015.

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Aishwarya Rai is currently working in Mani Ratnam’s ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, a multi-starrer historical that is being eagerly awaited.

The ugliest controversy Aishwarya had to face involved alleged abuse by Salman Khan!

While Aishwarya Rai did wow her audience with some blockbuster films, it wasn’t a smooth road all the way. Like any other public figure, she was also the subject of controversies.

Aishwarya began a relationship with her ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ co-actor, Salman Khan in 1997. However, they soon ended it and Aishwarya claimed that Salman had treated her badly and abused her, even accusing her of having affairs with other actors. After this, there were reports that Salman had come into sets of Chalte Chalte and yelled at her. Aishwarya later announced in a press-release that she would never work with him again and was ‘thankful’ that it was all over.

However, Aishwarya’s personal life came into limelight again when she allegedly began dating Vivek Oberoi after the break-up with Salman. She didn’t draw much media attention to the relationship. But things took a turn after Vivek claimed in a press conference that Salman Khan had been making threatening calls to him. Vivek’s career went downhill after this and so did his relationship with Aishwarya.

But at the end of all of it, Aishwarya married Abhishek Bachchan, celebrating 14 years of marriage in 2021, and enjoying motherhood with a daughter named Aaradhya.

Trolled for purple lipstick & wearing chappals at Cannes!

It seems difficult to believe but the ‘world’s most beautiful woman’ has actually been trolled for her looks! Despite Aishwarya being an international figure & a familiar face at the Cannes Film Festival, her looks were not always appreciated by the media and audience.

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When Ash decided to sport a purple lipstick look on the 2016 Cannes red carpet, netizens weren’t fully supportive of her fashion choice. The trolling by the media got so bad, that husband Abhishek Bachchan came out and defended her choice of lip colour!

In 2003, she was criticized for her outfits and for wearing flat sandals/chappals on the Cannes red carpet. Not many knew that her foot was injured at the time, and she chose to wear flats for that reason.

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Her 2017 blue gown was also the centre of major internet trolling. When she came to the red carpet after her daughter’s birth, her Cannes look once again came under scrutiny by media for her weight gain after pregnancy. However, she brushed it off, saying that she had ‘faced judgement for so long’.

The trolling, at one point went beyond her looks and even criticized her parenting approach as being ‘too protective’. But the actress responded boldly that being protective was her natural response as a mother and she wouldn’t change it.

Madam Tussauds & films like ‘Pink Panther 2’ made Aishwarya Rai an international star!

Aishwarya Rai’s glory spread far and wide and she soon became a name that was heard across the world. She was the first Indian actor to be on the jury of 2003 Cannes Film Festival and the first Indian to be on Oprah Winfrey’s show. She was also the first Bollywood actress with a statue at Madam Tussaud’s museum.

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Her career did not stop at Indian films either. She went on to mark her beginnings in Hollywood with the successful film ‘Bride and Prejudice’, based on Jane Austen’s classic, that was well received. She also starred in ‘Provoked’, ‘The Last Legion’, ‘Pink Panther 2’ and ‘The Mistress Of Spices’.  She became quite well known in the Hollywood industry and top stars like Brad Pitt and Will Smith expressed a desire to work with her.

The talented actress has made us all proud with her performances & commendable achievements.

Aishwarya Rai has proven herself to be so much more than ‘the world’s most beautiful woman’ time & again!

Image source: Stills from various films 


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