Although there has been no official or formal announcement, Mani Ratnam and his favorite actress and muse, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan— are rumored to be collaborating yet again. The dynamic duo earlier collaborated on Iruvur, Guru and Raavan. Now they are coming together for the fourth time for a film called Ponniyin Selvan, in Tamil. To add another twist to the excitement, the good girl of Bollywood is said to be playing an out-and-out antagonist.
A source close to Aishwarya disclosed how hesitant she was to go grey, “It isn’t even grey. It’s an out-and-out black character. Aishwarya was not inclined to do a negative part at this stage of her career at all. She believes, and perhaps rightly so, that as an iconic actress she has an example to set to her fans. In a country besieged with crimes she doesn’t want to glorify negativity by playing a negative character.”
However it was the mastermind, Mani Ratnam who persuaded her of her need to play this character. “Aishwarya flew down to Chennai to meet her second-favorite director (after Sanjay Leela Bhansali). He sat her down, narrated the whole script and explained why as an actor she must do this. To her misgivings about what her daughter Aaradhya would think of her Mama playing a ‘bad woman’ Mani assured Aishwarya that Aaradhya would be proud of her mother when she was old enough to understand what acting is all about,” says the reliable source.
Apparently in an earlier conversation Aishwarya had said: “There are two filmmakers I can never say no to Sanjay (Bhansali) and Mani Sir. I started my career with Mani’s Iruvar where I had to play a complex character of a politician and speak in Tamil. I knew nothing about either (politics or the Tamil language). But he had faith in me. That’s what gave me the courage to go for it.”