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Aishwarya at Cannes 2018: Say no to pay disparity and walk away

India Today logo India Today 15-05-2018

a man standing in front of a crowd © Provided by India Today After bombing the red carpet as 'Cinderella' in a icy blue, off-the-shoulder dress by Michael Cinco at Cannes last year, a dazzling Ash stormed the French Riviera resort as a butterfly in a ultra-violet, blue-and-red gown by the same Filipino designer on Sunday. And on Monday, she was back in a flashy, orange Manish Arora jacket getting candid on pay disparity and gender bias in the film industry, casting couch, #MeToo and her darling daughter Aaradhya.

In an exclusive interview with India Today at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who stole the show at the red carpet with her gownwhich was covered in Swarovski crystals and French palettes and had a 20-feet long trainsaid that pay disparity and gender bias in the industry is all about the choices you make.

What is her view on the issue with Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut and even some Hollywood actors speaking openly about it? It is not a new thing; some people get heard through the media. It is relative to each ones own story; it is about the choice you make, said Ash, who made her 17th appearance at Cannes.

The former Miss World winner said that a lot of things are fair and unfair. So, make your choices accordingly and say no and walk away adding, there will be change gradually, but if you want to bridge the disparity, you should have say no and walk away.

Some actors make choices, some dont, the words most beautiful woman said. Some people embrace the system because that is either comfort zone. If you go with flow, how can you hope for change?

Elizabeth star Cate Blanchett led a brigade of 81 female directors, producers and actors, including Salma Hayek and Kristen Stewart, at Cannes to protest pay disparity and sexual harassment as part of the #MeToo movement. "That was so incredible," said Aishwarya, who wished she could be the 83rd member of the group. "I would have dived right into it and happily stood there. The movement is gaining momentum and getting impactful. Hopefully, the words would be translated into action."

On veteran choreographer Saroj Khans bizarre 'justification' of casting couch and is it rampant in the industry, Ash said, By the grace of God, I have not seen any such thing. I was not even a conventional newcomer. I was right there. My story is different. But the actor said she cannot be an ostrich with her head buried in the sand when you hear your seniors and contemporaries tell their stories. You hope and pray that women find the strength to be able to hold on to their own and make their choices.

How does she handle criticism especially when trolled for her choice of clothes or cosmetics at Cannes? Aishwarya was trolled for her choice of purple lipstick at the red carpet in 2016. "There is so much love, which overpowers all kind of negativity. That is why negativity never touches me," she quipped.

Finally, Ash got candid on the love of her lifeAaradhya. Despite being in the world of glamour, she "tries to keep things normal for Aaradhya". "I do not know how much people are going to believe this, but I keep it natural and easy for her and go with the flow."

Did Aaradhya say her mom resembled a butterfly in Cinco gown? "Yes. She even said I looked like a peacock after make-up artists used blue line-up with sparkle. She loves colours," the actor fondly recalled their conversation.

RAPID FIRE AROUND WITH ASH

Who would you like to style you?

Aaradhya. It would be so original because she has such vivid imagination.

What is love?

It is the most fulfilling experience I would like to hold on till my last breath.

What is your biggest fear?

I have none by grace of God.

What was more important? Winning the Miss World title or being an actress?

Full respect to Miss World [title], but being in cinema is like home for me.

Which is your favourite Mahabharata character?

Draupadi.

Who is your favourite actor?

Abhishek.

Who is your favourite Hollywood actor?

Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren.

Deepika, Kangana and Priyankawho is your favourite?

All three are cracking.

And out of Ranbir, Ranveer or Varun?

They all are my friends; full power to them.

Which is your favourite ice cream flavour?

I will keep it simple; I will go with vanilla.

Which is your favourite food?

Home-cooked food.


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