Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has dismissed scepticism about her pairing with superstar Rajnikanth, two decades her senior, saying that he like father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan is an actor who has defied age.
"Rajni sir, like Pa (Amitabh) is a professional and humility personified. There was no age factor. They are both legendary actors due to their body of work. Hence, their cinema becomes exciting to the viewers. Rajni sir`s humility is a lesson to learn," Aishwarya told PTI.
The 60-year-old Tamil cinema legend had thanked the former Miss World for working with him at the music launch of the film last month and Aishwarya said that the film was a difficult but fun ride.
The 36-year-old actress said, "Director Shankar and myself were attempting to do a project for quite a while now. The opportunity came with `Robot`. This is not an easy film to make and is technically way ahead."
The actress plays a young student Sanaa in the film and described her character as a livewire.
"So far, I have done character driven roles and not been part of conventional commercial genre for a long time. Sanaa is not a difficult character. It is what leading ladies in an entertainer do. In my case, such roles have been rare," said the actress.
"But, Shankar has given her grain, roots. She is a student who is doing further studies in medicine. There is degree of logic why she is in the film. Shankar has taken entertainment to the next level," she added.
Aishwarya said since she started out in movies, she has never done roles of a conventional newcomer.
"I experienced different genres of films with Mani Ratnam, Shankar, Rahul Rawail, Mansoor Khan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali in the initial years," she recalled.
When asked about her experience working in Tamil movies, Ash said she had done `Iruvar` and `Jeans` in Tamil before `Ravanan` and now `Endhiran`.
"There is a misconception that people do movies down south because they don`t get work here. But, I am an open minded actor. I sign movies for the characters that are offered to me," she said.
According to her, Shankar is a visionary whose movies are highly entertaining for the common man.
"He re-defines magnificence and is willing to push creative boundaries. I respect filmmakers and the kind of movies they make and Shankar has proved himself as a director and Rajni sir is a legend," she said.
Aishwarya said she looks at the film being offered to her in totality and not just her character. "My part is important of course. But it is the director and the entire team that make the experience of filmmaking very exciting. I feel that there is pleasure in working as a team," she added.
Having worked in four Tamil movies, the former Miss World said she was far more comfortable in Tamil language now.
"I would not risk breaking into a conversation because I don`t do it on a daily basis. But, I am now more confident in Tamil than I was during `Iruvar` and `Jeans`," she said.
"As an actor I am a director`s student and will portray what he wants me to be seen as on screen. I am usually not thinking about the language," she added.
Aishwarya who was studying to be an architect when she was bitten by the acting bug, also dismissed the notion that marriage marks the end of an actress` career.
"There have been actresses who continue to work post marriage and you can pull out several names in different decades.
However, in the recent times it was becoming a pre-conceived idea that probably leading ladies would not continue to work. I never paid attention to this even as a single girl," she said.
The actress said that she is thankful to her industry colleagues for her successful innings.
"I am fortunate to have met like-minded professionals. I may want to work after marriage, but there should be directors who want to work with me. My faith has been kept by the people I worked with. Nobody changed their mind. Directors came to me with scripts," she said.
Aishwarya, who will celebrate her 37th birthday on November 1 said actors are as old or young as the director sees them.
"Our job as actors is to pull off that character with conviction," she said.
"Since, `Iruvar` and `Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam`, I have never shirked away from playing characters. I am fortunate that my directors gave me opportunity to essay different kinds of roles," she added.