I am in film industry because of Mani Ratnam: Aishwarya Rai

New Delhi: After winning the Miss World title in 1997, Aishwarya Rai was planning to go ahead with her studies and become an architect but destiny and Mani Ratnam had different plans for her.

The 36-year-old star, who will be seen in Ratnam`s `Raavan`, says she wasn`t sure of becoming an actress until Ratnam asked her to act in `Iruvar`, her debut film.

"After my Miss World win I wasn`t sure which career path should I choose. I was planning to complete my studies in architecture. But then one fine day I was told that Mani Ratnam would like to discuss a role with me and that was it. It was some God send message.

"I could not believe that Mani Ratnam wanted to work with me. He is an institution in himself and his cinema speaks volumes. I could have just not said no to him and that is how my journey in filmdom began," Aishwarya said in a video conference here.

The actress, who last worked with Ratnam in 2006 `Guru`, says the filmmaker "spoils you as an actor" and unleashes "your talent".

"With Mani it is being the student of art wanting to learn more. He ignites the hunger in you as an actor, wanting to do something better with every shot," Aishwarya said.

The actress who plays the role of Ragini in `Raavan` slated to release on June 18 also clarified that her character is not modern day Sita.

"I think all the stories can be drawn parallel to our epics because at the end it is all about inter-personal relationship. My character Ragini is Mani`s perception of this strong willed woman abducted by Beera. And the story is about the dynamics between the three characters," she said.

The actress` co-star and husband Abhishek could not agree less as he added, "Raavan is about who is right and who is wrong and above all who decides about it. I think audience will take back is this question. Raavan is a story about this villain from his perspective but then who are we to judge that he is actually a villain."

Abhishek was all praise for Aishwarya, saying, "I think Raavan is by far Aishwarys`s best performance. Hats off to her for doing such a difficult role with such elan. She aptly balanced grace and dignity while portraying strong willed woman."



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