Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's tryst with the Cannes Film Festival began with “Devdas” and she will be completing 15 years of going to the prestigious film fest this year. The actress says she still cherishes her first outing at the gala, adding that no one “in the world can take away that" from her.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at Cannes in 2002. Pic/AFP
“Devdas”, inspired by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1901 novel, featured Shah Rukh Khan as Devdas, Aishwarya as Paro and Madhuri Dixit as Chandramukhi.
The Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial was a cinematic marvel with revelry of dance, music hoopla and a tragic love story splashed with myriad emotions.
Ask her how has the perspective about Indian cinema changed at the foreign films festival with time and she said: “I don’t know how much I can underline that or validate that but I would definitely say that my first experience was truly memorable and exceedingly special”.
“It wasn’t for an individual but the entire team of 'Devdas' and it meant a lot to us because it was quite unexpected. Because we were showcasing our film and getting that kind of reception that we did was truly overwhelming,” Aishwarya told IANS.
She added: “So the first makes it so memorable imagine to have first experience and one like that so that is something and I don’t think anyone in the world can take away from us and that is something that will always make us feel thankful for having that experience for us to cherish and recount forever.”
The mother of one, who is the brand ambassador of L’Oréal Paris, will represent the cosmetic giant at the upcoming edition of the film festival, scheduled to be held from May 11 to May 21.
She will walk the red carpet on May 13 and 14.
Reminiscing about the time at the gala, the “Jazbaa” star said: “It was a night screening...we always heard about how the duration of our cinema can sometimes be a bit overwhelming for the audience beyond the shores and 'Devdas' by that measure is a long film.
“They made the reception so wonderful by actually creating this little ride up in a horse carriage... The three (Aishwarya, Shah Rukh and Bhansali) of us went up and we truly felt like we were representing us. It just felt glorious from the first step on the red carpet.”
The film was showcased and earned applause in 2002. The wife of actor Abhishek Bachchan became a jury member at the film gala in 2003. She then took her talent overseas by working in Hollywood starting with “Bride & Prejudice” in 2004.
Aishwarya, who will next be seen on the silver screen on “Sarbjit”, shared that the response was more than overwhelming.
She said: “If I remember correctly we got at least ten minute applause continuously after that... it meant the world to us ... it was by far the most touching and overwhelming experience for us because like I said it was quite the unexpected and immensely pleasurable.”