Aishwarya Rai responds to why she’snot offered ‘roles with depth’


Here’s how Aishwarya Rai, who is at Cannes Film Festival 2023, reacted to a question about not being given enough meaty roles, like in Ponniyin Selvan I and II. On Thursday, Aishwarya Rai grabbed attention as she walked the red carpet for the first time at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. She wore a larger-than-life silver and grey gown. Before making her debut at Cannes 2023, Aishwarya sat down for an interview on the sidelines of the prestigious festival, where Aishwarya has been a regular for decades. She was dressed in a shiny green dress.
In the interview, Aishwarya spoke about her last release, Ponniyin Selvan: II (PS2), her roles in the film – Aishwarya played dual roles as Nandini and her mute mother Mandakini Devi – and the ‘silent question’ everyone keeps asking about her career.
Aishwarya was asked during in her interview with NDTV, “Why aren’t we, as in the Hindi cinema, offering you roles with such complexities, such depth? Look at what you brought out and what you did with it (her roles in PS2).” In response, the actor said, “Well that’s a silent question I think everybody normally ends up asking. We are all creative people, when something turns out so good and feels so right, creatively for the people working on it, as well as for the audience, that’s the response it evokes. I think one of the most beautiful and most rewarding moments is when questions like these arise for the actors, the leading ladies…”
Aishwarya further said about PS2, “There’s a reason we salute Mani Ratnam and directors like him, who do create work like this, and that’s why it is such a pleasure for us as artistes to work with them, and to come away with results like this and movies like this, where we are proud of the work we have done. We feel immensely satisfied and Ponniyin Selvan has definitely been immensely satisfying for all of us…”
Ponniyin Selvan: II is the second installment of the period drama based on Kalki Krishnamurthy’s popular historical novel Ponniyin Selvan (The Son Of Ponni). Along with Aishwarya, the Mani Ratnam film’s cast includes Vikram, Trisha, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Sobhita Dhulipala and Aishwarya Lekshmi.

The film was released in theatres on April 28.
Ponniyin Selvan: II opened to good reviews with many praising Aishwarya’s performance. An excerpt from the film’s Hindustan Times review read, “In PS2, it’s Aishwarya Rai as Nandini and Vikram as Aditya Karikalan, who really shine in parts they play so convincingly. Given this is Aishwarya Rai’s big comeback to Tamil cinema after many years, she’s unbelievably good and delivers what’s unarguably a career-best performance. Aishwarya’s character impact is so powerful and she’s so good in it, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in her shoes. Be it her rage-filled eyes or the long silences, Aishwarya brings so much life into the film….”
Produced by Lyca Productions, the first part of magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan had released in theatres in September last year in five languages – Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. The first film also had opened to good reviews from film critics and was equally impressed the audience, becoming one of the biggest box office hits of last year.