Considering that Aishwarya Rai was born in Mangalore, people find it difficult to believe that the actress has to struggle with her Tamil dialogues. But the fact is that the actress spent most of her growing years in Mumbai and still has to take an extra effort to learn the language for her films.
Aishwarya’s tryst with Tamil began in 1997 with her debut film Iruvar, with director Mani Ratnam, where she played the double role of Pushpa and Kalpana. Ash agrees that she had trouble learning the dialogues back then, but adds that she has improved a lot over the years. Indeed, from a lanky 24-year old, to an international beauty, Aishwarya has learnt a lot.
Director Shankar, who directed her in Endhiran – The Robot and her second Tamil movie, Jeans, is very impressed by her efforts and dedication, “She used to write all the Tamil dialogues in English a day before the shooting. That way she would not waste any time while they were on location. She would write down the dialogues, their meanings and even the pronunciation… she works like a hero, from 7 am till late in the night.”
Aishwarya agrees that she’s more comfortable with the language now than when she was shooting for Iruvar. Co-star Rajnikant encouraged her on the sets: “Rajni sir is very cute! Every time I we finished shooting a scene he would say “What Tamil!” He was very encouraging.”
Ash had to rehash her linguistic skills for Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan too. But the actress isn’t complaining as long as whatever she does interests her and she gets to learn something new. And from the looks of it, it’s taking her places!