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    Mar 2008

    Exclamation Why my clothes become more important than me: Aishwarya Rai

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    Why my clothes become more important than me: Aishwarya Rai
    By Subhash K Jha

    While the amazingly focused and sensible Aishawrya Rai understands the constant need for people to check out her clothes and accessories at important events, what she can't understand is why the clothes she wears at Cannes become more important than what she does at the annual event.

    Exhausted and jet-lagged Mrs Rai-Bachchan laughs, "I don't even want to think about what people thought of my clothes earlier and what they think of it now.

    To me how I conduct myself at Cannes and how people react to me is far more important than what I wear. Cannes has always been a marvellous and memorable experience. This time was no different. It's never about the wardrobe for me. I don't focus on that at all. "

    She reminisces about each year she has attended the Cannes film festival since 2002. "That was the year of Devdas. That experience remains embedded in my mind.

    It wasn't just about how much they liked me in a sari or walking the red carpet. It was more memorable for the standing ovation that we got after the screening of Devdas. What an ovation! It was a very special experience.

    Next I was in Cannes as a jury member and that's where sections of the media formed their own jury and began to assess my dress. After that I was there to inaugurate the festival and thereafter each year as the brand ambassador for Loreal."

    What made Aishwarya's visit to Cannes special this year was the fact that the entire Bachchan family was there.

    "Also," she adds happily. "It was always flash- visits to Cannes. This time I was actually there for four days. Otherwise I've always been there in the middle of things. I spent two full days with the family.

    We're all so happy when we're together In an interview there I was asked if our visit to Cannes was a delayed anniversary celebration. I was like….noooooo!"

    And then the entertainment. " I caught three and a half movies including the opening movie Blindness and the new Indiana Jones film.

    And I could only catch the latter half of Kung Fu Panda because I had to do some press interviews during the second half. I've to catch the rest of the film it was so entertaining.

    And I also saw the new Woody Allen film Vicky Christina Barcelona. And yes I met Woody Allen. He's wonderful."

    Speaking on her stunning sartorial grace on the red carpet Aishwarya says, "I guess I had more time to prepare." She smiles at the memory of bonding with Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives. "We bonded so well at Cannes, no one would believe we had just met.

    Actually Eva, Rachida Brakni (who did the original French version of Chaos which I was supposed to do and who's now been taken on as Loreal's brand ambassador) …all of us have got married recently. So all three of us had something in common."

    Another memorable moment at Cannes. "That wonderful French actor Jean Reno came up to me and said he had heard good things about my film Pink Panther.

    These legendary actors are so hassle-free. They don't think twice about approaching you with a smile and kind words. That stays with you. So much less taxing than making an effort to avoid people."



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