The woman who currently holds the title of “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World,” according to thousands of web sites, internet polls, and even famed actress and competitor Julia Roberts, is a wholesome and hardworking Bollywood film star named Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Although she is a new name in western cinema, 39 year-old Aishwarya Rai has already stared in 24 films over the last 7 years. With intercontinental access to entertainment becoming easier, Bachchan is arguably becoming the next Grace Kelley or Marilyn Monroe of the information age.
All this without a single sex scene. Not even what western society would consider “making out.” Due to this aversion to onscreen intimacy, Bachchan even turned down a starring role alongside Brad Pit in the 2004 blockbuster Troy. This is probably the biggest, most glaring difference between Bollywood and Hollywood. Just as the actor and actress are about to lock lips, everyone instead explodes into singing and dancing.
Bachchan further explained: “What the kiss is in the western movies is what our songs do, and that’s where our audience experiences all the emotions that the western audience does when their actors kiss. So that’s a very comfortable space for us but I don’t think the kiss visually has been”
In a recent Al Jazeera interview with Sir David Frost, Aishwarya Rai spoke for the first time about the legal battles and intense controversy she received in her homeland over what most Americans would likely consider an awkward, easily PG-rated kiss scene with famed Bollywood costar Hrithik Roshan in the 2006 movie Dhoom 2.
“I actually got a couple of notices, legal notices, from some people in the country turning around and saying ‘You are iconic, you’re an example to our girls you have led your life in such an exemplary manner, they’re not comfortable with you doing this on screen so why did you?’” Revealed famed Bombay actress and former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
“I had already declined a couple of scripts purely on the basis of not being comfortable with the very physical scenes and the kissing because I’d never done that on screen and I just wasn’t very comfortable with the idea. And I was quite sure even my audience was not very comfortable with me doing it on-screen. I was actually quite convinced about it but I still said okay, if I have to go down this path let me first do it in our cinema, in an Indian piece of cinema, and let me see if all my doubts are true, and they were.”
Bollywood, as India’s film capital is known, releases more films to a larger worldwide audience than Hollywood, with a global reach of around 5 billion people. Even though kissing scenes are becoming more common in Indian cinema, according to Bachchan, “public display is not that common in Indian culture. Even our actors, it’s very rare that actors look comfortable in our cinema on screen kissing.”
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Kiss Scene Led To Legal Threats
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Bollywood actress and “the most beautiful woman in the world,” told Sir David Frost that she received “legal threats” after kissing a man onscreen in the 2006 film “Dhoom 2.” According to The Daily Mail, Bachchan didn’t go into specifics, but did explain how locking lips with co-star Hrithik Roshan got her in hot water.