Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai may have just married into Bollywood’s most powerful acting dynasty, but she seems unfazed by her illustrious in-laws, saying they are just “family to me.”
Rai, one of only a handful of Bollywood stars with crossover appeal thanks to films such as Bride And Prejudice, married fellow star Abhishek Bachchan in April, creating what Indian media have dubbed the “ultimate power couple.”
Rai spoke to AFP on Saturday at Leeds Metropolitan University, north England where her father-in-law, actress Shabana Azmi and producer/director Yash Chopra received honorary degrees during the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFAs).
Asked how it feels being part of such a famous family, she laughed, cast a glimpse towards her nearby husband and said: “It’s all great — well, they’re family to me and that’s what makes it most special.”
The emerald-eyed beauty also spoke of her excitement at the “Unforgettable” world tour, kicking off in April 2008, when she will appear on stage with Bachchan father and son for the first time.
“I’ve been on world tours before which are always a fantastic experience because that’s your opportunity to really interact with your wellwishers, fans, world over in person,” she said.
“It’s great fun, we have a blast and this time it will be definitely unforgettable to me, literally too, because I’m going to be with my loved ones and with the fantastic groups that we tour with.”
Rai has no complaints about the warmth of the reception she has received during the IIFAs in Britain, insisting that the Bollywood film industry here is booming.
“It’s wonderful so far, the people here have been really, really warm and affectionate and we’re enjoying the welcome,” she said.
“The fact is that the film industry enjoys incredible support already in this country … actually we really do enjoy a fantastic support, a great audience and a very, very comfortable place here.”
Rai was nominated for the best actress award at the IIFA awards Saturday night for the hit action thriller Dhoom 2, which also stars her husband. But she lost out to Rani Mukherjee in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.