It was an easy yes: Aishwarya Rai on working with Mani Ratnam

Priyanka Sharma
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will apparently play a double role in the Tamil epic Ponniyin Selvan. (Photo: Varinder Chawla)

Actor Aishwarya Rai says reuniting with her 'guru', Mani Ratnam, was a no-brainer for Ponniyin Selvan, which is based on Kalki Krishnamurthy's novel of the same name.

Aishwarya will apparently play a double role in the Tamil epic, which will mark her fourth film with Ratnam after Iruvar, Guru and Raavan (in Tamil and Hindi).

Today at the trailer launch of Hindi version of Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, in which the titular character is voiced by Aishwarya, the actor was asked to share some details about Ponniyin Selvan.

While the actor maintained it was better to keep details under wraps, she did share her excitement about collaborating with the director, who also helmed her acting debut.

"It is definitely an experience I'm looking forward to for multiple reasons. Mani is my guru and he is one of the most amazing and brilliant directors of our country. I've had the honour, privilege and joy of working with him right in the beginning of my career and several times later. It's an easy yes to work with that kind of cinematic brilliance," Aishwarya told reporters here.

Speaking about her maiden experience of dubbing for another actor (the English version has Hollywood actor Angelina Jolie play Maleficent), Aishwarya said she found the process creatively enriching.

"When you watch and listen to the character of Maleficent, even Angelina has played her in a slightly theatrical manner. There is a theatrical manner in which she says her lines, because of her physicality, the way she's created the character, that makes her speak a certain way. First day we did it like a match, almost the way she had done it and then we revisited some scenes to tweak it and change it.

"So the entire exercise was very interesting and new. It's a classic story and has classic emotions which are addressed in the drama of it. So the lines can be written that way and you can play it out in the typical way Indians emote and yet you've to find the balance between the way you say lines the way Maleficent would in a scenario. It was creatively enriching," Aishwarya said.

Maleficent will arrive in theatres on October 18.