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The star-price war has escalated to an all-time high. With Aishwarya Bachchan carrying home a pay packet of Rs.4 crores for her proposed stint as superstar Rajinikanth's leading lady in Shankar's Robot, the lady has now become the highest-paid actress of Indian cinema.
A source very close to Aishwarya says, "The media has got it all wrong. Ash has actually received twice the amount quoted in papers and on websites as her fee for Robot. Yes, it's close to Rs 4 crores. And she's very amused when she reads about this and that actress being the highest-paid actress in Bollywood. With three hits in a row (Guru, Dhoom 2 and Jodhaa Akbar) Ash's equity as a Rai and a Bachchan have gone through the roof. If she wants she can preen about her successes. But that's not her style. However, she takes strong exception to Bipasha Basu's quotes that she (Ash) had to 'hang around' to get into the international circuit. Ash has been regularly offered international projects, from Provoked to Mistress Of Spices to Bride&Prejudice to Last Legion to Pink Panther. In fact, all the other international assignments that have gone to other Bollywood actresses-including the honour of hosting the 7Wonders Of The World event in Lisbon with Ben Kingsley-have gone to Ash first. It's just that she feels awkward talking about herself."
As for her astronomical fee for Robot another source close to the project says, "It is no surprise that Aishwarya is getting 4 crores. It's still chicken-feed compared with what Rajinikanth gets paid. He takes home Rs 15 crores plus fifty percent of his film's profits. But still he cannot make a film commercially viable outside the Tamilian belt on his own. The dubbed Hindi version of Chandramukhi came and went. And Rajini's biggest hit Shivaji is in no hurry to be released in Hindi. With Ash in Robot it looks like an attractive non-regional film."
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