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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was just 24 when she made her Bollywood debut with Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya opposite Bobby Deol in 1997. And it's 20 years already!
And she is more popular than ever today, such is her charm! So, today we bring to you some lovely early days pictures from her journey.
Aishwarya Got Her First Movie Offer When She Was Preparing For Miss World
Not many are aware that even before Aishwarya became Miss World, she got many offers from Bollywood.
Top Filmmakers Were After Her
She told a daily, "I participated in Miss India in 1994 and then took a break for a year to go to 'Miss World'. By this time, top filmmakers had started talking to me, including Yash Chopraji and Shekhar Kapur.''
Why She Chose Iruvar As Her First Movie
"Mani Ratnam was one of the filmmakers who always drove me nuts. I had many offers to do top Bollywood films, so I didn't choose a Tamil film as I didn't have work, but I wanted to work with Mani Ratnam and signed my first film Iruvar in Tamil."
She Made Her Bollywood Debut With Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made her Bollywood debut opposite Bobby Deol in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya. The film bombed badly at the box office.
But Aishwarya Does Not Regret Her Decision
''A lot of the choices I made would flummox a lot of people as they were against the natural choices of the secure box office projects, but those films always find the first mention in any interactions, creatively, on our turf, beyond our shores, at airports and with audiences. I am very proud of all of them.''
How She Came Into Movies?
''While I was born in Mangalore, I lived my entire life in Mumbai. I went to Arya Vidya Mandir (Santacruz) and then to junior college at Jai Hind and Ruparel College. While I wanted to do my medicine and all my best friends are doctors, last minute I switched to architecture as I thought I was also artistically inclined.''
One Photoshoot Changed Her Life
''One of my professors in college who had cancer was also a photojournalist, so she requested me to do a photoshoot for her. I actually did it just for her, given her situation but the professionals who were there on set saw me and word spread like wildfire and the whole business was constantly asking me to join it.''
Aishwarya Was Meant For Bollywood
''Having lived in Bandra, everyone was around there so there were so many people after me and they all thought that I was meant to come here.''
Shekhar Kapoor Had Predicted Her Future
''Shekhar Kapoor told me, 'Look, I have also done my chartered accountancy and I know what you are thinking, but this is going to be your reality.''
''Complete your degree if this is what you think is the natural course of your life, but this is where you will be.' Instinctively, I just felt that life was going to change just like I had felt when I first modelled.''
I Realised Life Will Never Be The Same Again
''It's not that oh I am going to make it, but it was just that life was going to change. So, I just went with the flow. I became 'Miss World' and I was out of my course for a year. When I returned to college for felicitation, I realised that it would never ever be the same again for me.''
I Could Not Have Remained A Normal Student Anymore
''I could not have remained a normal student anymore. I had already done my first commercial with Aamir Khan and the energy around me had been very strong.''