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Vidya denies rift with Aishwarya
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Talented actress Vidya Balan has completely dismissed rumours of a rift with Aishwarya Rai during the making of Mani Ratnam's "Guru".
"By now I'm used to all kinds of rumours. But this one truly takes the cake. I can't say we got along like a house on fire simply because we didn't have that many scenes together. But whenever we worked together, Aishwarya was a dream co-star ... an absolute delight and someone I look up to."
She is quick to laugh off reports that Aishwarya was responsible for her rather short role in the film.
"To even suggest that she had my role cut is so ridiculous. I was aware of the extent of my role from the start. I did 'Guru' for the pleasure of working with Mani. There're moments in the film where Aishwarya needed to reach out to me emotionally. She did it so naturally and spontaneously that she won me over."
What about stories that Vidya didn't attend the premiere of "Guru" in Canada because of Aishwarya?
"This is too much," giggles Vidya. "I wonder who's spreading such nonsense and for what purpose! I was in Australia shooting for Sajid Khan's 'Hey Baby' on Jan 10. The premiere of 'Guru' in Canada was on 12th. There was no way I could reach there and get back to my shooting without disrupting Sajid's schedule. I wouldn't do this to anyone, least of all Sajid Khan who's a first-time director and a dear friend."
She takes a deep breath and adds: "I hope this puts to rest all these silly speculations about Aishwarya's role in my life. She's way above all this petty politics. Her dignity in the face of adversity is exemplary. If I can possess even a fraction of her poise I'd consider myself lucky."
Vidya, who turned a year older Jan 1, says she is quite happy with the year gone by.
"After 'Parineeta' I needed to consolidate my position. 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' did that for me. 2007 will also hopefully start on an auspicious note with 'Salaam-e-Ishq' and Eklavya."