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Ash invited to present Oscar

By Subhash K Jha
February 25, 2005 15:34 IST
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Here's one more crown on Aishwarya Rai's lustrous head.

She has been invited by the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences to present an Oscar on February 27.

This is a first for Indian cinema; no Indian has ever been accorded this honour.

Exults Gurinder Chadha, the director of Ash's first international release, Bride & Prejudice, "It's a unique honour for an Indian entertainer, and one that Ash shouldn't miss for the world."

Will Ash be part of the glittering red carpet at the most-looked forward to awards ceremony in the world?

There could be a hitch.

She will be shooting for Gurinder's husband Paul Mayeda Berges' Mistress Of Spices at the Isle of Man (Isle of Man is located in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland) on the night before the ceremony.

Says Gurinder, "Miramax (who are distributing Bride & Prejudice in the US) is very keen to get (Aishwarya) to the Oscars. Frankly, so am I. But the problem is, my husband thinks our film is more important. And I agree.

"Ash's schedule with Paul on the Isle Of Man ends on Saturday night. We'll try to get her out into the US the same night.

"I'm attending the Oscars as the date for Mr Sid Ganis, the deputy chairperson of the Academy Awards. He's going to produce my next film I Dream Of Jeannie.

"I hope and pray Ash can make it too. It's a big honour."

Miramax will release Bride & Prejudice in more US theatres next week.

Confirming this, Chadha says, "Bride did terrific screen averages in the first week. Now Miramax have added 100 more prints in the second week. So much for sceptics back home who wanted to write off Ash and Bride."

On a more humorous note, Gurinder rubbishes a story in an Indian daily about her son's marriage to a Japanese girl.

"What son? Whose marriage? I don't have a son!" she shoots back incredulously.

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Subhash K Jha