Bach Gayee Bachchan Bahu thanks to her international manager who was introduced to Ash by Ambika.Pillai.
This is more than a decade old interview that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s International Manger -Simone Sheffield gave to “Planet Bollywood” in the year 2005. Simone Sheffield is suddenly in the news when she gave an iterview to Variety and said that the now infamous Hollywood Producer, Harvey Weinstein wanted some ‘Alone time with Aishwarya’. Sheffield stated, “I used to manage Indian actress Aishwarya Rai. While dealing with Harvey, I found it comical how hard he tried to get Aishwarya alone. But he was a pig… (he) looked and acted like a big bully pig… He asked me to leave the meeting numerous times and I politely declined. When we were leaving his office, he cornered me and said ‘what do I have to do to get her alone? I told him to ‘kiss my ass. When Ash and I returned to our hotel, I sent Harvey a steel pig trough filled with diet coke as a thank you gift for the meeting. Yes, we did do business and yes, he eventually threatened me. Told me I’d never work in this business, blah blah blah… what I said to him I can’t print. But you can be sure, I never gave him the opportunity to even breathe on my client,”
Aishwarya should be grateful to Simone and more importantly, to the beauty diva – Ambika Pillai who introduced Ash to the gutsy Simone Sheffield. Aishwarya most recently met Weinstein at the AmFar Gala in 2014 when Abhishek Bachchan and Weinstein’s wife Georgina Chapman (of Marchesa) were together. Before that she met Harvey at the Times 100 party.
Here is the decade old interview of Simone Sheffield that Planet Bollywood published:
Interview with Ash´s Intl. Manager: Simone Sheffield
Some people only dream of working with Aishwarya Rai, but Ash´s International Manager: Simone Sheffield not only works with Ms. Rai but is also a close friend. In this interview I got to talk with Ms. Sheffield about what it´s like to work with the queen of bollywood and her insight into Aishwarya´s career.
Q. It is believed that you came out of retirement just for Ash, what compelled you to do this?
YES, that is true. I was very happily retired from Management. A mutual friend Ambika Pillai introduced us and after our initial phone conversation I was on-board. I liked Aishwarya immediately.
Q.How long have you been working with Ash? And did you approach Ash, or vice versa?
I´ve been working with Ash for 2 years. After Ambika told me what a sweetheart Ash was and very talented, Ambika thought that I might be interested in introducing Ash to Hollywood, I called Ash up and the rest is history.
Q.You have never worked with a Bollywood actress before, what attracted you to become a manager for one?
Aishwarya is my first Bollywood actress. She has become much more than a client, she is a very good & true friend.
Q.You must talk and visit Ash very often, how frequently do you meet and/or talk with her?
I visit her usually during her travels to film locations and photo shoots. We talk weekly and instant message one another almost daily.
Q.What´s the best thing about being Ash´s Manager?
Just being a part of her heart means much more to me than what we achieve in business. We laugh a lot and thank God a lot……..did I mention EAT A LOT !
Q.Ash is a very talented actress, how does she choose and prepare for her roles?
She is a very quick study once she has made up her mind to do something. However, she does take her time in the final decision making process. Timing is very important to her.
Q. Ash is all set and ready to make her debut in Hollywood in the upcoming ´Bride and Prejudice´, how do you think she will do?
Performance wise, Aishwarya is always fully enjoyable on-screen.
Q.Now a big question everyone wants to know… Did Ash really share a kissing scene with Martin Henderson in ´Bride and Prejudice?´
I don’t want to say either way. You´ll have to watch the film to find out!
Q.Gurinder Chadha has said she wants to work with Ash again in ´Mistress of Spices´, if so what sort of role will she play?
The lead role of a young woman that moves to the USA who shares her belief and knowledge in the powers of Spices. There is also best selling book available.
Q.Ash is scheduled to star in the upcoming ´Chaos´ with Meryl Streep where she plays a prostitute, how does Ash feel starring in a movie with Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep?
Meryl Streep is one of her favorite actresses. Ash is looking forward to working with Meryl and director Coline Serreau.
Q. There was a rumor circulating that Ash has spoken to Michael Douglas about doing a romantic comedy ´Racing the Monsoon´, is this true?
Yes, Ash & Michael had a great meeting to discuss the film, which is still in development. The producers will make all future announcements as the project progresses.
Q.Was Ash the original choice for playing the Indian princess (now replaced with Mallika Sherawat) in Jackie Chan´s new movie, ´Time Breaker´?
Yes. But the dates did not work. She looks forward to working with Jackie Chan in the future and also working in China.
Q. In her upcoming movie ´Singularity´ it was rumored to have starred Vivek Oberoi, and then later changed to being Brendan Fraser, is this true?
Not true. Brendan Fraser was the lead male. Vivek Oberoi was being considered for another character all together. Casting for Singularity is not yet set, except for Aishwarya.
Q.In all the movies Ash´s done which one is her favorite?
She has a few, but Devdas would have to be at the top of the list.
Q. Ash is getting a wax statue of herself at Madame Tussauds in London, how does she feel about this?
She is totally thrilled ! Only she and A.B. will represent India. The process to create her image was very tedious but will be very rewarding.
Q.How does Ash cope with all the fame?
She takes life “one day at a time”. She does not rush things and trusts totally in God’s Time. “Fame” is simply a small part of her over-all job and lifestyle.
Q.Do you think Ash has made a good career move in choosing to tread new waters in Hollywood?
YES definitely. Hollywood is just another film market to broaden her career – at the same time, bringing a little touch of India to the rest of the world.
Q. Getting already over 22 million visitors, is www.AishwaryaWorld.com Ash´s one and only official website ?
Yes, it is the one and only authorized website for Aishwarya Rai. It is owned by Aishwarya herself.
Q.And most of all… What´s your favorite thing about Ash?
Her sincerity…. And a pair of huge blue/green eyes that can see inside your soul.
Q. Thank you for your time Simone, do you have any other comments?
Americas most prestigious news show 60 Minutes will film a profile on Ash in October. Ash has a few surprises in the works for her fans. She will make an announcement in 2005!!