Ash to play Rajni's leading lady in Robot

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Chennai, Jan 25 (UNI) Riding high with three projects in the New Year following the stupendous success of his blockbuster 'Sivaji - The Boss' last year, Tamil superstar Rajnikant has landed a 'prize catch' -- Bollywood diva and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan will play his leading lady in his next flick 'Robot'.

The 'blockbuster-to-be' would be made by another Kollywood 'hero' who wields the megaphone, Director Shankar of 'Indian' fame. It was Shankar who had directed 'Sivaji-The Boss'.

According to sources close to Shankar, Aishwarya formally confirmed acceptance to act in the film only today and broke the news to a popular Hindi news channel in Mumbai, saying ''I will be doing Shankar's film.'' However, her fee to work in the film had not been revealed.

For Aishwarya, it would be a come back of sorts to the Shankar camp. It was in his film 'Jeans' in the late 90s that she had made her debut in Tamil cinema and went on to act under ace Director Maniratnam in 'Iruvar' and in 'Guru' with husband Abhishek early last year. Ash's other hit in Tamil was cinematographer-director Rajiv Menon's 'Kandukkonden Kandukkonden', which was based on Jane Austen's famous novel 'Pride and Prejudice'.

Starring in Robot would also be, in a way, in fulfilment of Aishwarya's wish to do more films in Tamil. She had expressed this desire in a chat with newspersons when she unveiled the sale of a wrist watch brand 'Longines' while shooting for 'Guru'.

'Robot' would be the second film in which Rajnikanth would be pairing with a Bollywood heroine. However, his film 'Baba', in which Manisha Koirala kept him company as a female lead in 2001, came a cropper at the box office.

Signing up 'Robot' with Rajni is also being seen as a good luck charm for Aishwarya, who needs a hit, and her second film with Shankar, considered to be a Director with midas touch, could bring her the luck.


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