Aishwarya Rai has an 'adjective' problem. She is reportedly the highest paid actress in Indian cinema with her pick of the best roles, banners and directors. Each of her movies in 2010 - Raavan, Robot, the recently released Action Replayy, and soon to premiere Guzaarish - is a five-star production that most actresses can only dream about. This is the face that has launched a thousand magazine articles, and yet not one word in them reveals the woman behind that immaculate visage.
Nearly two decades of constant media attention later, she remains a glittering icon, more symbolic than real, defined entirely by how she looks. "I don't know of anyone who is crazy about Aishwarya," says filmmaker and critic Paromita Vohra. "[Hers] is a sort of empirical or quantitative success, by virtue of ticking off all the correct surface qualities." And that perfect 'surface' is all that everyone talks about.