Is Bollywood actress Aishwarya Bachchan (formerly Rai) the most beautiful woman in the world? Not in my book. It’s a humor book, of course, so you can’t take it too seriously. I’d rate Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie and Preity Zinta ahead of her, to mention just a few. I’ve always had a thing for Berry, even before she won the Oscar for Best Actress. On a scale of one to 10, I’d rate her an 11. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, and if Aishwarya’s fans think she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, who am I to tell them to stop drinking the Kool-Aid?
But how far can looks carry an actress? Pretty far, if you consider Aishwarya’s iconic status in India, but not far enough, if you consider the reviews of her Hollywood movie The Last Legion. Not only did western critics roundly pan the movie, a couple of them took shots at her acting skills as well.
Jack Mathews of the New York Daily News wrote: "And though Rai may be the most beautiful woman in the world, as some have
claimed (I’ll go with Michelle Pfeiffer), she’s no actress." (Upon reading this, Aishwarya was devastated. "How can he write such a thing?" she said. "How can he think I’m not more beautiful than Michelle Pfeiffer?")
Geoff Pevere of The Toronto Star wrote: "The movie (directed gamely by the Xena and Hercules TV-show
veteran Doug Lefler) follows the attempt to rescue the orphaned boy-emperor
Romulus Augustus (Thomas Sangster) by a puffy-lidded, sleep-deprived centurion
named Aurelius (Colin Firth) and his staggeringly gorgeous but theatrically
challenged Bollywood-refugee sidekick named Mira (Aishwarya Rai)." (Upon reading this, Aishwarya was thrilled: "He said I’m staggeringly gorgeous! I bet he never said that about Michelle Pfeiffer.")
Pevere wasn’t the only critic gushing about her looks. None, unfortunately, gushed about her acting.