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As Ketan Mehta films the Aamir Khan starrer The Rising, Aishwarya Rai explains for the first time ever -- in every detail -- to Senior Associate Editor Archana Masih why she did not do the role she was initially slotted for.

Three days before she left for a concert to the UK, US and Canada, Ash went over her year-long experience on The Rising front, pointing out dates, the unavailability of a final script almost a year after discussing it and the misrepresentation that she wanted an increase in the role.

The first segment of an exclusive rediff.com interview with the superstar!

Let me go right to the beginning. Ketan [Mehta] wanted to make a different movie with me. He had approached me with a totally different script a year-and-a-half ago. The film was Kathputhli.

Around November-December 2002, Ketan came to see me and said he was now going to be making a move called The Rising for now with Aamir Khan, and hence he was not to do Kathputhli right now. It was to be pushed for a later time.

He told me there was a role in this film [The Rising] and if I'd consider it. This film was about Mangal Panday, his friendship with an Englishman and his romance with an English lady. That is really the crux of the story.

There was this one part with an Indian girl -- there was supposed to be only one Indian girl at that point [laughs]. He told me the film was not focussed on that role. He was very open and candid about it from the onset.

He said, however, if you would agree to do this then the role could be developed further. I said alright, interesting, because I had never worked with Aamir and thought it would be a wonderful experience. I was really looking forward to working with Ketan anyway with Kathputhli. I thought working with the duo would be wonderful.

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