Queen of Bollywood

Aishwarya ("Ash") Rai has been a superstar in India since she was crowned Miss World in 1994.... Rai agrees that although New Bollywood may represent a welcome reinvigoration of a tired industry, the reason she is suddenly attracting a global audience is the same reason that Bollywood has always drawn adulation from millions of Indians. "It's the chance to be transported from the toil and the worry," she says, "the chance to feel good about life again." Whatever the innovations of the new Indian wave, the true essence of Bollywood, she says, will always be "a world of hope and color and positivity, the innocent, beautiful fairy tale." So is this the beginning of a storybook adventure for her and Indian cinema? Why not? As she says, "In Bollywood, it's always a happy ending."


See more Time.com Articles

Photo Essays

The Great Irrfan Khan

He doesn't dance like a Bollywood matinee idol, nor does he sing like one. But that could be why Irrfan Khan is the Indian actor most likely to achieve global...

View more photo essays

Time.com Specials

Best of Bollywood

As the South Asian International Film Festival kicks off in New York City, feed your Bollywood fever with TIME's list of the best Bollywood classics — as well as...

View All Specials