Aishwarya Rai and Manisha Koirala had clashes not just over personal issues back then, but also on professional front. There was quite a competition between them at some point of time and there are instances when their unavailability of dates for a film had turned out to be blessings for each other. One such film was Kamal Haasan's blockbuster movie Indian.

Manisha Koirala and Aishwarya Rai
Manisha Koirala and Aishwarya Rai.PR Handout

Not Mani Ratnam, but Shankar wanted to launch Aish
Well, much before she made her debut with Mani Ratnam's Iruvar, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was approached for a lot of movies and one among them was Indian. She was the first choice to play one of the two female leads.

Aishwarya Rai had commitments to her advertising agency till October 1995 and she opted out of the project despite knowing that it was a multilingual biggie, a dream debut aspiring actors could only imagine. Once she turned down the offer, Shankar, then, set his eyes on Manisha Koirala.

Bombay Effect
Shankar was impressed with Manisha Koirala's performance in Mani Ratnam's Bombay. When he approached her, the actress had the required dates for the movie and rest is history as it helped her to become a household name in down South as well. The other heroine character was bagged by Urmila Matondkar.

Kamal Haasan and Manisha Koirala's Indian.PR Handout

Kamal Haasan had played dual roles – a freedom fighter and vigilante father and a corrupt son. It has to be noted that a sequel for the movie is in the making.

Interestingly, Aishwarya Rai waited for the right time and she was subsequently launched by Mani Ratnam's Iruvar. This movie turned out to be a good launchpad for her.

Thereafter, there has been no looking back for the Bachchan bahu. Currently, she is working on Mani's upcoming mega-budget flick Ponniyin Selvan in which she is sharing screens space with the likes of Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Trisha Krishnan, etc.