1. Aishwarya Rai Rumours Start Again

    By Tim Roth on 2004-01-05

    In April 2003 reported the first time that Indian actress Ashwarya Rai was going to play a Bond girl in Bond 21. The rumours were denied by both EON and Ashwarya Rai’s agent some weeks later.

    In today’s "Times of India" and several other Indian news sources the rumour mill is opened again:

    Aishwarya Rai has agreed to appear in the next James Bond film if its producers agree to use a body double for the sex scenes with Pierce Brosnan, who plays secret agent 007.

    Rai was asked to play Brosnan’s romantic interest in the still untitled film, the 21st in the Bond series, but she has insisted she will take the role only if a look-alike is drafted in for the inevitable sex scenes.

    She told the British press that her strict upbringing meant there was no question of her doing anything saucy.

    "I’ve said I will do the film if there is a body double. The producers have said they will have to ask Pierce," she said.

    She said the Bond offer came after she bumped into Brosnan at a party.

    "He walked over to me and said he had seen me on the cover of Time magazine," she said.

    "I could hardly say anything at first but then my friend started talking and told Pierce how much he loved his trademark intro, ‘The name’s Bond, James Bond’.

    "Pierce kept looking at me and the next thing was the casting agent for the film got in touch and asked if I would like to be a Bond girl."

    Bond producer Barbara Broccoli is said to be keen to cast a Bollywood actress to increase Bond’s appeal in Asia.

    Reports said two other Indian actresses Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta had been approached to appear in the film should Rai’s demand rule her out.

    The British media has been speculating about Rai playing a role in the next Bond outing since early last year.

    These rumours seem very likely to be untrue, as the "Pierce Brosnan stumbled into me" story has been used by several wannabe Bond girls in the past. We shouldn’t also forget the denial of EON Productions last year.

    However, feel free to discuss the story in this thread in CBn’s Bond 21 forums!