Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with her daughter Aaradhya Bachchan. Image Credit: IANS

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s career never comes in the way of her duties as a mother, a wife, daughter and daughter-in-law — in that order.

“From the time I was 18, I’ve been juggling with many responsibilities. My day begins at 5.30am. It has been that way from the time I remember. Of course, after Aaradhya my priorities have changed completely. She comes first, everything else is secondary,” Rai Bachchan said.

“Do you know Aaradhya saw her mother’s film for the first time? I mean, she had of course seen me on television and doing songs. But Fanney Khan is my first film where she actually sat through the whole film,” she added.

Asked what Aaradhya thought of her performance she said: “I think her smiling eyes said it all. She had actually seen me shoot a part of my song in Fanney Khan. So when she heard there was a screening, she expressed a wish to see the film with all her friends and their parents. So all her friends came with their parents and had a good time.”

“I was happy to let Fanney Khan be the first film Aaradhya watches. It has a positive message for viewers of all ages and there’s nothing in it that children cannot watch. In any case, Aaradhya is constantly singing and dancing at home, sometimes to my songs, sometimes to her father’s and her grandfather’s songs. It’s a normal household. We’re trying to keep the atmosphere around Aaradhya as normal as possible,” the actress added.

Rai Bachchan is not one of those star mums whose child is seen more with the nanny than the mother.

Laughing at the observation, she said: “Aaradhya does have a nanny. In fact, I am told I should have two of them because the one that I have tends to take off on long holidays. But it doesn’t really matter. I like doing everything for Aaradhya myself, though with my kind of schedules it is not always possible to do so.”

But Rai Bachchan’s mother helps out. The actress and former beauty queen said she grew up in an atmosphere where her mother was always hands-on.

“So it never even occurred to me that it could be otherwise,” she said.

Managing her sprawling career and her domestic responsibilities is not easy.

“Every home maker who is a working woman is a hero. It requires a lot of juggling with time. And a supportive husband, which I luckily have,” she added.

Rai Bachchan is looking at doing handpicked roles, like the one in Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and now Fanney Khan.

“I always knew my role in Fanney Khan was small. When I was promoting the film, I never gave the impression that I was there throughout the film. Rakeysh Mehra and his wife P.S. Bharathi [who has co-produced Fanney Khan] narrated the idea to me and I loved it.”

It’s almost as though the role of the pop diva was written for Rai Bachchan.

“That’s how the audience have perceived my presence. Once I was on board, I became totally involved with the development of the character, her relationship with the character played by Rajkummar Rao, her clothes, the song... I loved the concept. And Anil Kapoor as the father of the daughter brought his personal emotions into the part. He was so sincere,” Rai Bachchan said.

Mehra has said Rai Bachchan contributed a lot to her character.

She says it was a “small but pivotal role”.

“I don’t look at my roles in terms of the footage. To me, the role should define my personality and the character I am playing. But now Rakeysh needs to do a full-fledged film with me.”