Indian cinema's highest paid actress and former Miss WorldAishwariya Rai is to star in Roland Joffe's next film Singularityalongside Brendan Fraser.
The film, previously titled The Invaders and with areported budget of $40m, revolves around the first battle between Englishinvaders and the Maratha dynasty from Western India. It begins shooting inSeptember in India and also stars Vivek Oberoi.
The Joffe film is one of a number set to star Rai. She has alsoagreed to appear in Coline Serreau's Chaos, a film Meryl Streep has beenlinked with; Barton Randall's I Know A Place; and Mistress Of Spices withproducers Deepak Nayar and Gurinder Chadha.
Rai was on the shortlist to play Helen Of Troy in WolfgangPetersen' Troy, which screens in Cannes this week.
Chaos is to be shot in early 2005 in British Columbiaand is the remake of the French director's social drama revolving around abourgeois French couple.
Rai is also to star in the IMAX presentation Taj Mahal forrelease in 2005. She portrays the role of Mumtaz, for whom the Taj Mahal wasconstructed.
Rai is currently on an Indian Cinema Stage Show tour in UnitedStates and is meeting producers in Los Angeles to finalise a few more roles.
Rai told Screen International: "It is an interesting mix ofscripts being offered to me - I am a newcomer in Hollywood but picky about thechoices I am making - Indians will be proud of the choices I make in the west."
Having worked in a variety of Indian roles and various Indianlanguages including, Hindi, Tamil and Bengali, Rai feels she is ready for amainstream Hollywood feature. "I feel as an actor I am growing with each filmand I look at myself as hopefully a world actor working in world cinema".
Aishwariya Rai, who is repped in Hollywood by William MorrisAgency burst upon the world stage, winning the Miss World crown in 1994. Hercredits include Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas," whichwas premiered in Cannes 2002.
Last year Rai became the first Indian actor to be a member of thejury at the Cannes Film Festival. She has just completed filming Bride AndPrejudice, a re-working of the Jane Austin classic, directed by GurinderChadha which is to be released in October 2004.
Rai will officially open the Indian Pavilion at Cannes on the 13thMay. "We Indians are very passionate about what we do, we are incredibly hardworking and give a very high quality product at low budgets - this is bound toopen more avenues for Indian cinema overseas", Rai added.