Aishwarya Rai and Rajinikanth came together 10 years ago for the action sci-fi film, Robot. The film became a big hit at the box office and marked one of the biggest collaboration of the Indian cinema as two superstars came together. During the audio launch of the film in Malaysia, Rajinikanth thanked the actress for agreeing to play the female lead in the film. He also shared that a neighbour once made fun of his age and questioned why would Aishwarya want to work with him.
Narrating a hilarious incident, Rajinikanth revealed he had gone to visit his brother in Bengaluru, where he met the fan. "Aishwarya ji, thank you for 'accepting' to play the female lead opposite me. I am not exaggerating. I went to Bengaluru to my brother's house, and there was a tenant who is residing in the neighbouring house. When he found out that I had come, he came to see me. His name is Nandu Lal and he must be over 60."
He then went on to share the conversation he had with the tenant, "Kya Rajini? Baal sab kya hogaya?", to which Rajinikanth said, "Jhad gaya, chod do." The tenant thought, the superstar had retired and asked if he is enjoying his retired life. That is when Rajinikanth revealed that he is actually working on a film with Aishwarya Rai.
Impressed, he asked, "Aishwarya Rai? Kamaal ki ladki hai (beautiful actress). Fantastic. But, who's the hero?" On telling him that Rajnikanth still plays the lead roles in his films, the tenant was in shock and didn't speak for 10 minutes. However, after they had left and were still in earshot, Rajinikanth could hear him talk. "They left, but I could hear them talking amongst themselves. 'Kya hogaya yaar Aishwarya Rai? Abhishek Bachchan ko kya hogaya? Amitabh Saab ko kya hogaya? Heroine iske saath?," recalled Rajinikanth.
Rajinikanth then thanked Aishwarya Rai once again as the crowd emerged in laughter, "Thank you, Aishwarya Rai."
Coming back to the present, Aishwarya Rai will next be seen in Mani Ratnam's historical drama, Ponniyin Selvan.