Priyanka Chopra is a "good actress" but daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai was more deserving of the best actress award for her work in "Jodhaa Akbar" at the 10th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) (awards) in Macau, says Jaya Bachchan.
"For all I know she must be really good in 'Fashion'. I haven't seen it. But I've seen Priyanka's work in 'Dostana' and liked it. She's undoubtedly a good actress," Jaya said.
"I don't have any objection to her winning the award at IIFA. But I wonder why Aishwarya's fine performance was ignored. I think she and the 'Jodhaa Akbar' cinematographer Kiran Deohans richly deserved recognition for their work," she added.
A lot has been said and written about "Jodhaa Akbar" director Ashutosh Gowariker's comments on Priyanka not deserving the best actress award for her performance in "Fashion" at the IIFA.
While most sections of the industry have come forward to deride Gowariker for what they see as his childish and impulsive outburst, the one aspect of his criticism against the IIFA jury awarding Priyanka and not Aishwarya that has raised eyebrows is his mention of Jaya on stage to substantiate his public objection.
"Priyanka, you are a very hardworking actress but I was just discussing with Jayaji why Aishwarya did not get the best actress award," Gowariker said when he came on stage to collect best director award for "Jodhaa Akbar" from Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya.
Surprisingly, Jaya not only stands up for Gowariker, but also gives him a clean chit for mentioning her in his speech.
"First of all it is being presumed that Ashutosh unnecessarily mentioned my name regarding Aishwarya's omission from the awards. The fact is, I suggested he bring up the question on stage at IIFA. We were discussing why Aishwarya has not been given any award for 'Jodhaa Akbar' and I suggested Ashutosh bring up the matter. So when he mentioned my name, he wasn't doing anything wrong," she said.
Commenting on Aishwarya's performance in the film, she said: "The entire principal cast and crew of 'Jodhaa Akbar' have been rightly nominated for the popular awards and have won also. I find it very strange that Aishwarya, who lived her part and looked every inch the royal Rajasthani queen in her body language and overall performance, was ignored."