With Aishwarya Rai carrying home a pay packet of Rs 40 million for her proposed stint as Rajnikant's leading lady in Shankar's Robot, she has now become the highest-paid actress in Indian cinema.

"Yes, it's close to Rs 40 million. And she's very amused when she reads that she is the highest-paid actress in Bollywood. With three hits in a row — Guru, Dhoom 2 and Jodhaa Akbar, Ash's equity as a Rai and a Bachchan have gone through the roof," said a source close to Aishwarya.

"It is no surprise that Aishwarya is getting Rs 40 million. It's still chicken feed compared with what Rajnikant carries home. He takes home Rs 150 million plus 50 per cent of his film's profits. But still he cannot make a film commercially viable outside the Tamil belt on his own.

"The dubbed Hindi version of Chandramukhi came and went. And Rajni's biggest hit Shivaji - The Boss is in no hurry to be released in Hindi. With Ash in Robot'it looks like an attractive non-regional film," said another source close to the project.