Preity at heart!
A lot has happened in Preity Zinta's life in the past few years that
she kept away from the limelight and the wide screen to follow her heart
in dedicating herself to cricket and her humanitarian projects. Come
September 2012 and she is back after nearly a four year hiatus to vie
for audience's attention with her debut production Ishq in Paris.
"Even though I was really nervous before the first shot, I realized
that acting is like cycling. You don't forget anything even though it's
been nearly four years. I wanted to do things differently with 'Ishq in
Paris'. I started co-writing the script with Prem and then I decided to
act and produce the movie," said Preity who had lost eight kilos to
retain her Dil Chahta Hai curves.
Preity Zinta. Picture by Shan Rambukwella
Debuting in Dil Se in 1998, Preity had acted in more than 30 Hindi,
Telugu, Punjabi and English language films. She won the Filmfare Award
for Best Actress in 2003 for Kal Ho Naa Ho and played the lead in two
consecutive annual top grossing films: Koi Mil Gaya and Veer-Zaara. She
won the Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress at the 2008 Chicago
International Film Festival for her role in the Canadian production
Heaven on Earth.
Speaking about her experiences working with Sri Lankans, Preity said
that she has always found it a pleasant encounter. "I have met and
worked together with Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Nuwan
Kulasekara during the IPL T20 series and they have always been very
cordial," said the bubbly actress who is the owner of the Kings XI
Unveiling her ideas about her visit to Sri Lanka the Bollywood
actress said that she is enthralled by the picturesque countryside and
the hospitality of the Sri Lankans. She revealed that she would surely
make another visit to the island post Carlton Super Sevens 2012.
After the recent success of Vidya Balan starrers The Dirty Picture
and Kahaani, Bollywood is set to release a number of heroine-centric
films in September. Bipasha Basu's Raaz 3 launches on September 7
followed by Kareena Kapoor in Madhur Bhandarkar's much hyped about movie
Heroine on September 14. Preity and Sridevi's comeback vehicles 'Ishkq
in Paris' and English Vinglish are both poised to take off on September
21 and Rani Mukerji's Aiyya will release on September 28. Though the
films are not clashing on the same date, trade and industry watchers are
anticipating some tough competition in the season in which the starlets
take centre stage.
Queried if she is all set to face the music, Preity said that she
sees the prospect in a positive light. "No doubt the month will belong
to the actresses. It is almost a first in Bollywood history to see as
many as five back-to-back women-centric films.
Rather than the competition I see this as a motivation for more
actresses to showcase their acting talents on screen," she said."Rani
and I have been lucky for each other in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke and
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. I'm happy for both Kareena and Rani. Vidya is
fantastic in Kahaani and director Sujoy Ghosh is amazing. It's great
that content is now Queen - a positive sign for my movie," she added.
The challenge she faces these days is finding a child to star as her
childhood version in the movie. The lass needs to be between four to
seven years and should resemble Preity.
"It is so difficult to find a little girl to play 'mini me' thanks to
the dimple on my right cheek! Ufff! I'm going crazy with the casting,"
Preity noted on the strange glitch that had risen to halt her
production. The dimple has been Preity's trademark ever since she
stepped into the industry but she admits that never in her wildest
dreams that she thought that it would give her such technical concern.
Alia Bhatt, Mahesh Bhatt's younger daughter, played Preity's younger
version in the critically acclaimed 1999 film Sangharsh. Alia will be
making her movie debut in a lead role with Karan Johar's Student of the
Year (SOTY) in October.
"Can you believe it? The girl who played the younger me is Karan's
heroine in SOTY! How time flies," Preity tweeted on her site.
'Ishkq in Paris' is directed by Prem Raj and is said to be inspired
by the 1995 Hollywood movie Before Sunrise. A romantic drama set in
France, the original was about a young American man and French woman who
meet in a train in Europe and end up spending a romantic evening
together in Vienna. The underlying tragedy of the tale is that the
couple is conscious of the fact that they might never meet again
"Shooting in Paris has been very difficult, but all of us were so
motivated that we did not care about the bone-piercing chill but just
kept shooting. When we were shooting, the temperature plummeted to the
coldest on record in France in 65 years. For a while I thought I would
die, but it was a learning experience," she recalled.
Academy Award nominated French actress Isabelle Adjani and Arjun
Rampal star in the lead roles in 'Ishkq in Paris'. Salman Khan plays a
cameo in the film, returning Zinta's favour of appearing in a dance
sequence in his 2009 movie Main Aur Mrs. Khanna.
With more actors and actresses turning producers and directors the
grapevine states that Preity's next will be her directorial debut. She
pooh-poohs such rumours by stating that she does not want to take too
much on her plate.
Apart from movie-making she is also involved in the media and social
activism. She was awarded the Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Award
for her being the only witness not to retract in court her earlier
statements against the Indian mafia during the 2003 Bharat Shah case.
She was appointed the Goodwill Ambassador in India for Joint United
Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and hopes to become the 'voice
for the voiceless' and transform the people's thinking patterns via