Preity Zinta

Preity is one actress who is full of life, always carries a smile on her face and is one who is never involved in any controversy. She is very easy going, down to earth and therefore the most sought for heroines in the film industry. Whoever has worked with her loves her for her sincerity, hard work and easy-going, hassle-free attitude. And she on the other hand is one happy girl. Her career is in its peak and she couldn't have asked for better roles or banners. Seasonsindia correspondent Ekta Dhupia caught up with her at her residence and had a heart-to-heart talk with this bubbly actress.

Excerpts from the interview.

Tell me Preity, which movie according to you brought you popularity?

Well you wont believe it, it was Chori Chori Chupke Chupke that put me on the map. My fan following among the males increased three- folds after CCCC. Especially in countries like Pakistan and the Gulf. I was flooded with letters. (Grins) Some would send wedding proposals. Some ask for advice. Others call me 'didi'. Somehow, they are able to relate to me.

But wasn't Dil Chahta Hai you ladder to success?

Well DCH was definitely a turning point in my career. It was appreciated a lot in the western media. Because it gave an insight into the psyche of the urban Indian youth. But I wont say that because of that movie alone I am being appreciated as a good actress today. No one movie catapults you to the top. You have to do good work consistently. Whole loads of movies have taken me up. The credit goes equally to Kya Kehna, Soldier, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke and Dil Chahta Hai. If I have to pick one movie that put the spotlight on me, it would be Kya Kehna and Chori Chori Chupke Chupke.

Do you regret not doing Lagaan?
No. If I had done Lagaan, I wouldn't have been able to do Dil Chahta Hai. Anyway, if I had done the movie, I would have reminded the audience of Preity Zinta. Lagaan needed a Gracy Singh. She was brilliant in the film. I feel that I wouldn't have done the role as beautifully as Gracy did it. She was perfect.

How was the experience of shooting for Dil Hai Tumhara?
Dil Hai Tumhara is a story of a mother and her two daughters. The mother loves one daughter more than the other. I play a rebel who craves attention and goes crazy if she doesn't get it. She's always trying to prove a point to others. And somewhere life catches up with her. It's an interesting character. The character I play is Shalu who isn't loved by her Mother played by Rekhaji.

How was it working with Rekha, Mahima and Arjun for the first time?
It was great to work with all of them. The atmosphere is very professional and we had a good rapport. Mahima and I got along very well. It is believed that when two heroines work together in a film fireworks are expected but nothing of that sort happened. She was extremely nice to work with. It was very important for me to like Mahima as she is playing my elder sister who bonds with Shalu very well. It was very easy to like her. My mother Rekhaji was brilliant. She created the right kind of atmosphere. Jimmy was shy and quiet. Arjun is completely mad. I think all of us fitted fully well in the Dil Hai Tumhara.

You have always had a different look in each of your movies, be it Dil Se, Mission Kashmir, Dil Chahta Hai or Dil Hai Tumhara. Was it your intention or merely accidental?

Oh no purely intentional. And it is quite obvious too. If you play different characters then your looks, make-up, costumes, hair-do everything changes. And since the hair defines the look I always had different hairstyles in different movies. Shalu is quite a rebel. I couldn't see her as the Shalini of Dil Chahta Hai with long permed hair. For her I had to shorten my hair.

Is it true that you've drastically cut down on your assignments?
Not drastically but significantly. Though I must say that even earlier on I didn't sign movies indiscriminately. Right now, I'm doing Anil Sharma's The Hero, Honey Irani's next and Rakesh Roshan's Koi Mil Gaya. Only three movies a year from now on. I want to enjoy my life as well. Work is not everything and so I have decided not to get completely trapped in work and deprive myself of all the other attractions and pleasures of life.

So does success sit lightly on your shoulders?

Vidhu Vinod Chopra once told me something very relevant. He said that a good day will come to an end just like a bad day will. It's very important to understand that. See, Preity Zinta is an image to the audience. And that image has been created by hundreds of technicians, which include my make-up guy, hairdresser, scriptwriter, director, and my co-stars who compliment me on the screen. That's showbiz. It's important that I understand that. I'm not that image. Once you're clear about that, you'll automatically learn to take it easy. It's easier said than done.

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