Bollywood livewire

Bollywood livewire


She would argue with the phrase that “she is back in Bollywood,” and with good reason. Full of beans, as always, Preity Zinta says, “I was only off films for two years.

So you cannot call my film Ishqk In Paris a comeback. I am not coming back after 10 or 15 years, and I had not left films. It’s just that at a time when I was not getting roles of my liking, I decided to get into IPL. Since it was a new zone, I thought I should learn more about it and concentrate on that.”

Preity Zinta signed her first film, Kundan Shah’s Kya Kehna, in the mid-‘90s. However, it had a delayed release; her first release was Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se…(1998), which flopped. Preity was noticed for her ebullient performance in a small role, and when she delivered a hit in Soldier, which was released in the same year, her career began to roll.

Her list of hits, super-hits and successes span movies like Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Veer Zaara, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, The Hero, Koi…Mil Gaya, Mission Kashmir, Krrish (in a cameo) and Dil Chahta Hai. More importantly, Preity has frequently dared to be different, essaying roles like that of the streetwalker in Chori…, the brutalised wife in Videsh, the spoilt brat in Armaan, etc.

In Ishqk In Paris, Preity is a co-producer as well. As a producer, Preity has enjoyed the challenges and the hiccups that have come her way during production. “Production is very tough, especially if you are also the lead actress,” she quips. “I had to take care, for example, that my make up was not spoilt for my own shots, while I was attending to my responsibilities as a producer.

I also made it a point to ensure that the entire crew was looked after, and as a policy, I saw to it that they all got to stay in good places and eat good food.” Her most challenging situation arose when a real train in the shoot just cracked to pieces (literally) because of the biting cold in France, “It was minus 23 degrees Celsius and the coldest winter in 65 years!” Today, Preity can afford to laugh at the memory, but it was horribly scary then, she says!

Calling her film a small-budget entertainer and something that will “get both respectability and commercial success,” she says that the romantic comedy offers a subtle message — that while life has become fast and the globe has shrunk, we Indians are the same people at heart and want the same basics in life, starting with love.
Preity says that she had no qualms about signing Prem Raaj (the director known for the 2009 debacle Main Aur Mrs Khanna) because she liked his energy. “After a flop like this, there is also a stronger drive to come out with a blockbuster,” reasons the actor, who had done a cameo in that Salman Khan home production.

Lead actor Rehaan is the new face Preity introduces in the film — he was known in his television innings as Gaurav Chanana. Since, in the end, it is the boy who has to take care of the girl rather than vice-versa, Preity had to make sure that the newcomer’s role was strong. “I liked Rehaan’s motivation and determination. His figure was unsuitable for the role and I told him so. Within weeks, he returned with a perfect look,” says Preity.

With her new film based in France and even a French co-actress in Isabelle Adjani, who plays the hero’s mom and learnt Hindi for her role, does Preity hope for success in that country? “Of course! It is one of the most difficult countries to shoot in as they are so protective about their heritage and there are so many permissions one has to obtain. But above all, I want it to succeed in

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