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Preity Zinta
Indeed Priety Zinta is aptly known as the Bohemian babe of the Tinselville. Here in an exclusive conversation with The Record she takes a joyous break and also a humourous stock of her filmy journey from ‘Dil Se’ to ‘Dil Ne Jise Apna kaha’ besides reflecting candidly on her future, especially her Diwali release, a Yash Chopra epic movie now titled ‘ Veer Zaara’.

TR: For a kick start how about reflecting on your journey from your first film ‘Dil se’ to your latest released movie ‘Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha’.
Priety: First of all I want all the scribes and all my fans to stand corrected. As my first film was not ‘Dil Se’ but ‘Kya Kehna’. Yes I am proud to accept that I am a Tips films discovery strongly backed by Mr. Ramesh Taurani and my director Mr. Kundan Shah. ‘Dil Se’ had just happened during its making and had got released first. And then touchwood my journey en route too until now has been great. A history making one as a couple of decades or more down the line when the annals of the history of the Indian Cinema in general and Hindi Cinema in particular will be pondered upon and revisited I am sure the name Priety Zinta will definitely be traced out in it. Yes somewhere along the line albeit a small one like my dimples. And now seriously speaking touchwood once again as I had come at a time when all along I had been offered strong female oriented characters, not necessarily heroine dominated ones but strong enough to allow me to make a mark of my own and thereby create a niche of my own.

TR: En route Priety had also done a ‘Pretty Woman’ take off on the Hollywoodian actress Julia Roberts with a Hindi remake in ‘Chori Chori Chupke’. Right ?
Priety: Right! So what ? As an actress newly emerging on the filmy horizon and groping for a place of her own then she could not request or compel her director not to attempt an inspirational remake now could she ? Besides it was just the similarity in their characters and maybe a couple of scenes here and there in which she never made a conscious attempt to do a take off on Julia Roberts. Yet the entire conceptualized format of hi society call girl turning into an emotionally sensitive surrogate mom was strictly Indianised to the last core.

TR: And why did you have this fascination for attempting only bold roles in off beat movies right from the word go ?
Priety: Not to forget that those off beat movies including ‘Dil Hai Tumhara’, ‘Sanghursh’, ‘Mission Kashmir’ et al were out and out commercially viable ventures too. Yet I don’t understand this strange herd mentality of one and all who feels that if a heroine accepts feeler roles like say that of ‘Do chaar scenes of pyar vyar and naach gaana topped with a little bit of rona dhona too’ in a male dominated industry scenario she is instantly labeled as a show piece, a decorative mantle piece. And then here I am and my other contemporary actresses like Aishwarya Rai-my only best female friend in Bollywood- who are hell bent on creating our own slot. But our efforts are not even lauded. Come on guys make up your minds and stop pointing accusing fingers at the likes of us by saying ‘Woh kiya toh kyun kiya, yeh kiya toh kyun kiya’ ? I tell you really this is like a Catch 22 situation. No taarif, waarif. No bouquets only brickbats. Pray tell me why ?

TR: Next, now can one ask Priety Zinta to stand corrected who has come a full circle from Shekhar Kapoor’s shelved venture ‘Tara Rum Pum’ to his latest to go on the floors movie ‘Mantra’.
Priety: Yeah ! She stands corrected, but with a clean slated clarification. First of all the film ‘Mantra’ will be directed by Mr.Vishal Bhardwaj and not Mr. Shekhar Kapoor but of course he is behind the project with all his good wishes. Secondly yes right on day one I had gone to his auditions for ‘Tara Rum Pum’ with a friend. She had got a call not me. But the poor girl had got rejected and then out of the blue when I was picked up for it I had got luckily selected. But then that movie never happened. So what can bechari Priety Zinta do ? Then I was also considered for his next announced movie called ‘Time Machine’ again with Aamir Khan but unfortunately this was also shelved. So at that time I was considered as a jinxed newcomer for a long time and I would have remained a newcomer if the Perks Chocolate ad campaign had not happened for me. So ultimately it was a mouthful of a Cadbury Chocolate which had done the trick and I was spotted by Mr. Kundan Shah and Mr. Ramesh Taurani. And then the rest as they say is history which had begun with ‘Kya Kehna’. Wah ! Priety Zinta tera kya kehna.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Priety Zinta in the September 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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