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On the road to self-discovery

Preity Zinta has reached a stage where she is keen on rediscovering heself as an actor and considers Videsh as one of her most challenging roles till date. The actress tells Parmita Uniyal why an inner dialogue is important in choosing a character.

entertainment Updated: Mar 16, 2009 12:35 IST
Parmita Uniyal

Effervescent Preity Zinta has different shades to herself. She doesn't want to trap herself in one image that is probably why she started out with an out-and-out masala film like Soldier and soon went on to do the bold Kya Kehna. And now, she is ready to challenge herself with an offbeat role in Videsh. Preity Zinta plays the role of Chaand, a young Punjabi woman who finds herself in an abusive arranged marriage with an Indo-Canadian man.

Getting real
"I've always wanted to challenge myself. At one stage I was laden with NRI, woman of substance roles. But I never got earthy roles, the roles from the soil. When Deepa Mehta came with the script of Videsh, it was a dream come true for me. It was one of the most difficult roles to portray ever. It really touched me."

Preity feels it's always tough to portray realistic roles onscreen as it has various shades to itself. "Most of the films have black and white characters, but there are few films where the characters are gray. This one is among those rare films."

Shooting with a snake
Though Preity had to face adverse conditions, like -20 degrees temperature, while shooting for the film, the most memorable one was shooting with a real snake. "Yes, I had a snake as my co-star. I bravely told Deepa that I'd shoot with a real snake. But it scared a hell out of me when I actually started shooting"

Preity learnt a few lessons in snake psychology while shooting with her special co-star. "I discovered that there is a lot of honour in the animal kingdom. First you have to develop a bond with them otherwise they'll feel uncomfortable in your company. You have to look for the signs when the snake might bite you. But once you establish a rapport with it, you can wear it as a muffler," giggles the actress.

Comedy anyone?
She has been known for her lively personality as well as her brave stand on issues close to her heart. But her sense of humour and comic timing has till now went unnoticed. "I would love to do a crazy comedy. It's one of my favourite genres."

Preity confesses she isn't the same person she used to be at the beginning of her career or for that matter few years before. "The films that I did 5-8 years before don't interest me anymore. I keep asking myself what do I want as an actor. I think more than anything else the inner dialogue is very important."

Hollywood? Not me
Unlike other actors, Preity is not keen on jumping onto the Hollywood bandwagon.

"There is only 'one' me. How can you expect me to do films, IPL and everything together? I'm happy with whatever I'm doing."

But of late, the actress is said to be doing lesser films than before. "I have done half the films my contemporaries have done. I have always been choosy. I have never done more than 1-2 films at a time. The reason is I can't work mindlessly. I have to be 100% interested in a film that I am working in.

E-mail author: parmita.uniyal@hindustantimes.com