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When Preity charmed Cannes

Not officially part of the festival, the actress made her presence felt, writes Saibal Chatterjee.

india Updated: May 27, 2006 11:12 IST

For some in the Indian media contingent in Cannes this year, the most sought after personality was Preity Zinta, who wasn't officially part of the 59th Cannes Film Festival but was present at virtually every Indian bash in the first week of the event.

The presence of the chirpy Bollywood star, who made the trip under the aegis of Chopard, in this Riviera town triggered speculation that she might be offered the role of Sonia Gandhi in Jagmohan Mundhra's proposed biopic on the Congress leader.

But Preity was the first to scoff at these rumours. In an animated conversation with Hollywood producer Ashok Amritraj during a yacht party, she was overheard emphasising the fact that Bollywood was driven by relationships.

Amritraj told her that back in Los Angeles it would be well nigh impossible to get a star to devote time to any event or film without a formal offer and sufficient notice.

"In Bollywood, we aren't that hung up," Preity said. "When Yash uncle offers me a role, I say yes entirely on trust. I do read the screenplay but only to understand the role. It has no bearing on my final decision."

Bollywood is Bollywood and Hollywood is Hollywood. Never the twain shall meet.