I'm just a paid slave: Preity Zinta

Sep 9, 2006 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Sep 9 (IANS) Preity Zinta hasn't disappeared after the release of "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" (KANK), she's just in London shooting for Shaad Ali's "Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom".

"Just because I'm so much out of the country, people feel free to say and write what they like. I wish I were at home so I could see what was going on. But then I'm just a paid slave. No time to savour the fruits of my job," Preity told IANS over the phone from London.

She feels she should halt to enjoy the success.

"You see I'm a bit of an idiot. I never take that crucial pause after a release to savour its success. I'm told KANK has raised quite a storm in India. Well, good that's what movies should do."

She is baffled by the criticism.

"I don't understand why some people feel Karan has gone too far. Arrey! People say, make something different. And when a filmmaker actually takes the plunge into a deeper end, people accuse him of going too far.

"I feel proud to be in a film that pushes the envelope in mainstream cinema. I want to hug Karan for making KANK. In fact, I'll get my chance to do so because Karan is coming to London."

Mention the limited space provided for Preity in KANK, which revolves around infidelity, and she retorts: "Abhishek and I are like the anchors in the plot. I was never more scared of a role. A little bit this or that way, and my character could've toppled over.

"Thank god Rhea doesn't come across as a bitch. I constantly kept looking at Karan for reassurance. I never had to be directed so closely before. 'I don't want Preity Zinta. I want Rhea Saran,' Karan kept saying.

"As for the footage, hey, we don't really live in those times any more when actors measured the length of each other's roles with measuring tapes, do we? Cinema has grown up. So have actors. KANK is proof of it."

All of Bollywood seems to have descended on London. Last month it was the combined units of Priyadarshan's "Bhagam Bhaag" and Vipul Shah's "Namaste London" turning London into a mini Bollywood. Followed by Nikhil Advani's "Salaam-e-Ishq" and Shaad Ali's "Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom" which created a dhoom in the city.

Preity agrees.

"Indeed, you can't step out on the street here without bumping into one or the other of your colleagues. I've been shooting with Shaad for two weeks. We call him Fidel on the sets. Why? Because with his beard he looks like the young Fidel Castro."

Abhishek and Bobby Deol are her co-stars in "Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom".

"Abhishek has just arrived. And Bobby was here. It was good to catch up with him after so long. We had a great time during 'Soldier'. Bobby remains the same. Quiet and wise."

"Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom" is Preity's first film with Ali.

"He's so quiet and yet so much in charge on the sets. I've never had so much fun on location. But then come to think of it, I always make sure I've fun."

So far, Preity has tried to be a part of progressive cinema.

Her first film "Kya Kehna!" was about unwed motherhood. Now KANK is about the cult of crumbling matrimony.

"Yeah, I like being part of cinema that goes beyond stereotypes. Even my next release 'Jaan-e-Mann' isn't quite the normal film."

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