Preity Zinta’s journey so far has been unique. Born to the entertainment industry without the help of godfathers and sugar daddys Preity’s first two films Dil Se and Soldier had her characters named after her. Happy coincidences have since then trailed the dimpled charmer’s career.
During her 20-year career Preity has played every role, from an unwed mother (Kya Kehna) to a surrogate-mother (Chori Chori Chupke Chupke) co-starring her pal Salman Khan. She took on the role of a cricket-team owner two years ago, a diversion that took a toll on her film career.
The past few years have made Preity stronger. “I am not the kind of person who will stand up and complain about anything. I have no complaints against anyone. If I’ve been away from the entertainment industry it’s because I am not into selling myself. You won’t see me buying space to get written about. I want to be appreciated for the work that I do.”
She promises a lot of changes this year. “During the year you will see a lot more layering in my life. Lately, I’ve become a lot calmer and more spiritual. But please don’t make me out to be as this little boring angel. I love my wild side as much as the calm. A lot of things are changing in my life. I’ve realised through my experiences during the past year that life is not just about one activity or one experience. There’s so much that I’ve experienced and there’s a lot more to come.”
Preity Zinta is perturbed by the changes in the entertainment industry. “The one thing that bothers me about our present day lifestyles is the vulgar stress on wealth. An individual’s success is measured by his or her wealth and not by moral values. Today you are not judged for how much good you can do but for how much scandal you can create and how much skin you can expose.”
The actress feels a tragic erosion of integrity in our social value-system. “I fear the values I was brought up with are disappearing all around us. It’s scary. Of course we were naughty as hell when we were kids. But we were mercifully spared the consumeristic culture. When you ask today’s kids what they want to do when they grow up they say they want to be rich and famous.”
Preity is amused to see today’s kids growing up without heroes. “What happened to those dreams of being Jawaharlal Nehru and Lata Mangeshkar?No kid wants to change the world. According to me a hero is a soldier or a doctor, not a film star. We don’t appreciate the real heroes any more.We think only about our own interests.And since we’ve no role-models in real life we hardly have roles of substance in films except for an occasional Milkha or Jhansi Ki Rani.”
Preity proudly preens that most of her films are clean entertainers. “Luckily out of the 37 films that I’ve done 36 have been ‘PG13’ (kids below 13 can see the films when accompanied by parents). Only my Salaam Namaste was for adults because a live-in relationship was scandalous back then. There is a need for entertainment designed for children. We don’t have too many films kids can watch comfortably with their parents. Most filmmakers prefer to take the easy route.”
Image source: SpotboyE archive