Mumbai, (IANS) She has enacted many roles with a difference like the unwed mother in "Kya Kehna" and "Salaam Namaste" or the vixen in "Armaan", but "Kabhi Alvidaa Na Kehna" is "really different", says Preity Zinta of her new film with Karan Johar.
"Do I sound like one of those actors who are always talking about being 'hatke'. But when you see the film, you'll know what I mean," says the "Kal Ho Naa Ho" actress, who says working with Karan was an enriching experience.
Describing her role in the Karan Johar directorial venture as one she could completely connect with, she says she can't believe how gifted he is as a writer.
The actress, who celebrated her birthday on Jan 31, says money is important, but not the only criterion for accepting a role. "No matter how rich, I still will eat an ordinary biscuit, not a gold one."
Discussing her marriage plans, Preity says everything happens in its own times and she is sick of the speculations. "It's a stressful topic," Preity told IANS in an interview.
Q: Did you have to get a visa to re-enter Mumbai?
A: Ha ha. No. But I had to get a new passport because there were no pages left in the old one. Now, I need to get out of my makeup to get a passport pic clicked. I love shooting in Mumbai studios. When you are shooting it's much better to do so in confined spaces where everything can be controlled.
Q: What makes this birthday special?
A: It's another year to look forward to. I don't want to sound philosophical. But I am just happy to be financially and emotionally independent. I can do what I want. But I am sad because my mom is in America with my brother. We are an absolutely global family. One of us is always travelling.
Q: How's it working with Karan?
A: Ah! After a long time a role I can completely connect with, and yet remain detached. I think Karan is really gifted as a writer. I can't believe how progressive his and Niranjan Iyenger's lines are. We were constantly bouncing ideas. Karan is someone I have always looked up to. But to work with him as a director for the first time, and that too in a project very different from his style, is a unique experience. The vibes on the sets with Amit-ji, Abhishek, Shah Rukh and Rani were amazing.
Q: Such an awesome cast?
A: To work with Karan is an enriching experience. I have discovered new facets to myself as a person and an actor. I used to call Karan the acting police on the sets of "Kabhi Alvidaa Na Kehna". He wanted to change every nuance in my personality. He wanted me to change from Preity to Priya. He was constantly correcting me. I suddenly felt like a newcomer all over again. I was born again as an actor.
What I am doing here is very different from anything I've done so far. It gives me a chance to portray different aspects of being a woman. I have done many different roles like the unwed mom in "Kya Kehna" and "Salaam Namaste" and the vixen in "Armaan". But this one is really different. Do I sound like one of those actors who are always talking about being 'hatke'? But when you see the film you'll know what I mean...
Q: And your other assignments?
A: I only have "Alvidaa" and "Jaan-e-Man" on hand. "Jaan-e-Man" is much more casual and crazy. It is a very sweet film. I have a big smile when I go on that sets. It is a more relaxing experience as an actor. It's great fun working with Karan. But my character is far more intense.
Q: So you didn't cash in on the success of "Salaam Namaste"?
A: You know I am not that kind of an actor. What's there to cash in on? Money is important, but not the only criterion for accepting a role! How much money does one need to live comfortably? No matter how rich, I still will eat an ordinary biscuit, not a gold one. I am having fun with my work. I want to do films that excite me, that are progressive. But I also need time to myself. I don't understand how others can do four films at the same time. I've done two and I still haven't had time to move into my new house though I got it one year ago. It's still to be done up.
Q: Even your co-star Rani Mukerji has got a new home?
A: Has she managed to move into her new place? The rumours about our rivalry are so misplaced. The mindset on a film set is decided by the director. He's the captain of the ship. It is impossible to have negative vibes on a Karan Johar set. And all us actors had the script. So we knew what we were getting into. So why fight? We all had the right to accept or reject the film. Once we accepted we are all working as a team to make the same film. For my performance to work, the film has to work. "Kabhi Alvidaa" will be powerful in the performances because the roles are all so well-etched.
Q: You haven't worked with Abhishek before?
A: Just that bit in "Salaam Namaste". He is delightful to work with. I've lots of scenes with him. I have worked with his dad in "Armaan" and "Veer-Zaara".
Q: Are you concerned about what you'll do next?
A: No! I want to do something different from what I've done. I want to do a fun film. I am a happy-go-lucky person. I am listening to scripts.
Q: What are your final birthday thoughts... marriage?
A: I don't know where these marriage rumours came from. The people who spread these rumours got very excited with the thought. But they have finally given up. Marriage is a personal decision. I'll take the plunge when the time is right. As of now, there's nothing on the cards.
Q: Isn't the time right now?
A: No. Everything happens in its own time. Right now I am working on my career. There's too much interest in my marriage. It is a stressful topic. I am a frank person. When there's something happening I'll announce it. Right now I am sick of these speculations.
Q: And what gifts did you get?
A: I can buy myself anything. So my best gift from friends is that they love me for who I am. I hope they continue to support me although I don't have too much time for them. My closest friend is Shagun in Delhi. She is always there for me. I don't need birthdays for my friends to make me feel special.