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Preity ZintaClick Here to View Preity Zinta Paper Clippings
Preity Zinta
Preity Zinta
Born January 31, 1975 (1975-01-31) (age 33)
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Years active 1998√Ę‚‚¨‚€œpresent
Spouse(s) None
Domestic partner(s) Ness Wadia (2005√Ę‚‚¨‚€œpresent)
Official website
Awards won
Filmfare Awards
Best Female Debut:
1999 Dil Se & Soldier
Best Actress:
2004 Kal Ho Naa Ho

Preity Zinta , born January 31, 1975) is an Indian film actress. She has appeared in Hindi films of Bollywood, as well as Telugu and English-language movies. After graduating with a degree in criminal psychology, Zinta made her acting debut in Dil Se in 1998 followed by a role in Soldier the same year. These performances earned her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award, and she was later recognised for her role as a teenage single mother in Kya Kehna (2000). She subsequently played a variety of character types, and in doing so has been credited with changing the image of a Hindi film heroine.

Zinta received her first Filmfare Best Actress Award in 2003 for her performance in the drama Kal Ho Naa Ho. She went on to play the lead female role in two consecutive annual top-grossing films in India: the science fiction film Koi... Mil Gaya, her biggest commercial success, and the star-crossed romance Veer-Zaara, which earned her critical acclaim. She was later noted for her portrayal of independent, modern Indian women in Salaam Namaste and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, top-grossing productions in overseas markets. These accomplishments have established her as a leading actress of Hindi cinema.

Website : http://www.preityzinta-fanclub.com/  

Early life and background

Zinta was born into a Hindu Rajput family from Rohru in Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh. Her father, Durganand Zinta, was an officer in the Indian Army. He died in a car accident when she was 13 years old; the accident also involved her mother, Nilprabha, who was severely injured and consequently remained bedridden for two years. Zinta has stated that the tragic accident and her father's death was a significant turning point in her life, which forced her to mature rapidly. She has two brothers; Deepankar and Manish, a year older and a year younger respectively. Deepankar is a commissioned officer in the Indian Army, while Manish lives in California.
In 1997, Zinta met film-maker Shekhar Kapur when she accompanied a friend to an audition, and was asked if she would audition too. Upon seeing her audition, Kapur insisted that she become an actress. She was originally scheduled to make her screen debut in Kapur's Tara Rum Pum Pum opposite Hrithik Roshan, but the filming was cancelled. Kapur later recommended her for director Mani Ratnam's movie Dil Se.

Zinta commenced shooting for Kundan Shah's Kya Kehna, whose release was delayed until 2000. The delay of another film, Soldier, meant that her first release was Dil Se (1998) opposite Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala. She was introduced as Preeti Nair, a middle-class Delhi girl and Khan's fiancee. The film was considered an unusual launch for a newcomer, as her role called for only 20 minutes of screen time. However, she was eventually noticed for her role, particularly for the forthright character she played. Her scene with Khan, in which she asked him, "Are you a virgin?", became well-known, and her portrayal earned her a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award nomination. She played her first leading role in the action-drama Soldier (1998), a commercial hit of the year. She won the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award for her performance in both Dil Se and Soldier.

Zinta next acted in two Telugu films, Premante Idera (1998), opposite Venkatesh; and Raja Kumarudu (1999), opposite Mahesh Babu. She followed with the leading role in the thriller Sangharsh, alongside Akshay Kumar. The film, based on The Silence of the Lambs (1991), was directed by Tanuja Chandra and written by Mahesh Bhatt. Zinta portrayed the character of Reet Oberoi, a CBI officer who falls in love with a captured killer played by Kumar. The film was not a box-office success, although Zinta's performance was appreciated by critics.
Success (2003√Ę‚‚¨‚€œpresent)

Zinta was the female lead in India's three highest-grossing films of 2003: The Hero: Love Story of a Spy, Koi... Mil Gaya and Kal Ho Naa Ho. The Hero, co-starring Sunny Deol and Priyanka Chopra, is a patriotic drama about a spy network involving terrorists and an Indian army officer. Zinta played the part of Reshma, a villager who falls in love with the officer and becomes part of this network. The film, involving stunts never seen before in the cinematic history of Bollywood, became the most expensive Hindi film ever produced at the time. Despite being the third highest-grossing film of that year, it failed to recover its production costs at the box office. She next starred in Honey Irani's directorial debut, Armaan, alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Kapoor. This drama is set in a hospital and follows the travails of its personnel and its principal, Dr. Akash, who struggles arduously to sustain the institution financially. Zinta played Akash's schizophrenic wife Sonia Kapoor. The film received predominantly positive reviews, and Zinta's role was particularly praised. Taran Adarsh noted, "Preity Zinta comes up with another superb performance, essaying her part with utmost sincerity"; The Tribune concluded, "Zinta has outclassed everyone with her convincing performance." For her performance, she received nominations for Best Villain at different award ceremonies, including Filmfare.

Rakesh Roshan's science-fiction film Koi... Mil Gaya, about a developmentally disabled young man, followed. Co-starring with Rekha and Hrithik Roshan, Zinta played the role of Nisha, a young woman whom Roshan befriends. She received another Best Actress nomination at the Filmfare for the role. The movie was a financial and critical success and became the most popular film of the year, as well as Zinta's highest-grossing movie, with a domestic total of Rs 489 million; it won the Filmfare Best Movie Award, among others.
Zinta with Shahrukh Khan as the Indian-American Naina Catherine Kapur in Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), which earned the actress her first Filmfare Best Actress Award.

Zinta's final release of 2003 was Kal Ho Naa Ho, a tearjerker set in New York City. It was directed by Nikhil Advani and written by Karan Johar, co-starring Jaya Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan. The film was received favourably by critics and became India's second-biggest hit of the year after Koi... Mil Gaya. It also did well internationally and became India's top-grossing film of the year overseas, earning over Rs 600 million worldwide. Zinta played the role of Naina Catherine Kapur, an insecure and angry young Indian-American woman who falls in love with a man who has a fatal heart disease. She won several awards for her performance, including the Filmfare Best Actress Award. Derek Elley from Variety wrote, "Zinta, who's been carving a growing following the past three years or so, has never been better, definitively moving from juve roles to a charismatic young woman with her sexy, assured Naina."

In 2004 she starred as TV journalist Romila Dutta in Farhan Akhtar's war drama Lakshya, co-starring with Hrithik Roshan. The film was based on the historical events of the 1999 Kargil Conflict; Zinta's character was modeled after TV journalist Barkha Dutt, the only female reporter assigned to the story. The film was a critical success, yet her performance received mixed reviews; Rediff.com noted, "Zinta has quite a good role and a good deal of footage in the film, and she does a fairly decent job of it without ever being spectacular."

Later that year, Yash Chopra cast her opposite Shahrukh Khan as the female lead in the love saga Veer-Zaara, the top-grossing Bollywood film of that year in both India and abroad, earning over Rs 750 million worldwide. The film, which relates the love story of an Indian officer, Veer Pratap Singh, and a Pakistani woman, Zaara Haayat Khan, had a strong international release, including a screening at the Berlin Film Festival, and won several Best Movie awards in major Indian award ceremonies. Zinta's portrayal of Zaara, a smart Pakistani girl, was praised; she received her fourth Filmfare Best Actress nomination and won the Stardust Star of the Year Award for the second consecutive year. Variety hailed her as "the most interesting young actress of her generation," writing that she "is her usual lively self as the willful Zaara." Veer-Zaara was Zinta's second highest-grossing film and third major success in two consecutive years. It marked the beginning of her work with Yash Raj Films, one of the largest production houses in Bollywood.

In 2005, Zinta appeared in two movies. Her first release was the folk comedy Khullam Khulla Pyaar Karen, co-starring Govinda, a production that had been delayed since 2002. The film garnered negative reviews and poor box office returns. Zinta's role was small, and was not well received. Her next release was Siddharth Anand's comedy-drama Salaam Namaste, co-starring Saif Ali Khan. Produced by Yash Raj Films, it was the first Indian movie to be filmed entirely in Australia and went on to become the year's highest-grossing Bollywood production overseas, with revenues of Rs 430 million internationally. The film tells the story of a contemporary cohabiting Indian couple. Zinta played the female protagonist Ambar Malhotra, a single modern young woman who leaves India to make her own life in Australia. The film was well received by critics, and Zinta's performance earned her nominations for Best Actress at a number of award ceremonies. Taran Adarsh wrote, "After Kya Kehna, Preity Zinta accepts the challenge of portraying an unwed mother yet again in Salaam Namaste. The actor is terrific, delivering her most accomplished performance to date. Her lip locks with Saif Ali Khan will catch a lot of people unaware, but that's the sign of a thorough professional." The New York Times noted, "She is cheerleader-homecoming queen-fraternity sweetheart pretty, so even when her characters are being unkind it's hard not to like her."
Zinta as a fashion magazine editor Rhea Saran in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006)

Zinta received further success in 2006, starring in Karan Johar's drama Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna with an ensemble cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji and Kirron Kher. The film became one of the biggest box office hits in India, earning Rs 464 million, and grossed over Rs 445 million overseas, the biggest Bollywood success of all time in the overseas market. It was her fourth overseas top-earner in four consecutive years. The film tells the story of two unhappily married couples in New York, and an ensuing extramarital affair. Zinta played the role of Rhea Saran, a fashion magazine editor. She described the role as an attempt to shed her vivacious public image. The Indian Express concurred that this was successful, stating, "The lady has not just looked glamorous but she has walked with poise, sat with grace, smiled with composure and spoke with calmness. Who would have thought that the bubbly girl could so skillfully shed her age-old tag and walk away as the don√Ę‚‚¨‚„Ęt-mess-with-me lass. So all those who are in search of the peppy Preity, well guys you√Ę‚‚¨‚„Ęve dialed the wrong number this time."

She then starred in Shirish Kunder's romantic musical Jaan-E-Mann, a story set in the United States about two men, played by Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar, who love the same woman. The film received positive reviews from critics, yet performed poorly at the box office. Zinta played the role of Piya, the cynosure of two men. Although she was mostly criticised for taking a small role, her performance was generally well-received. Raja Sen described her role as "ornament throughout," but further stated that she "comes vividly alive in the film's last scene, a moment that makes you lament why filmmakers today don't let the babyfaced actress have more fun instead of forcing her to sob copiously. She doesn't have much to do in Jaan-E-Mann, but looks appropriately attractive." Zinta said that the film was a great relief after the more emotionally intense Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, as Jaan-E-Mann was "easy, happy and much more simple".

In 2007 Zinta portrayed a British Pakistani woman, Alvira Khan, in her third project with Yash Raj Films, Shaad Ali's comedy Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, alongside Abhishek Bachchan, Bobby Deol and Lara Dutta. The film was a critical and commercial failure in India. She was criticised for her performance; The Times of India wrote that "she is too plastic as the Paki-Brit girl".

Later in 2007, Zinta began working with art film directors, and turned towards neo-realistic movies, known in India as parallel cinema. She acted in her first English film, Rituparno Ghosh's The Last Lear, as a struggling theatre actress opposite Amitabh Bachchan. The film premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, and was received well. The first reviews were approving, with one critic writing "It's great to see her doing a completely natural role. She played her role with real dignity and it was a pleasure seeing her getting back to her initial style of acting." Zinta said about her first art film, "I did think with art films that they don't pay you, they don't feed you, but I was wrong, and I'm so happy to be here."

Zinta next starred in Samir Karnik's Heroes (2008), a road movie about two final-year film students who, as a part of their assignment, travel a thousand miles across North India to deliver three un-posted letters written by army personnel who lost their lives during the 1999 Kargil war to their families. The story unfolds the journey of these students in three chapters and follows how they meet and are inspired by the families of the soldiers. Zinta is featured in the first chapter as Salman Khan's war widow, Kuljeet Kaur, a woman who becomes the sole breadwinner of the family and single-handedly raises her son. In preperation for the role, Zinta attended Anupam Kher's acting school to learn the dialect and mannerisms of a Punjabi woman.

As of April 2008, Zinta has completed shooting for Jahnu Barua's drama Har Pall, as well as Deepa Mehta's Canadian movie Heaven on Earth, a Punjabi language drama based on the true story of a non-resident Indian battered wife.

Other work

Column writing

In 2004, Zinta joined a group of South Asian commentators for BBC News Online. She expressed joy at participating in the project, saying, "I am pretty outspoken and have my own view on every subject. So it will be a good platform for me to air my views." Her first column, "The changing face of Bollywood", published in January 2004, discussed the evolution of Bollywood in the past decade. The column became one of the site's ten most read stories of the day. In her second column, "Odds stacked against Indian women", Zinta analysed the eve teasing phenomenon in India, and criticised those who practice it. She wrote, "Incidences like these take away a woman's dignity, her space and her freedom ... why the state is so helpless in protecting the women. Why should women feel unsafe in a country which had an internationally revered woman prime minister?" The column caught the attention of readers worldwide, and she received thousands of e-mails about it. It was applauded particularly by women for its stand against abuse of Indian women. Her third column, "The darkness that all actors fear", was a more personal column and dealt with her stardom, fans, insecurity and fears as an actor. Her fourth and final column, titled "Facing death in Sri Lanka and Thailand", described her two near-death experiences in late 2004.

Stage performances
Zinta performing at the Temptation 2004

Zinta has taken part in several stage shows and world tours since 2001. Her first world tour, a series of concerts called Craze 2001, was performed across the U.S. alongside Anil Kapoor, Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Gracy Singh. The show faced early cancellation due to the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the team prepared to return to India as soon as possible. However, the shows continued successfully in Canada. In 2002, she participated in the show From India With Love in the UK, along with Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai. The show took place at two outdoor venues, Manchester's Old Trafford Football Stadium and London's Hyde Park, with over 100,000 spectators. Zinta's largest world tour was in 2004, when she joined a group of stars (Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Rampal and Priyanka Chopra) in the Temptation 2004 tour. Showcased in over 22 countries across the world, it became Bollywood's most prominent international concert. In 2006, Zinta was part of the Heat 2006 world tour, along with Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Sushmita Sen and Celina Jaitley.

Humanitarian work

During her years in the film industry, Zinta has been involved with different charities, and has supported women-related causes in India, for instance protesting female infanticide. She has also participated in AIDS awareness drives and campaigns to clean up Mumbai.

In 2005, along with other Bollywood stars, Zinta performed at the HELP! Telethon Concert raising money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The following year, as an ambassador of the Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Movement, Zinta attended a blood donation camp organised by the Rotary Club of Delhi and the Godfrey Phillips Awards. She lent her support to the cause of women's empowerment and promoted blood donation. She said, "Donating blood doesn't kill one but goes on to save somebody's life .... Once blood is donated it becomes universal and might be used by anyone in need, irrespective of community, caste or region. It binds people together."

In 2007, Zinta along with Rani Mukerji, donated Rs 250,000 of her winnings from Kaun Banega Crorepati to the Shimla District Red Cross Society in Himachal Pradesh. In January, Zinta visited Hisar, Haryana, where she spent a day at the army training base to boost the morale of the jawan troops. The visit was conducted for an NDTV show, Jai Jawan, on which entertainers and actors visit Indian troops. While there, she also met children with disabilities at a special school maintained by the army. In August, along with Mumbai-based artist Gurcharan Singh, Zinta painted for the cause of street children for the non-governmental organisation Khushi. In December, she joined the efforts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to curb human trafficking in India. She spoke on behalf of awareness against the practice, the need for protection and rehabilitation for those rescued from it, and punishment for perpetrators.

Ownership of IPL cricket team

Along with Ness Wadia and others, Zinta acquired ownership rights in 2008 for the Mohali-based Twenty20 cricket team of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The group paid $76 million to acquire the franchise, and have since named the team Kings XI Punjab. Zinta is the only woman to own an IPL team, and is the league's youngest owner. She has been involved with launching ticket sales and promoting the team. She said, "My involvement with the team is total. I am extremely passionate about our team and I do believe that I am the team's good luck factor, so I want to be there for everything."


FILMOGRAPHY

2011 - Helloo India†† ( Hindi )
2010 - Har Pall† ( Hindi )
2009 - Videsh - Heaven On Earth† ( Hindi )
2009 - Main Aurr Mrs Khanna† ( Hindi )
2008 - The Last Lear† ( English )
2008 - Heroes† ( Hindi )
2007 - Jhoom Barabar Jhoom† ( Hindi )
2006 - Krrish† ( Hindi )
2006 - Jaan-E-Mann† ( Hindi )
2006 - Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna† ( Hindi )
2006 - Krrish† ( Tamil )
2005 - Khullam Khulla Pyaar Karen† ( Hindi )
2005 - Salaam Namaste† ( Hindi )
2004 - Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa† ( Hindi )
2004 - Lakshya† ( Hindi )
2004 - Veer Zaara† ( Hindi )
2003 - Koi Mil Gaya† ( Hindi )
2003 - Kal Ho Naa Ho† ( Hindi )
2001 - Dil Chahta Hai† ( Hindi )
2000 - Mission Kashmir† ( Hindi )
1999 - Raja Kumarudu† ( Telugu )
1998 - Premante Ideraa† ( Telugu )



» Pranitha » Parvati Melton » Prabha » Pratyusha
» Preity Zinta » Prema » Priya Gil » Priyamani
» Priyaraman » Poonam Bajwa » Preeti Amin » Poonam Kaur
» Priya Anand » Poorna
 
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