Shah Rukh Khan: Preity Zinta
It isn’t easy being a battered wife. It isn’t easy playing one either….This, Preity Zinta has discovered over the past one month while shooting in Toronto for Deepa Mehta’s tale of domestic subjugation Heaven On Earth.
Says the actress, “It was my mom’s birthday on 30 November. She came down with my brother and my niece for two days. That really helped me to re-connect with my real life, to appreciate what wonderful gifts life brings to us lucky ones who have managed to find a career without losing out on a family life.”
It’s a tough trek for the Zinta in Toronto. “First of all, Heaven In Earth is in Punjabi and English, and that too live sound. That itself is a huge change from everything I’ve done so far. But the role is something else.
I never knew a character would effect me so deeply. I’ve become completely withdrawn and introspective.
Playing such a role just makes you think about the plight of a majority of women in our society who don’t have access to the infrastructure and power tools that have helped women achieve a kind of liberation in our society.”
Heaven On Earth is the story of real-life battered NRI wife Aman Deep who bore with years of domestic violence. After making a documentary on her harrowing life Deepa Mehta decided to turn the story into a film. Theatre actor Vrajendra plays Preity’s violent husband.
“And here I am, in a totally alien environment shooting a bleak life and a character with a cast and crew and way of working that’s totally new to me. Here I am no star, just a member of the cast. Saturdays and Sundays are off. But guess what ?
I can’t snap out of character. I just sit in my hotel along pouring over my lines,” sighs Preity. She misses home and the big bad Bollywood brigade.
“I miss Shah Rukh and Salman and Karan and Yashraj Films. The other night I was watching Veer-Zara and I went completely home-sick. But,” she adds. “with Deepa’s film I’ve definitely moved into a new phase in my career.”