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Preity ZintaI am not neglecting films: Preity Zinta
23rd June 2008  09.01 IST
By Agencies  

Preity Zinta says her preoccupation with Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier and now the 'Unforgettables' world concert did not mean that she has put her film career on the backburner.

"I have four back-to-back releases this year starting with Jahnu Barua 's Har Pall with Dharmendra and Shiney Ahuja , Heroes with Salman Khan , Sunny Deol , Bobby Deol , The Last Lear with Amitabh Bachchan , Arjun Rampal and Shefali Shah and Deepa Mehta 's Heaven On Earth ," Preity said.

The actress said she was presently dubbing for 'Har Pall' and shooting for Main Aur Mrs Khanna .

However, Preity declined to divulge any details of the films and said her forthcoming releases are a natural progression for her from a mainstream commercial film actor to doing meaty roles with substance.

'Har Pall' has the original screenplay and is an out-to-out commercial film, which is high on emotions. 'The Last Lear' will see her playing an upcoming actress while in 'Heaven On Earth' she plays a battered housewife.

Preity said she had reached a stagnation point with the films she was doing.

"I was going through the same grind and naturally wanted some challenging work. When you grow older, you need more substance. I am fortunate that when I yearned for a change, it came from all sides," Preity added.

"The NRI bracket associated with my films because all of them were shot abroad, was killing me. Hence, I decided to go desi in my forthcoming films," Preity added.

Preity pointed out that she never had a glamorous image in films and said that constant gossips about her during the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) were the only low point for her in the otherwise successful competition which saw her team, Kings XI Punjab, reaching the semi finals.

"I had left my image as a film star behind and donned a new role when the IPL began. I was never dressed as a film star. Since I was the only woman among the team owners, I wanted people to take me seriously. I am no Barbie doll and such rumours which are normally the order of the day on a film set was very demeaning to me as a woman," Preity, co-owner of the Kings XI Punjab IPL team told reporters in Mumbai Sunday.

Preity said the rumours disturbed her to no end. "It is only after I started thinking that this has happened because some people are upset that I am happy and successful. I started feeling better and concentrated on my work in a better way," she said.

Describing her experience in the IPL first season, Preity said hers was a well-chosen team, which was the crux of its success.

Preity said she has invested hugely in the IPL as an individual. "I was not just a brand ambassador. I worked hard right from bidding, auction and throughout the team's journey, I was present," she added.

Preity said she was proud of her team's achievements. "The worst day was the semi-finals where we lost. We have a year to prepare for the second season," she said.

Responding to a question about IPL leading to commercialization of cricket, the actress said more than commercialization, passion was more important to her.

"We created an atmosphere of friendship among all the players," she added.

Preity said she plans to promote cricket at the grassroots by improving upon the entire system and infrastructure.

"We have Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir as catchment area of Kings XI Punjab. Punjab Cricket Association's President I S Bindra and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal have been very helpful in this endeavour," she said.

Preity said she has no plans to take in more foreign players.

"Many of our international players like Bret Lee, Simon Katich, Ram Naresh Sarwan had to leave for national duties. It affected us but young players like Shaun Marsh and Luke Pomerbach got the opportunity and made the most out of it," she added.

Preity further said she had left the cricketing decisions to coach Tom Moody while she and co-owners Mohit Burman and Ness Wadia handled the administrative side.

When asked whether her team had made any profits, Preity replied, "We had made huge investments and things are going as the way we had expected".

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Shefali Shah
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Heaven On Earth
Main Aur Mrs Khanna

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