Preeti Jhangiani discusses being typecast, her dream roles, and much more in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.
It has been many years since we saw her in a Hindi film, but Preeti Jhangiani says she never took a break. Having made her debut with Aditya Chopra’s Mohabatein in 2000, Preeti worked in films such as Awara Pagal Deewana. In her new and exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Preeti talks about her absence from Hindi films, being typecast in ‘softer roles’ and the kind of movies she’d like to do.
You said in a recent interview with Hindustan Times that you were typecast in your early days. How did you feel being offered those similar roles?
That was a time when everybody in the industry was typecast. That is how the thought was in the film industry. You have done one kind of role, then you keep getting the same thing again and again. But, I think I enjoyed doing all the roles that I did. The audience loved to see me in those softer and sweeter roles. I was fortunate enough to perform to those beautiful songs. I never really gave it a thought (on getting stereotyped). When I said I was typecast, I did not mean it in a negative way.
For me, it was positive as I received so much love for the roles. That was a time when you did one thing and you kept doing it for ten years. When I did a film with Govinda, he told me he could do the same dialogue and scene in four different ways and he actually did it in four distinct ways. He is not just good actor or dancer but he can also do great action, but nobody really brought that out in him.
What is your dream role?
I have not dabbled in comedy and action enough. Rona-dhona bahut kar liya maine (I have done enough crying and emotional stuff) but there is a lot more I would like to achieve.
You have not been very active in front of the camera of late. Is that a deliberate step or is it a lack of offers that match your choice?
A lot of people are asking if I took a break but I did not. I never felt like I took a step back, I have been working in the entertainment and media field. I started with Mohabattein, I have done 20 odd Hindi films since then and I also did a lot of work in Bengali, Malayali, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, and even Rajasthani. I have been doing films in all languages. I have been in touch with my fans, I am doing web shows – roles that show how I am today. I shot a film in Lucknow, Mahapaur, in which I play a mayor. In terms of Hindi films, there is a lot more yet to come.
What has been your best experience in the industry?
I started off with big production houses – right from my first music video with Rajshri Productions to my film debut with Yash Raj Films. And, my experience as an actor has been wonderful. I never was from the industry and I was fortunate to work with the biggest banners and names. Even my Telugu debut, a remake of Jo Jeeta Wo Sikander, was with Pawan Kalyan. I worked with so many other big names including Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, Govinda and JP Dutta. They all treated me and my family as family. I always had my father or mother on the set and they were always so loved. That has been the best experience, everyone treated me and my family, as their own family.
What is your most memorable fan moment?
Everyone has had a fan moment if they met Mr Amitabh Bachchan. I was tongue-tied each time I sat with him (on sets of Mohabbatein). And, I was very young at the time. There was this time when it was freezing cold and I was shivering. He offered me his shawl but I was so shocked that I kept refusing, saying ‘no sir, no sir, I do not need this’. Ultimately, Yash ji (producer Yash Chopra) intervened and said ‘had I got that offer, I’d have grabbed Amitabh Bachchan’s shawl and ran away’. Of course, now I have the shawl with me, I took it.
Have you ever faced gender bias in the industry?
Gender bias? I have actually always seen it as an advantage – in every way, I was lucky to have been born in an era or family that never made me feel that being a female was a negative point. I think I just had more fun being female in every way. I never felt a bias, maybe I cannot answer your question. I never felt it held me back. I have always been able to wear what I want to, and do what I want.
Disclaimer: Except the headline and synopsis, this story has been taken from the HT News Service