Mumbai, March 10 (IANS) Bollywood actress Preity Zinta is known for her feisty and bold nature, but even she can be caught off guard sometimes. That's what happened during the shoot of her television debut, 'Guinness World Records - Ab India Todega'.
'I wanted to encourage the contestants on the show because what all of them perform is very difficult. At the same time I tried to ensure that the entire spotlight is not on me and they get enough opportunity and limelight,' Preity told IANS in an interview.
'But sometimes some people were really cheeky and asked me questions that I would not answer otherwise.'
She is the first recipient of Godfrey's Mind of Steel Award for her 'courageous act' of standing against the Mumbai Underworld during the 2003 Bharat Shah case. But as far as the show is concerned, she admits to being dumbfounded by the contestants' queries.
'Some people just asked anything they liked. I hope the production team has not gone to my close-ups during that time because there were times when I didn't know how to react. And there are so many people in the studio, so you can't do anything,' the 36-year-old told IANS in an interview.
When asked to reveal some uncomfortable questions thrown at her during the show, Preity said: 'I can't tell you now. You need to see the show for that because I don't think they will edit that.'
'Guinness World Records - Ab India Todega' will premiere March 18 on Colors. It will see Indians undertaking awe-inspiring, bizarre and unforgettable acts to break the world record.
The show, which has had earlier versions in other countries and has now come to India, will also have adjudicators Elizabeth Smith and Kristian Teufel, who will explain the rules to participants, validate their achievements and recognise the new world records.
The show will be co-hosted by TV actor Shabbir Ahluwalia.
Preity, who co-owns Indian Premier League's Mohali team Kings XI Punjab, is facing the camera after a hiatus of two years and says the offer for the show came at the right time.
'For two years I was not doing anything to do with entertainment. I was focusing on cricket. It was a new business; so I did not want to take any movies or TV show that time. I did get offers from TV even then, but I didn't want to judge a dance show because I'm not the number one dancer on the planet and just to sit there and judge people wasn't something that inspired me a lot,' she said.
'End of last year I decided that I have spent two years out of movies; so 2011 was going to be my year of getting back to films and entertainment. So this show came at the right time and I loved the format,' she added.
A successful model, Preity started her acting career by playing an unwed mother in 'Kya Kehna!' and the audiences loved the freshness and newness she brought with her. She has been part of hits like 'Soldier', 'Kal Ho Naa Ho', 'Dil Chahta Hai' and 'Koi... Mil Gaya'.
She said yes to the TV show because of its involvement with common people and its adventure factor.
'The fact that Indians are going to break records worldwide and the fact that this was just not any other show was why I did it. It was on a global platform and it was going to put me face to face with real people from India as opposed to people who want to be stars and who already come with a preconceived condition.
'Also, I love adventure - I've done it all from bungee jumping to scuba diving to sky diving and this show has a good dose of that too. So I think this show suited me more.'
However, being a part of the small screen was not a cakewalk for the film actress.
'It's a totally different medium. The first thing that hit me about TV was the exhaustion. On a film set, you keep waiting for your shots but on TV there is so much work that you feel like asking, 'Can I breathe now'? You are constantly standing on your feet and specially on this kind of thing where you have a live audience,' she said.
(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)