Zinta credits Bollywood for IPL venture


MUMBAI -- Cricket is her current passion but actress Preity Zinta credits Bollywood with giving her the platform to venture into the Indian Premier League.

Zinta is part of the consortium that bought the Mohali franchise in the Twenty20 cricket league for $76 million over a 10-year-period.

"The reason that I have the platform today, the reason that I have reached this far in life is because I had been given an opportunity by the Indian film industry and I'll never forget that," the actress told Reuters at an event on Thursday.

Zinta, who made her acting debut in Mani Ratnam's "Dil Se" in 1998 and later starred in several mushy romances, is also taking up the challenge of starring in arthouse films.
"There was a time when I was doing roles that were so up my sleeves and there was no nervousness any more," she said.

"Last year I took a call and I said for myself, for my growth as an actor, I have to do different things."

Three of Zinta's four films slated for release in 2008 are arthouse projects -- Jahnu Barua's "Har Pall", Deepa Mehta's "Heaven On Earth" and Rituparno Ghosh's "The Last Lear". The only exception is "Heroes", a film in which Zinta stars opposite Salman Khan.

"I really want to attempt things that I haven't attempted in the past ten years," the 33-year-old actress said.

"(But) I'll always love to be called an actor, it's my first love."