Preity Zinta does not remember the number of times she has been slapped in the movies by men and women but she wonders if she will ever forget the one slap she took from an actor while rehearsing for Deepa Mehta's Heaven on Earth.
"It was a very tense shot, and I was nervous," she recalls. "And so was the new actor [Vansh Bhardwaj], who plays my abusive husband. He gave me one phtaak, and for a moment or two, I felt like a train, a submarine and a plane rushing through my mind."
She stood speechless for a few minutes in front of over 20 technicians, fellow artistes and director Mehta. "All the preparation I had done went away," she continued. "I found it very humiliating the way I had reacted. Everyone had seen me falling [as an actress] and they had also seen me going blank."
She retreated into privacy for a few minutes and composed herself. "Of course, when I came out I went straight to the actor and told him the next time he does something like that, I would kill him."
In the picture: Preity Zinta arrives at the Heaven On Earth premiere during the 2008 Toronto Internation Film Festival. Photograph: C J LaFrance/Getty Images
Text: Arthur J Pais in Toronto
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