The experience of working with art-house directors makes Preity Zinta feel like a changed actress.

Departing from the glamour and larger-than-life characters of Bollywood commercial films, Preity discovered the joy and challenge of portraying realistic characters in films like The Last Lear and Heaven On Earth .

In Preity’s words, it was Rituparno Ghosh (the director of ‘The Last Lear’) who first “opened doors to rooms in my subconscious mind,” the doors Preity never knew existed. Apart from internal transformation, the movie also marked an external makeover for Preity who dressed up in traditional Bengali saris, sported a prominent bindi and long hair.

The process that Ghosh started in Preity was furthered when the actress began working with Deepa Mehta for her film on domestic violence ‘Heaven On Earth’. In the movie, Preity plays a Punjabi girl who gets married to a man in Canada and faces regular battering by her husband.

Since the movie’s dialogues are in Punjabi, Preity, who hails from Himachal, had difficulty in getting the accent right. She even insisted Deepa on getting her dialogues dubbed. But Deepa pushed Preity and made her learn her dialogues.

Eventually, Preity gave such a terrific performance that Deepa says Preity is the most talented actress she has worked with so far.

Preity herself is so happy with her acting in the film that she wants her good friends Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra (who think Preity cannot play an oppressed woman convincingly) to see ‘Heaven On Earth’ and change their opinions.