Not only that, once Preity signed on, she worked for days on her character, language and body language with her director Karnik.
Says Preity, "The minute I read the script I knew I wanted to do it. You've no idea how many people discouraged me from doing Heroes. 'Arrey why do you want to play the mother of a growing child?; Tujhko log buddhi kahenge''. But I was adamant. I fell in love with my character. She reminded me of my mother. So many people have told me I look like her, especially in my shaadi ka joda.''
In Heroes, Preity plays a rustic Punjabi woman thrown into a crisis. ''It was easy for me to identify with the Punjabi woman in Heroes whose husband has died in the war. I come from an army background and I know what it is like to lose someone at the battlefront."
Preity unabashedly modelled the war widow's role in Heroes on her own mother. ''I always thought I looked like my father. But as I grow older, I think I've begun to resemble my mom. The other Punjabi woman I play in Heaven On Earth was much harder to play. I had no reference points except my director who held my hand as I suffered with my character for all the physical abuse she has to face."
Even as Preity Zinta's character in Samir Karnik's Heroes garners rave reviews it comes as a surprise to know that the role of the brave and dignified war widow is modelled on Preity's mother, Neelu Zinta.