Preity Zinta couldn't be better positioned in the cosmic scheme of things.
She may have lost the lead role in the sequel of Koi Mil Gaya to Priyanka Chopra, but the ultra-picky Preity isn't sitting twiddling her thumbs.
When most of her contemporaries have only a film or two in hand, Preity has gone ahead and taken on three new assignments in 2005.
"That's right," she says, on the eve of a prolonged stint abroad. "I'm off to Australia for a three-month start-to-finish schedule for director Siddharth Anand's Salaam Namaste,
with Saif Ali Khan.
I'm very excited about this role. It's another Yashraj and Aditya Chopra experience for me, after Veer-Zaara.
When Siddharth narrated the script to me, I knew he was going to make something very special."
The chirpy actress is very happy with the way her career is shaping up. Preity chuckles, "Last year was very rewarding, but 2005 looks even more promising.
Besides Salaam Namaste, I've signed Karan Johar's new film with Shah Rukh Khan and have just said yes to Shirish Kunder and Sajid Nadiadwala's film with Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar."
Pausing for breath, Preity continues, "That's my quota for 2005.
What really excites me is that all three films belong to different genres and allow me to play different characters and go beyond what I've already attempted."
Indeed, life is currently beautiful for Preity Zinta.
On the personal front, Preity sounds a cautionary note about her prematurely publicised friendship with Bombay Dyeing scion Ness Wadia.
"It's much too early to shout about it from the rooftops. Ness and I are still discovering each other.
Now I'm off to Australia for three months; we'll pick up where we left off from there, I guess."