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I Let my work to do the talking

She is undeniably cool. It is her deep passionate sensuality that emanates from her captivating smile and smouldering eyes. Sonakshi Sinha got rave reviews for her pivotal role opposite Salman Khan in Dabangg, However, her curvaceous figure that bordered more on the broader side got her immense flak too. This pretty young thing has overcome all the criticism, and emerged into a confident personality, who is also grounded to the core. Simple, secure and stunning best describe this star child, says Kavita Wadhwani.

Why did you choose this role in Son of Sardar?

When I was reading the script, I thought it was an extremely entertaining film. I couldn’t stop laughing and wanted to do this role for sure. It was not difficult, but I can’t say it was easy either because I am not a Punjabi myself so I had to look convincing enough, in terms of my looks and my character. Ashwini, my director, also helped me tremendously. He is a typical Punjabi, so observing him I gathered a lot besides he helped me get into the skin of the character.

You seem to be enjoying your stint with comedy roles of late?

I like comedy films, I thoroughly enjoy doing them and I am sure it shows onscreen. My character is very colourful, vibrant, and talkative and action oriented. This film is very different as compared to the others I did earlier. I didn’t know I would be doing a bike stunt in this film, the team taught me how to ride a bike before I started the film. I don’t ride bikes usually and this stunt was only for the film. I have a licence so I did it all fearlessly.  

You have been lucky enough to be working with big stars so far?

I feel tremendously blessed to have worked with Ajay, Salman, Akshay at the start of my career. I have been getting a lot of good offers and lovely banners to work with but with each new film and star meant having to work harder. It definitely benefits to work with stars in most of you films, but sustaining it is also tough. If audiences come out of the movie hall remembering even one of my dialogues, I think I can consider myself extremely lucky.

You think you feeling content with the yourself. You have reached the stars; do you think you have it all now?

I think if you feel content, laid back, unambitious with time, then you definitely become lazy, complacent and unprofessional. If my directors, producers and co-stars expect me to give the best to the audiences, then I would try to rise up to the expectations with immense hard word. It is no cake walk to please the audiences with every release. 

You film Son Of Sardar will be a Diwali release, which is the best time to hit the market?

Diwali is a big festival across the country. It’s a great opportunity for a big film to release audiences like to watch all kinds of films during this time. I am not superstitious or do anything special when my movies are set to release on a Friday. I perhaps become calm, Zen mode, cut off a bit socially and I go like Kay Sera Sera!

However the pressure is on everyone from the movie to do well and accepted by the audiences, not just on the hero or the heroine of the film. We hope that this Diwali our movie sees a great response.  For Diwali I would be going for my film, have a puja at home and attend family reunions.

You don’t seem to be intimidated by anyone in the industry, unlike other new actresses?

I think I am like this from my birth. Thanks to my family I am what you see today a well brought up girl. I am confident, good speaker, talented like my dad. While, I have got my looks and sweet nature from my mom (smiles).

Are you conscious about your looks on screen?

I have faced criticism for looks, acting and it is hard to get to this position or getting flak after losing 30 kg. It was an emotional struggle and had it been any other girl in my place she would have crumbled. I don’t do roles which require me to stick thin or size zero or even wear a certain kind of clothes. All of India is going back to the roots, so the trends of cinema or the look of a heroine is changing. People say a hundred things to release their grudges or criticize people for anything and everything. As for me, when my film releases I let my work do the talking and shut them up instantly (chuckles).

Your film is a remake of another film, what do you have to say about it?

Yes, Son Of Sardar (SOS) is a remake of another film. I did watch the film sometime ago. The situations have been changed according to a Punjabi set up and I am sure I like SOS better.

You were a fashion student and you ended up acting, any regrets?

I was studying fashion for three years and gave my best to it. I would work hard late into the night and stand first with good scores in my fashion school. Similarly I worked hard and when my films do well, I feel accepted. Now there is no looking back, I am enjoying every moment of it and look forward to going to the et each morning and having a productive day.

Do you consult your family before taking up a role?

I consult my parents often. They have been in the industry for the last 30-35 years, my mom come with me sometimes for narration sessions, or I give my parents a gest of the films I am being offered. We have open discussions in the house about my movie roles but the decision is mine at the end of the day.

Your last film Joker was not accepted well by the audience, any regrets? It is believed that Farah was upset with you post the film?

Success or failure of a film is not in my hands. Joker was a risk, it wasn’t accepted well by the audiences but I have no regrets whatsoever. It was a great shooting experience, with a lovely star cast and I learnt a lot from the team. Farah is like an elder sister to me, she is jovial and a total pataka on the sets while Shirish and I have a great working relationship.

Farah and I share a great relationship and the result of a movie has not change our chemistry one bit. There is really no animosity here!

Your item number with Prabhu Deva in the movie Oh My God was well accepted, how does it feel?

OMG was a different, fun, youthful Janamshtami song which can quite be called an unusual item number.  Also to be in the same frame as Prabhudevaji, was something I couldn’t resist. When Akshay casually asked me if I would be keen on doing this dance number I jumped at it. I simply couldn’t say no to him and the dance number turned out so well. We rehearsed for the song for over five hours at a stretch over a period of two days.  

You are into photography these days?

I like clicking pictures, and I have an eye for good things. It’s more of a hobby than passion!

How did you take to the dance steps with Ajay, considering he runs away from such sequences?

Ajay was a little apprehensive initially about the dance sequences but it was great fun altogether. He would rehearse and get it right, even the team members would leave their work at hand and join in to see him dance or enjoy his steps.

What did you remember from your shooting sequences in Punjab?

Well, I clearly remember a lot of food on the menu. From paranthas to chaas, dollops of butter we had a good time eating away to glory. We saw all season in Punjab because we shot there for such a long time. We shot in a small village, and had great people around. People would stay there in thatched roofs and would shower us with love and care. I have great memories of my stay in Punjab which will remain with me for a long time to come.

Akshay seems to be very fond of you as a co star as you have worked with him in a number of projects?

Akshay and my on screen chemistry is good, we have been well accepted by the audiences. People like to watch us together so the same casting happened in a few films. I think I share the best working relationship with him. It’s a nice atmosphere when he is around on the sets. In fact I guess, Akshay behaves younger than any of us on the sets. I am fortunate to be working with him as his co-star.

You have been doing plenty of fun films, any serious roles in the offing?

I have Lootere coming up, for which I am shooting at the moment. It’s a deferent look, location and character for me. It’s a serious film, belongs to the 1950 era. I am looking forward to it.

Do you have a 4 am friend in the industry or otherwise? Do your friends feel that you have changed from the time you got into Bollywood?

No, I don’t have a 4 am friend and I like to sleep at that time. All my friends are from my school and college days and I am happy to share things with them. I don’t think I have changed or they have changed either. They are the ones who keep me grounded if I happen to fly high for any reason. I prefer to have friends who don’t change like weather.

Do you think any of contemporaries are a serious competition for you?

I don’t think so. I appreciate talent. I like Anushka, Deepika, Parineeti and think they all are doing a great job out there.

Who do you confide into amongst actors as friends?

I think I can confide into Salman, I have known him for over 17 years now. And I think I can trust Akshay completely.

An ideal date place for you would be?

I think it would be a coffee shop for sure.

About the author

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Somanjana Chatterjee

Somanjan Chatterjee is San Francisco based consulting editor