Monday, January 5, 2015

Sonakshi Sinha

“I’m actually one of the few people who do not succumb to any kind of pressure”

By Ankita R. Kanabar

(This interview has been published in the January 3, 2015 issue of  Super Cinema)

In a lot of ways, Sonakshi Sinha defies conventions – she brought back the trend of curvy heroines amidst the size zero trend, admits to be happy doing the quintessential massy films and speaks her mind rather than being politically correct. Looking completely chic in her new short-hair avatar, the actress is busy promoting ‘Tevar’ with Arjun Kapoor. This is her third film in a row, post ‘Action Jackson’ and ‘Lingaa’ and I won’t blame her if she’s losing her mind due to promotions. But here she is, all cheerful, laughing in between this quick chat where she talks all about ‘Tevar’, how she’s now ready to experiment with roles and manages to deal with the constant scrutiny that actors have to go through.

‘Action Jackson’, ‘Lingaa’, ‘Tevar’…you’ve been promoting films back-to-back…How insane has it been?
I feel I’m in a hurricane. I don’t know if I’m coming or going, or which city I’m in (laughs). But, for now, it’s just ‘Tevar’ on my mind. Yes, I’ve actually been promoting films since the past two months, and it’s really become hectic, but it’s part and parcel of the job. So, I’m enjoying myself at the moment and just looking forward to the release of ‘Tevar’.

In an earlier interview, you’d told me that you like to do films which you like watching as an audience. What was it about ‘Tevar’ that made you want to be a part of it?
I was shown ‘Okkadu’ for me to take a decision. I watched it and I immediately felt connected to the film in some way. It’s not just mindless entertainment; it has got soul in it. It’s a film with a lot of heart. It has a very real story and the characters are very relatable. It’s one of the stories which helps you connect to it and that’s what actually attracted me to the film. I didn’t even think much about it, I immediately called up Boney (Kapoor) uncle and said that I’m on board. That time when I said yes to the film, even the director wasn’t confirmed. But, everything just seemed to fall into place.

Because the film is a remake of ‘Okkadu’ you had a reference point. But generally also, do you think a reference point really helps getting into the skin of a character?
Not really. I like to speak to my directors and figure with them how they would want me to portray a character. I don’t really need a reference point because I’m the kind of actor who’ll do what comes to me spontaneously in front of the camera. Even during rehearsals I cannot really get myself into that mode, unless the camera is rolling – that’s when I start acting. So, whether I have a reference point or not, it doesn’t matter.

What has been your favourite part about shooting the film?
I really enjoyed shooting ‘Radha Naachegi’ because it was definitely my biggest song so far in terms of scale and the style of dancing. It was a completely new style of dance for me. It has a very nice fusion style of Indian and western. It was my first experience of shooting with Remo (D’souza). Plus it was completely focused on me – everything from the location, costumes and jewellery. So, really felt regal on the set while shooting that song. Actually, every part of the film has been nice. I really enjoyed shooting ‘Let’s Celebrate’ as well since Imran Khan came down and shot with us for that.

A still from 'Tevar'
We’ve seen you displaying a bit of your comic timing in a few of your films like the recently released ‘Action Jackson’. Does it come easily to you as opposed to many who feel it’s the most difficult genre?
Comedy does come easily to me, what is difficult for me is to cry on-screen. There’s this whole unit watching you and I just don’t feel comfortable crying in front of so many people who are not close to me. Crying is something which comes from deep within I feel, and it’s difficult for me to bare my emotions like that in front of everyone. That’s something I’ve always found challenging.

On one hand, you’ve had these big blockbusters, and on the other hand, there’s also been something like ‘Lootera’ which despite critical acclaim didn’t generate box-office numbers. Does this lead to a dilemma in your head while choosing a film sometimes?
For me as a person, it’s very important that people see my films. Because today who I am, where I am, it’s because of the films I’ve done. And it’s not like I’m here to prove a point to anyone that I can act or something like that. Having said that, even in the genre of the films I’ve done, nobody has really said that this girl can’t perform. There’s a certain genre of films I like watching as an audience. I like to go to the theatre, whistle, clap, hoot and dance in my seat. I like to see those kinds of films and that’s why I’ve done them. But, it’s not like I won’t do other stuff as well, because now we are seeing a change. The audience has become more accepting. There are various genres being done that are also doing well. So from now onwards, I will try different stuff. The thing is, just because I’ve done twelve films people forget that I’ve on been in the industry just for four years. I haven’t been around for that long. But, I think now I’m ready to try out different stuff. And I’m glad I’ll be starting that with A.R. Murugadoss’ film.

Since you’re very spontaneous as an actor, would it be right to say that you try to make every character relatable and there’s a bit of you in every character you portray?
I think you have to bring in your individuality to every character. In fact, there’s a part of you that you bring in to every character, at least for me. Earlier it used to be that there were such less people watching actors, other than their movies, and so, people used to only identify them with the characters. Now I feel we are more accessible to people, because of the media, interviews, social media, and you also get to meet people during promotions. People know who you are and they also kind of form a bond with your personality. If you get the chance to portray that and mix it with your character then even better because people know you’re being true to who you are as well as portraying a character on-screen.

Talking about media and social media, how do you deal with other things that come along with stardom, like the constant scrutiny on you?
I’m actually one of the few people who do not succumb to any kind of pressure. I’m just being myself, because that’s how I’ve always been. I’m not following the herd mentality or taking things that people say too seriously. I think that comes from the fact that I don’t take what happens in the profession seriously. Acting is something that I love to do, and thoroughly enjoy irrespective of what people say and that really helps.

So, you start of 2015 with A.R Murugodoss’ film?
Yes, and I’m just going to take one film at a time from now on. That’ll be my next project which will go on floors by January end.

Are you also training for the film since you’re expected to do some action?
I will have to train for it to look more realistic!

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