In this informal interview with JYOTHI VENKATESH, who has known her father Shatrughan Sinha even before the latter was married to her mother Poonam Sinha, SONAKSHI SINHA airs her thoughts …

Four of your films have collected 100 Cr plus. Do you smell whether a film will collect over 100 Cr when you sign it ?
“I do not think any one thinks that when any one signs a film, he or she thinks whether it will fetch 100 Cr at the box office and then decide to accept it. When I sign a film, I think about what my role is and what my performance ought to be and not whether it will fetch the producer 100 Crore plus or not. No one thinks that way in the film industry.”

How would you evaluate your growth as an actress from DABANGG to DABANGG 2 ?
“I have been part of five films till date- DABANGG, ROWDY RATHORE, JOKER, OH MY GOD , SON OF SARDAR and DABANGG 2. With every film in which I am acting, I think I am learning more and more by trial and error method since I am not a trained actress and thirst to learn more and more. I learn by acting with new technicians, new actors.
You keep growing with each and every film that you get the opportunity to be part of.”

Would you say that you are enjoying your phase in the film industry right now ?
“Kal kya hoga mujhe bilkul pata nahin hai” but I would not at all hesitate to state that I am enjoying the phase with which I am in the industry right now ever since I had made my debut with DABANGG. I do not think I will ever let myself burn out by ageing to do more films than what I am humanly capable of. Having worked with the best of actors, technicians in the industry, I feel I am blessed though let me confess that I cannot look at myself critically and actually look up to my mother for critical comments. My father loves me and thinks that whatever I do is the best while my mom sits with me sometimes when I hear the narration of any film. I take my mum’s opinion very seriously and the best part is that my mom is very honest about whatever she feels and tells me frankly.”

After you opted out of Kamal Haasan’s VISHWAROOPAM, you do not seem to have any Tamil film in your kitty !
“Though it is sad that I couldn’t do Kamal Haasan’s Tamil-Hindi bilingual film VISHWAROOPAM when it was offered to me, it does not mean that I am averse to working in films down South. In fact, right now, I am excited about having signed on for SHIVAM, a period Telugu film directed by Krish Jagarlamudi in which I have been cast opposite Mahesh Babu. It was sweet of Prabhu Sir to have insisted that I meet the maker for a narration and do the film if I liked the script. Shivam is going to be a pure commercial entertainer, which will be produced by Ashwini Dutt under his own production house. If I get the right offer, I am game to be part of more Tamil and Telugu films.”

Sonakshi-Sinha.Dabangg-2Is it true that you demanded Rs 5 Cr to act in Shivam ? How important is money to you ?
“Am I mad to ask for such a sum when I liked the script when it was narrated to me ? I still am living comfortably with my parents. Money has never been an issue for me. I do not look at the size of my role when I sign a film. When I sign a film, I crave to do something different.”

In what way is Arbaaz’s style of direction different from that of Abhinav Kashyap’s ?
“Abhinav Kashyap who had directed DABANGG was a writer in the film industry for the last 13 years. On the sets of DABANGG since I was new he used to literally act out and show. Arbaazbhai used to also act and show me and tell me that he expected me to deliver my lines on my own since I am no longer a newcomer like I was when I was on the sets of DABANGG. I told Arbaazbhai that he should have started his career as a director long time back. I feel that he is a fabulous director. It is quite tough for him to manage to juggle all the three together meticulously- acting, producing and directing but he has done a fabulous job of all the three departments in DABANGG 2. I’d say that being a part of DABANGG 2 was to me like being back to base- home, since I had started my journey as an actress with DABANGG exactly three years ago with DABANGG.”

How tough was it for you to play the role of a married woman in DABANGG 2 ?
“Though to play a married woman living outside Mumbai was very tough for me since I am still a young unmarried girl in real life and to get into the skin of my character, I managed to adopt a difficult body language, with the help of Arbaaz. In most of our films, we don’t get to see the romance that takes place after the hero and heroine get married. So in a way this is a refreshing change. There are some really sweet and even funny situations between Mr. and
Mrs. Chulbul Pandey which people have really enjoyed. Luckily, I was in clue with the character having played the same role earlier in DABANGG.”

In what way has life changed for you since you made your debut with DABANGG ?
“Frankly I’d say that though I had actually strayed in on the film scene purely by accident, today I would not know what to do, if I had even a single day free without shooting. Destiny made me an actress. I was smug as a star daughter and studying for fashion designing when Salman Khan, who is like family to me goaded me to be fit and shed my weight and encouraged me to try my hand at acting and even offered me his own home production DABANGG.”

How averse are you to go in for a glamorous image make over, since you run the risk of getting stereotyped as an actress, with your resolve to wear only traditional costumes in all your films ?
“Who says that I am not ready to sport glamorous costumes? I am ready to sport glamorous costumes, because I am essentially a jeans and T-Shirt girl of today in normal life off the screen. Though glamour has become an integral part of Hindi Cinema today, I am not ready to appear in a bikini in a film. If the audiences have readily accepted me in traditional and decent costumes in DABANGG, why should I wear a bikini ?”

How many films do you have up your sleeves now ?
“Besides Krish Jagarlamudi’s SHIVAM, I am having films like Vikramaditya Motwani’s LOOTERA in which I have been teamed opposite Ranveer Singh, Milan Lutharia’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI 2, in which once again Akshay Kumar is my leading man, Sajid Nadiadwala’s KICK to be directed by him with Salman Khan, Tigmanshu Dhulia’s BULLETT RAJA opposite Saif Ali Khan and Prabhudeva’s RAMBO RAJKUMAR opposite Shahid Kapoor. “

Though DABANGG, JOKER & DABANGG 2 were original Hindi films, ROWDY RATHORE and SON OF ARDAR were remakes of South Indian hits! Do you make it a point to watch the original films to know how he actress has etched her role in it?
“I confess that I am not at all averse to watching the original hit versions of any film when I am offered the opportunity to work in the remakes. ROWDY RATHORE was the remake of the Tamil hit SIRUTHAI directed by J. Siva Kumar and starring Karthi and Tamanna and the Telugu hit VIKRAMARKUDU directed by S.S. Rajamouli and starring Ravi Teja and Anushka Shetty. I made it a point to see how Anushka Shetty had acted in VIKRAMARKUDU, though I did not get the opportunity to watch the Tamil version SIRUTHAI or SON OF SARDAR , which was a remake of the Telugu hit MARYADA RAMANNA. I made it a point to interpret Anushka’s role in an entirely different manner since Prabhudheva, who had not directed either the Tamil or the Telugu version had entirely changed the original subject in such a way that it would be palatable for the Hindi audiences, by weeding out the inherent nativity in both the versions.”

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