Sonakshi Sinha talks about her journey in the industry, sex comedies and why she is the quintessential Hindi film heroine.
It’s been eight years since Sonakshi Sinha made her debut with Dabangg, opposite Salman Khan. The film was a box-office hit and the curvy actress was touted as the next big superstar in the Bollywood. Following that, her filmography has seen a fair share of hits and misses. The actress will now be seen in Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi, looking fitter than she ever was in her career. In a candid interview, Sonakshi speaks on her projects, the importance of being real on the social media, pay disparity and much more.
Did you watch Happy Bhaag Jayegi before signing the sequel?
I loved HBJ. It’s just a happy feel good, light entertainer that you can watch anytime. I first watched it after I was offered the sequel and enjoyed it. I just wanted to be part of this movie as all the characters from the first film have been brought into the sequel as well.
Do you personally enjoy being part of comedy films?
I enjoy comedy. I feel that I fit into it really well because that’s just me as a person. I don’t take things too seriously. I can take a joke on myself, I am generally a funny person by nature and I enjoy being in that environment. Having said that, being able to bring outright comedy and correct timing on screen is challenging for an actor.
What’s your take on sex comedies? Would you like to try your luck in that genre?
If it is actually funny, done in a good way and made well, then it can be funny. All these scary movies made in the West do have a lot of double meaning jokes but they are funny. I enjoy it, but personally, I would not want to be a part of it, as I like to do movies that can be watched by my family. I have always been part of a family entertainer.
You have completed eight years in the industry, how has the journey been?
It's been amazing. I still feel like so new. I still feel like I just did Dabangg. But then, I treat every film like it’s my first. That's how it should always be. That keeps my drive alive and I am still enjoying every bit of it. I feel I am growing younger in my head. I don’t feel much has changed since I started working. Everything is so balanced right now. I am in a happy space.
You look so fit now, when did the fitness bug bite you?
That’s been a change and I just started getting conscious about it. I never used to take my fitness seriously before. Last year, I started working towards it but in the last six months, I have got really serious about my fitness. I have found a form of workout that suits me, that affects me and stuck to it. Pilates has worked so well for me. I have surprised myself with the dedication that I have shown in the last few months.
Does failure affect you?
I am still going strong. I have seen both sides of the coin that everybody goes through. All that matters is if the audience has connected with me. The kind of roles I am doing is memorable or not. I think it’s a part and parcel of life and you have to keep your head up and move on.
You have done parallel films as well. But do you think Bollywood perceives you only as a commercial actress?
I think that was established through my very first film. I was introduced as the Hindi film commercial heroine. Even the film I did after that Rowdy Rathore, Son Of Sardar, Dabangg 2, all were commercial in nature. For me, I will always be the quintessential commercial Hindi film heroine. I am glad that I am also able to explore the other side of the Hindi cinema. I can now say that I have a good balance of both the worlds. It’s great to be a mouldable actor, you can put me in a Dabangg or you can put me in a Lootera.
Actresses have been talking about pay disparity in the industry. Has there been any change on that end?
It's not about money but about equality. We as a society are aiming at gender equality. Salary has an important place in that entire argument, not only in films but also in business and sports. The case remains the same — women are always paid lesser than the men. This is just a battle for equality.
How important is it for the actress to project a real picture of themselves on the social media?
I have always projected a very healthy body image from the beginning. I have never stressed about how you look on the outside. It's all about how good you feel from the inside. My handle is called aslisona because I like to keep it real and that's exactly what I stand for. Young girls are very impressionable and they like what we do. This is our profession, we are meant to look glamorous but it’s taken an entire army behind that, but that's not who I am as a person. I share a lot of stuff that does not have to do with my work, so you get a glimpse of the person I am. That is the only way to reach out to the audience.