Interview By: AAKANSHA SHAKHEWAR
Sonakshi is considered as one of the most bankable actress and with every movie she has grown and how! She has a huge fan base and plays vivid roles. She is a perfect example of no nepotism involved when it comes to acting as she is here to stay with the weight of work. With her latest release ‘Khandaani Shafakhana’, she is going to be seen as a first female protagonist and only actress who has taken up a role in a film that considers such a taboo subject. She tells us about her experience with director Shilpi Dasgupta and more about the film…
Do you enjoy the comic space?
Yes, in fact, I really love it. It’s actually a really good space for me and I find it quite challenging too. Comedy is not a funny business as it is really difficult to make people laugh and that challenges me as an actor. Luckily, I have good sense of humour, comic timing and with that I don’t mean to praise myself but yes I know what I’m capable of. For me comedy is like my one of the most favourite genres.
Shilpi told us it took two sittings to convince you to do the movie so were you apprehensive when you heard about the subject?
When I heard the one liner I was very apprehensive. First of all why are they approaching me with a subject like this? Because if you look at my track record you see that I do only family films and the movies that I can watch with my family. That was my reaction when I heard the one liner; but when I heard the script my first thought was- I have to do this film and I must do a film like this because it is such a relevant subject and It has been written in such a beautiful manner where there is right amount of humour, entertainment, information and it actually makes you think that why don’t we talk about sex in our society? Today a male is a gynaecologist nobody will raise an eyebrow but when a girl wants to run a sex clinic it’s suddenly not acceptable! There have been movies in the past based on a subject like this but they had a male protagonist and in this there is a first female protagonist and first actress who has taken up a role like this. When I read the script it also made me think that, yes the things that have been said in the movie are true so why not say yes for the movie?
Did you do any research in order to get little help on understanding the subject better?
Shilpi is really amazing and if I start praising her I won’t even stop. I play a medical representative in the film so I’m basically an MR who takes medicine and goes to every clinic to sell their medicine so Shilpi showed me videos of how they talk, sell their medicine and Baby Bedi is alsoa smart character. She will trick a person into buying the medicine. She showed me some actual ads of sex clinics. All of this really helped. I want to give full credit to the writer of the film that is Gautam Mehra who has written everything so clearly on how the character is suppose to talk, walk and everything else was so clearly written that it was really easy for me to understand the character and the subject.
Do you talk about sex openly with your gang of girls and have you come across anybody that has some sex related problems?
Yes who does not discuss it with their group of friends and no I have never come across any problems that people have because people don’t openly come out with it. Today if you are suffering from cough or cold you will go and see a doctor because a disease is disease at the end of the day and you will get it treated. So, what makes erectile dysfunction any different than the fever? You have to go see a doctor to get it treated. People who are suffering from this disease should not be made to feel that something is wrong because they have not asked for it and it just happens without ones knowledge. Sex clinics should not be something where you can’t go openly and that is one of the things that we touch in the film.
Have you met a real life gynaecologist just to get into the nerve of the character?
I have met a gynaecologist but I did not have to get into the skin of it because I’m playing a MR and not a gynaecologist in the film. Like I said it was so clear in the writing and of course Shilpi really helped me in this film. She is such an amazing director and the best part of it is a woman is directing a movie that contains a subject like this. I think with the kind of sensitivity she has handled the film I don’t think any man could have been able to do the same. To make a film with this kind of humour and things that have been spoken about could have gone border line to cheapness and she has not let that happen.
What does it take for a first time director to convince you for a movie?
Shilpi is a quiet and shy type of a person. For her to open up to me it took a little bit of time and so in the initial stage I used to feel like no I won’t be able to work with her because she is not talking to me only. But then eventually she opened up and how! We started doing readings and in those readings I could gauge like Shipli knows what she is doing and what she exactly wants. It was so nice and refreshing that I asked her when we are doing next movie because I look forward to working with her again. Also I don’t think it matters if the director is making his debut or already has made couple of films because at the end of the day a director is a director. You can see and tell whether they know their job as a director or not. If it was so, Salman would have never worked with me and if he did not I don’t know where would I be today.
Do you think it is high time for women directors to come up and start directing films more?
I have done so many films but this is the first time I’m working with a female director. It was so refreshing and I definitely want to work with more women directors.