Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar
While she looked like a delicate belle in her first film, she wasn’t quite one as she said, ‘thappad se darr nahi lagta…’ Quite true it seems, since in her latest release, she’s packing some serious punches. Not to mention, those high kicks. Here’s Sonakshi Sinha for you. This time around, she’s enjoyed being the hero herself, than romancing a hero. In a quick chat, she discusses ‘Akira’ and what went into the character….
“I learnt that I’m really willing to push myself to any limit for my character”
People have been talking about ‘Akira’ ever since the promo came out, since it’s not often that we see actresses pulling off this sort of action. How do you feel about it?
It’s been a very positive experience for me the shooting of the film has taught me a lot about how much can I push myself to play a character. Everyone’s response has been so fabulous that it gives me a lot of encouragement.
Do you think in a way, ‘Akira’ proves to be a film that re-invents you?
I’ve not planned anything in my life. Destiny has planned everything for me. I never intended on becoming an actor, but I got ‘Dabangg’. Then I didn’t know what I’d do after that, whether or not I’ll be accepted. The rest is history, so I kept doing films that I did. Finally when ‘Akira’ came to me, I had made a decision that I now want to do roles that really push me to my limit and can extract something that the audience hasn’t seen in me as an actor. Then in ‘Force 2’ I play a RAW agent, in ‘Noor’ I play a journalist. It’s a fun, quirky character. It’s the quickest film I’ve done. One more schedule and I’ll be done with the film. So I’m really enjoying playing these different characters at this point. I’ve never been someone who will succumb to any kind of pressure. Nor do I worry about ‘oh what will happen’.
Did observing your heroes like Akshay Kumar help you while doing action?
Honestly, observing my heroes in all the films I’ve done has really helped me. I used to watch them doing the action scenes and felt when will I get to do it. It’s a treat to watch them. I’ve applied whatever I’ve seen in this film. But it’s very strenuous. What you see on-screen is not even 5 per cent of the effort that goes in putting that out. I did injure myself a couple of times but it’s about how you bounce back. I didn’t let that come in the way of my shooting schedule or anything of that sort. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the action in the film. I have done the action scenes myself. It involved a lot of cable work which I had to be taught on the set itself. I had a trainer called Kuldeep Singh Shashi who taught me everything. He trained me with flexibility and all that.
The film also talks about bullying…have you faced that anytime in your real life?
People would try to bully when I was a child because I was on the heavier side. People think it’s okay to poke fun at people who are slightly overweight, but I never took it lying down. I’ve always given back and made sure I stand up for myself, but other than that, ragging is something which is also touched upon in the film. In my case, when I was in SNDT college, ragging an ice-breaker, was a way of making friends with each other. So, it has to be an enjoyable process, and not something which traumatises a student for life. That is something which needs to be taught in schools and colleges.
Apart from the action, there’s also a lot of emotion and rage that your character goes through. Was that challenging to get?
I am thankful to my parents that they’ve given me big eyes, so half the job was done (laughs). I can emote through my eyes. But ya I think, that was a challenge. A girl who has gone through situations which I couldn’t imagine in my wildest dreams – that was a challenge and that’s when you need a great director to explain the emotion she’s going through at that point in time and then it’s upto me as to how take it, understand it and play the character. Thankfully, I’ve never been in a situation in life where I have nobody to support me. I have a wonderful family, friends, and people I work with, so I hope I never even experience what she did.
“I’ve not planned anything in my life. Destiny has planned everything for me”
What has been the learning from ‘Akira’?
I learnt that I’m really willing to push myself to any limit for my character. It really wasn’t easy to play this role. I learnt that I will go to any extend to make it look convincing and good.
You’ve pulled off some action in ‘Force 2’ as well…
John really liked my kicks in ‘Akira’ and he suggested why don’t I do something similar in ‘Force 2’, so there’s this really slick action sequence. But the training really helps, and stays with you. What I learnt for ‘Akira’ helped me in ‘Force 2’ as well.
At this point, do you think you’ve become rather choosy?
Yes, I really want to do roles that push me. If I feel a role isn’t doing that, I’ll say no to it.
Has being a judge on Indian Idol Junior inspired the singer in you? Do you plan to come up with another single?
Those kids have inspired me so much. I’ve got to learn so much from them, the way they conduct themselves, it was something that was leading me towards singing, that’s when I came up with my own single. And now I sang for ‘Raj Raj Ke’. I want to do another single, I’ll start work on it soon. But for now I have films keeping me very busy.
What’s the status on your production venture?
I really want to look for a perfect subject. But my production house has all three of us – my brothers and me. So to find a script that appeals to all three of us, is what is taking time.