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Sonakshi Sinha: There are many who have not made it in spite of being sons and daughters of stars

Sonakshi Sinha on her upcoming film, Akira, reinventing herself as an actor and facing criticism for her choice of films.

Written by Alaka Sahani | Mumbai |
August 28, 2016 12:00:26 am
Sonakshi Sinha, Sonakshi Sinha Akira, Akira, Sonakshi Sinha in Akira, Sonakshi Sinha Akira movie, Sonakshi Akira, Sonakshi in Akira, Entertainment Sonakshi Sinha will be next seen in Akira.

Sonakshi Sinha on her upcoming film, Akira, reinventing herself as an actor and facing criticism for her choice of films.

Your role in the action film Akira looks challenging. How did you train for it?
When I was offered the role, I knew that I had to be well-prepared for it. I started training two months before the film and continued to do so even during the filming. All the training came in handy in getting the body language of the character right. I knew how to kick and punch, and as the preparation continued, my kicks got higher and punches swifter. It was exciting that AR Murugadoss (director), who has worked with some of the biggest stars of our country, had decided to make a woman-centric film, that too an action one. That aside, my conscience dictated that I do this film as it conveys a strong and socially relevant message. It is essential for girls to have a basic knowledge of self-defence. After a point, one does feel like giving back to society.

You actively pursued sports when you were younger. Did that ease you into your training regime for this film?
Honestly, had I not been athletic enough, it would not have been easy for me to learn mixed martial arts and to pull off actions scenes, which were very strenuous. In Akira, so much depends on showing the girl doing the action scenes and making them look convincing. My background in sports helped me achieve that. When I was in school, I used to play all kinds of sports — volleyball, throwball, basketball and tennis. I also used to take part in discus throw and short put competitions. In college, I was a part of the national level selection for volleyball. I actively pursued sports during my formative years and enjoyed them thoroughly. I loved swimming and I still swim regularly. Slowly, I left sports behind when I developed other interests, like fashion designing. I got into acting soon after.

WATCH VIDEO: 5 Reasons To Watch Akira 


It seems that with Akira, you want to reinvent yourself as an actor.
Absolutely. It was so nice that Murugadoss did not treat me any differently because I am a woman. He made me feel like a hero in the film, which does come across in Akira. During the action scenes, he treated me just the way he probably would treat Akshay Kumar. I can say this because I worked with both Murugadoss and Akshay for Holiday (2014). Akira is releasing at a time when, with girls getting Olympic medals and their achievements being highlighted in the media, the message is being driven home that the birth of a girl is to be rejoiced. The film, hopefully, will carry forward the message.

Also read | Sonakshi Sinha: Ragging should be enjoyable, should not be traumatising

Was doing Aaj mood ishqholic hai, a hip-hop video, part of your reinvention?
I enjoyed singing when I was a child and always wanted to do it even though I was never trained in it. That’s why I sang Rajj rajj ke for Akira. Singing makes me happy and I believe I can do it. Rajj rajj… is moody and grungy. I love the raw feeling of this song. I was shooting the music video and the producer team, Fox Star, asked if I would like to sing it. Next thing I know, I was at Vishal-Shekhar’s studio and I recorded it in half an hour. Earlier, I had sung for Tevar too. However, I would like to undergo some form of training now since I want to continue singing.

Akira has created an action-heroine image of you, especially with Force 2 coming next, in which you play a cop along with John Abraham.
It might carry forward the ‘action-heroine’ tag, but the action in Force 2 is very different from that of Akira, which was raw and involved fist-fighting. The action sequences in Force 2 is more sleek and stylised. It has some high-octane chase sequences.

You have faced a lot of criticism for the choice of films you have made in your career so far.
These are not the things I strategise about. There was a trend of a certain kind of films (hero-oriented) during those years and I was capitalising on that. But, today, I am known because of those films. I have no regrets and I have learnt everything about acting from those films. When I signed Akira, I realised I am ready to take that one step forward and do something different. I have promised myself that I will now do roles that challenge me. My next two movies, Force 2 and Noor (based on Pakistani author Saba Imtiaz’s book), push me in a certain way. Noor is a fun character and the film maps her journey.

You did Lootera (2013) early on in your career. Were you disappointed that it didn’t get the kind of success it deserved?
Lootera was ahead of its time. Had it released today, it would have enjoyed box-office success. Even though it is not one of my higher grossing films, the kind of love it has got makes it a successful one. It did a lot for me as an actor. People took me more seriously as an actor after that. It was a huge achievement that Vikramaditya Motwane could pull off a film like that in his seconding outing as a director. Even the crew of the film were very good. Every aspect of it was outstanding.

Are you happy with the number of women-centric films being made?
The trend has started and it has gotten better with time. I see it heading in a good direction. The films are doing well and better roles are written for women.

Akira, Sonakshi Sinha, Akira Sonakshi Sinha, Sonakshi injured, Sonakshi Sinha injured

Do you think star children have a certain edge over others?
It was an advantage to be accustomed to the people in the industry. It helps that you are not fascinated or star-struck. You get that initial contact with people — that first meeting or an audition. After that, it depends on your own hard work and talent. There are many who have not made it in spite of being sons and daughters of stars. We had a normal upbringing. My brothers were in boarding school and I studied in Arya Vidya Mandir, Juhu.

My parents (Poonam and Shatrughan Sinha) made sure we were not given any preferential treatment. I travelled by auto-rickshaws and trains. Because of our upbringing, I understand the value of money more and the fact that we have to work for it.

Do you find it strange that you are often asked to repeat your father’s dialogue, ‘khamosh’?
I love the fact that people are able to make such connect between a father and his daughter. In a way, I am carrying his legacy forward. I am tremendously proud of this, and so is he. I probably get my dialogue delivery skills from him and that’s why I was given those punchlines in my debut film Dabangg (2010). I believe I have also got my father’s talent, confidence and a sense of humour.

At one point in your career, you faced a lot of criticism for your weight and your choice of clothes.
I probably didn’t give them anything else to speak about. Women are scrutinised a lot more when it comes to their bodies and wardrobe as compared to men. Actors don’t get as much flak as actresses. This is a bit unfair. But this has neither made much difference in my life nor has it affected my work.

Actresses and actors are increasingly getting into production and direction. Do you have any such plans?
I don’t have the aptitude to be a director. But I do see myself producing films in future.

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