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'I have evolved as an actor'

Last updated on: April 19, 2017 20:04 IST

'My first film put me in the spotlight as a commercial heroine. After that, I kept getting such films and I enjoyed them. Whatever I have learnt, I have learnt on the job through these films.'

'I have also made mistakes like everyone but I have learnt from them and moved on.'

Sonakshi Sinha gets us ready for Noor.

Photograph: Sonakshi Sinha/ Instagram

Sonakshi Sinha has romanced Salman Khan in Dabangg and kicked butt in Akira.

But it’s her role in Lootera that remains closest to her heart.

“That film did for me what no one films have done for me, in terms of establishing my credibility as an actor,” she says.

Sonakshi gets ready for her new film Noor, where she plays a journalist.

Directed by Sunhil Sippy, the film is a crime thriller adapted from the Pakistani novel Karachi, You're Killing Me!.

Sonakshi tells Rediff.com contributor Rajul Hegde how she’s just like Noor in real life. 

How much of Noor are you in real life?

Everybody is a bit of Noor in real life, including me.  

We are today’s girls, modern women, who work and want to achieve everything in life. We want a great career, a great relationship and also want make a difference in life.

All of us have these aspirations, ambitions and dreams and do everything possible in our hands to achieve them.

In real life, I am a working girl as well. I have my own struggles and insecurities, my own goals that I have set for myself...

I am chasing them just like Noor. 

I am a lot like Noor. Any girl, who is trying to achieve something in life, will relate to her. The reactions to certain situations are so natural, I felt I was not even acting! It was refreshing to play a real character after playing all those larger-than-life ones.

IMAGE: Sonakshi Sinha in Noor

Your character doesn’t seem interested in covering her beat as an entertainment journalist.

Noor is a journalist, who is not satisfied with her job because she wants to cover a different beat but her boss doesn’t let her. He makes her do frivolous assignments, whereas she wants to do serious journalism.

Noor doesn’t want to cover entertainment. She is more interested in talking about the salaries of dalit sewage workers and deaths on train tracks. She wants to write about the city, something that will make a difference to the society. 

One day, she gets irritated, takes charge and goes after a really big issue. She makes a few mistakes along the way but ultimately makes her voice heard. 

How much you have struggled in life?

Everybody has their own set of struggles. It would be unfair to compare myself with Noor. No two people have the same struggles in life. So I can’t compare myself to her but as a girl, we have the same basic insecurities and struggles.

Have you read the book Saba Imtiaz’s novel Karachi, You're Killing Me, on which this film is based? 

Yes, I enjoyed reading it. So I had a rough idea about the character when the script came to me.

I knew I wanted to play this character.  

It is adaption of the book but they have made changes in the location -- from Karachi to Mumbai -- and that made it even more relatable because I am from here. 

How was it working with stand-up comedian Kanan Gill?

I have seen his movie reviews and enjoyed them. Honestly, during the narration, I had picturised someone like him in the role.

When I saw his audition I told the director that we must cast him because he fits the role so perfectly, since he wanted real people and authenticity.

He is a funny guy off camera too. He used to make people laugh and is so spontaneous at it. 

IMAGE: Sonakshi Sinha in Akira

You had worked really hard for your action film Akira but it did not work at the box office. How did you handle that?

It did well for me because I got a lot of positivity from it.

The film did a business of Rs 32-33 crore, which is amazing. The only reason you say it didn’t well is because you are comparing it to my other films, which is unfair.

I got to work with an amazing director, play a fantastic role, got to learn mixed martial arts... With the kind of business it did, the producers got the idea that this girl can carry a film on her shoulders and promote it all by herself.

As an actor, these things are positive.

I hope I will be able to do more such films in future.

IMAGE: Sonakshi Sinha and Ranveer Singh in Lootera

We haven’t seen you in an intense role post-Lootera.

Lootera was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of film. After that, nothing else came to me.

It was a beautiful film, got me so much critical acclaim. Even today, people talk about that. I don’t think it got its due at that point of time but the memories and appreciation it has left me with will be in my heart. That film did for me what no one films have done for me, in terms of establishing my credibility as an actor.

How have you grown as an actor over the years?

I have evolved as an actor. My first film put me in the spotlight as a commercial heroine. After that, I kept getting such films and I enjoyed them. Whatever I have learnt, I have learnt on the job through these films.

I have also made mistakes like everyone but I have learnt from them and moved on. I have understood that I should not do certain things. You keep growing and learning. Now I want to do a role that challenges me, satisfies me and keeps me engrossed. 

There is a lot of debate on the pay disparity between actors and actresses? What are your thoughts?

There should be equality in everything. Women are paid way lesser than men for doing the same work and putting in the same effort, if not more, which is unfair. That should be equalized not only in my profession but in other professions too. 

IMAGE: On the first day of Ittefaq's shoot with Shah Rukh Khan, Sidharth Malhotra and director Abhay Chopra (right). Photograph: Sonakshi Sinha/ Instagram

You play a negative role in Ittefaq, opposite Sidharth Malhotra, a remake of 1969 thriller.

It’s not negative character per se but I have to play the character from two perspectives. It’s very interesting to be able to do that in one film.

I haven’t seen the original. It will be an entirely new experience; we are presenting a completely new film for the younger generation.

We have almost finished the shooting, it’s the quickest film I have ever done.  

Rajul Hegde / Rediff.com in Mumbai