Rajinikanth to Sonakshi: Why are you nervous? I should be nervous!
'I did not grow up watching too many Rajinikanth films. I saw Hum as a kid and watched it over and over again.'
Sonakshi Sinha gets ready for the Tamil Superstar.
One of the busiest actresses in Bollywood today, Sonakshi Sinha turns 27 today.
The actress, who seems to have lost a lot of weight, says quite modestly that Katrina Kaif has the best body among the actresses.
Her latest film Holiday is up for release, and Sonakshi seems quite excited. There's also of course, the big film with Rajinikanth that she's shooting for, titled Lingaa. Sonakshi also has Action Jackson with Ajay Devgn and Tevar with Arjun Kapoor, up next.
Sonakshi Sinha talks to Patcy N about her movies, and much more.
Tell us about Holiday.
I play a college girl, who is interested in sports -- tennis, basketball, volleyball, judo and boxing.
I look like Laila Ali in the film because I have braided my hair.
I have always wanted to braid my hair and use this look somewhere. Just imagine if I had used it in Dabangg, where I was wearing a sari all the time, I would have looked funny! (laughs)
When I understood that I would have a proper boxing match in a boxing ring, I decided on the braided look for that scene.
Do you do any action in the film?
Yes, I will be doing a few stunts. I play a match in an inter-college boxing championship and also other sports.
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Image: Sonakshi Sinha in Joker
'Akshay and I are always on time so our producers and directors don't have any problems with us'
This is your third film as lead actress with Akshay Kumar. Has he brought about any changes in you as an actress?
It just gets better and better with each film that we do together.
Our working rapport has been very good from the very first film we worked in together. We are always on time so our producers and directors don’t have any problems with us.
This is A R Murgadoss’s second Hindi film after Ghajini. What was it like working with him?
I was very happy working with him. I am very excited and awaiting the film’s release.
I have not watched the film yet, but Ghajini, his first Hindi film, was such a nice film.
He is a fantastic director. He has a different style of working. He is very serious and intense.
He comes on the sets with a fixed notion; he has already decided what kind of shot he wants and what kind of acting and performance he wants. And he knows how to get that from his actors.
There is no improvisation, no last moment changes?
No...Maybe very rarely. He knows exactly what he wants so he doesn’t leave much scope for improvisation.
He knows what will look good on the screen and what will suit the situation, he is an absolute perfectionist.
Image: Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha in Holiday
'This was the easiest role for me because I played lots of sports in school and college'
What challenges did you face playing a sports person?
This was the easiest role for me because I played lots of sports in school and college. I had lots of fun on the sets.
What kind of sports did you play in school and college?
I played volleyball, tennis, basketball and swimming. I was a goal keeper in football. I would take part in shot put and discus throw.
Didn’t you want to become a sports person?
I wanted to become one but unfortunately I was very overweight.
I am a Gemini so my interest level drops very quickly.
I would play a sport for some time and when I became good in it I would leave it and learn something new. So I can play many sports but I have not gone very far in any one sport.
Since you lose interest so easily, will you also lose interest in acting?
The beauty about acting is that with every new film I play a different character. So I don’t get bored at all.
You are doing horse riding in this film...
I learnt horse riding when I was a kid -- from the age of 10 to 14. My aunt is into horse business and horse riding, and her children are professional riders.
The day she told me that she will make me a professional rider, I gave up horse riding.
Image: Sonakshi Sinha and Akshay Kumar in Holiday
'I am a foodie so I can't eat boiled, steamed vegetables'
You have lost a lot of weight. You used to be criticised for your weight.
I think it is to my credit that whenever someone says something negative about me, I can turn it around and make it positive.
I did not lose weight because I was criticised. I lost weight for myself.
When I decided I wanted a new look, I worked hard for it. I wanted to be fitter than what I was earlier.
What is you fitness regime?
Consistency and regularity is the key to any change that you want to bring in yourself.
When I came home tired after shoots I would avoid going to the gym. I thought that the day’s work was equal to a workout.
But now, no matter how tired I am or how late I come back from a shoot, I make sure that I work out for at least half an hour to one hour in the gym.
That regularity in my life has made such a big difference that the results are showing.
Has your diet changed?
My diet plan has not changed at all. I still eat normal, regular food.
I am a foodie so I can’t eat boiled, steamed vegetables. I eat normal food and I work out.
Image: Sonakshi Sinha in Holiday
'I couldn't have asked for a better debut in Tamil cinema'
You have started shooting for Lingaa.
It’s been fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better debut in Tamil cinema.
Like my debut in Hindi films was with a superstar, Salman Khan, so I am debuting in Tamil with superstar Rajinikanth.
How was Rajinikanth?
Rajinikanth is an amazing person to work with. Jitne bade star hain, utne he humble hain, humesha sar jhukake rahenge.
He is very professional, and he talks to everybody so nicely.
What was the first working day like?
On the first day on the sets I went to him and said, ‘Rajini sir it is such an honour to be working with you. I will be honest, I am a little nervous also.’
He told me, ‘Why are you nervous? I should be nervous as you are a friend’s daughter.’
That conversation broke the ice. It was so nice of him to keep it humorous. The role is such that there is nothing that he would feel uncomfortable doing or I would feel uncomfortable doing.
It’s a very well written role and I am glad that I am part of this film.
When we were shooting in Mysore, there were so many fans who would come on the sets just to see him.
Was language a problem in the film?
No, not at all. I am good with accent and languages. I have not learnt Tamil, but because I have worked with so many South Indian directors over here, I know the basic tone of the Tamil language.
I would be prompted in Tamil and I would just repeat that in the same flow. Sometimes somebody would stand with a cue card and I would read my lines.
Image: Sonakshi Sinha
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar
'I did not grow up watching too many of Rajinikanth's films'
What differences did you see between the two industries?
I think the work happens quicker there.
The units are also pretty concise and to the point.
Here there are a lot of additional people, too many people on one set, and maybe that slows it down.
Are you open to more South Indian films?
Yes, of course, I am going to work in many more South Indian films
I’ve been getting lots of offers since Dabangg but my Hindi films have kept me busy.
I wanted to make a foray into South films because creatively they are so rich and they make such wonderful films. I wanted to experience this new world.
Lingaa is a wonderful film based in the present and in the 1940s. I wanted to be part of that magical world. I just couldn’t say no.
Are you a Rajinikanth fan?
I did not grow up watching too many of his films. I saw Hum as a kid and watched it over and over again.
Who are the South Indian superstars you would like to work with?
I want to work in good films with good content no matter who is in it.
But I would like to work with Mahesh Babu, Ravi Teja, Suriya to name few.
Image: Sonakshi Sinha
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
'We are very happy that the BJP is back in power'
When are you going to do a film like Lootera once again?
I am waiting for a film like Lootera, but of course I have to feel very strongly about it.
When Lootera was given to me I felt like that role was written for me and no one else can do this role. If I don’t get the same feeling I will not do a film just because everybody is telling me to do it or because it’s a trend.
Akshay Kumar felt that you should have received a national award for Lootera…
Akshay is very kind to me. But it’s fine that I did not get the award. I am not upset about it.
Whether we win an award for Lootera or not won’t make it less of a good film.
Your father Shatrughan Sinha has won the elections...
We are very happy that the BJP is back in power. The changes that Mr Modi has brought in the government and the way he got the people and the youth of the country so enthusiastic was fantastic. These are signs only of good days to come.
There are seven women ministers in the Modi cabinet…
I am very happy. If a woman can take care of a house and take care of a business then she is more than capable of taking care of the country.
What is Tevar’s progress?
Tevar is shaping up fantastic. I just saw rushes of the film and it’s looking very nice. It is very well shot.
It’s our director Amit Sharma’s first feature film. He has done wonderful ads before this. He is fantastic.
Are you seeing Shahid Kapoor?
No, I am very much single.
Who according to you has the best body in Bollywood?
Among the actresses, Katrina Kaif, and among actors, Akshay Kumar has an athletic body and the undisputed king of Bollywood, Salman Khan has the best body.
Image: Sonakshi Sinha
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar