Actress Sonakshi Sinha fell in love with the script of Kalank the moment director Abhishek Verman narrated it to her. Another reason she said yes to the period drama was its stellar star cast which includes the likes of Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Aditya Roy Kapur. “I have never been in a multi-starrer like this, of this magnitude. I am really happy to be working with these fine, fine actors and wonderful people,” exuberant Sonakshi tells Eastern Eye correspondent, Mohnish Singh.
Apart from spilling some beans on her character in Kalank, Sonakshi also talks candidly about the trend of multi-starrers making a comeback in Bollywood, what else she would love to explore professionally besides acting, and whether or not the digital media interests her at this point in her career.
How was it to work on a multi-starrer period film like Kalank?
It was great. I think from the moment Abhishek narrated the script to me and the world he had created, I was completely sold. He told me that these wonderful actors were going to be a part of the film as well. I was so happy.
The entire experience has been so surreal, because the film is so larger-than-life and the characters are so beautifully written. The look and feel of the film are so different. It is set in the 1940s, an era nobody from our generation can imagine. It has been a fantastic experience.
Tell us a little bit about your character in the movie.
I play a character called Satya Chaudhry. She is somebody who is very strong, very resilient and very sacrificing. She is somebody who holds the entire family together. All she wants is the best for her family and she is willing to put them, you know, in front of her need, her wishes and desires. It is a very, very strong character. Satya is a strong and silent type (smiles).
How did you prepare for your character?
I am an actor who does not really have a process. I am a spontaneous actor. I can only act when the camera is on. So when the camera starts rolling, I am ready to do my job. My main preparation happens when I speak to my director about my character. I try to understand from him what his vision is and how he has imagined my character. My job as an actor is to do what my director wants and what he has imagined. My job is to give at least 97% of what he has imagined.
In Kalank, almost every actor has one or two songs specially dedicated to them. Do you have any song shot solely on you?
In this film, no, I do not have any song, because my character is such and she is in such a situation that she cannot suddenly break into song and dance. I do miss it though. I really miss it. But it is okay. I am sure when you see the film, you will understand why I have no songs.
What is that one thing that you would like to take back from Kalank?
The entire experience. I have never been in a multi-starrer like this, of this magnitude. I am really happy to be working with these fine, fine actors and wonderful people. Varun, Aditya, and Alia have been my friends before we started shooting. Sanjay sir has been a part of the family. Madhuri ma’am is somebody we all have looked up to at some point in our lives because of how she is. It was an amazing experience overall, being a part of this film.
How do you look at the trend of multi-starrers making a comeback in Bollywood?
I think it is great. I myself have given a nod to quite a few, Kalank being the first film in the list. Mission Mangal is the next multi-starrer that I am doing. Then there is Bhuj: The Pride Of India also. So I feel it is great that multi-starrers are coming back in vogue. What I have noticed about multi-starrers being made today is that each and every character in them is so well etched out. At least the films which I am doing, nobody gets lost in other characters. So it is great.
How was it to work with other actors on the star cast?
Very well. As I said, Varun, Aditya and Alia have been friends of mine, so it was very cool to work with them. They are such nice actors. Sanju sir has seen me grow up, so we already had that bond there. With Madhuri ma’am, I have worked for the first time, so I am just really happy that I get to be in the same film as her. I really love and respect her.
Did you learn anything from her?
Unfortunately, I do not have any scene with her and that was my biggest complaint to Abhishek Verman, that he put me in the same film with Madhuriji and did not give me a single scene with her. So that was my biggest complaint to him. Having said that, you learn a lot by just watching her. During interviews and all, I just look at her and admire her the way she is. She is amazing.
Which is your favourite Madhuri Dixit film?
So many films are there. I think any film that she has done, any role that she has taken up, she owns it in its entirety. Whenever she comes on screen, she just lights up the entire place. So I do not think I can pick out any one film in particular.
Aaja Nachle (2007) was a film which I saw when I was in college and at that time I had not even thought of becoming an actor. But when I saw the film and I saw her dancing, I just told myself that if I ever become an actor, I should aspire to be like her. She is that kind of a person who can really inspire you.
Sonakshi, you are very active on social media? How do social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram help an actor?
For me, social media is something which I use to have a direct connect with my fans. My films are my films. That is my work. That is what I do. I use social media to inform them what I am doing, and also give them a glimpse of me as to who I am as a person in my real life, when I am not acting and not on the screen. I enjoy it that way.
It happened very organically for me. We have grown up in a time when these platforms had started coming, like Facebook, Twitter, etc. It just comes as second nature. It is not something that I think about consciously. I do not think that, “Okay, today I will post this at that time”. I post something when I feel like.
Apart from acting, is there anything else that you would like to explore professionally?
I hope that I continue to act as long as I can, because it is really something that I love to do. I cannot imagine doing anything else. But I have studied fashion designing, so I have that knowledge. It could be something that I can explore, but I have not thought of it now. I paint, so that is also something that can be explored.
Is anything happening on the digital front?
No, not yet.
Are you open to it?
Yes, I am open to it. I have read a few scripts, but nothing that struck me and made me say yes to it. I am waiting for something that has a very strong role for me. If the show revolves around my character, even better. I enjoy watching digital shows. I feel the kind of content that they are bringing up on digital is very, very good. Of course, I would love to do content which I can watch with my family as well. So, yeah, I want stuff like that.