It has been eight years since Sonakshi Sinha made her acting debut with the Salman Khan starrer Dabangg (2010). In the past eight years, she has been a part of many successful films such as Rowdy Rathore (2012), Son of Sardar (2012), Dabangg 2 (2012), Lootera (2013) and Ittefaq (2017). By starring in movies which belong to varied genres, Sonakshi has proved that she is not bound to a particular genre. After Welcome To New York (2018), the actress is now looking forward to her next Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi, a sequel to Aanand L Rai’s 2016 light-hearted film Happy Bhag Jayegi. The movie will arrive in cinemas on 24th August and also includes Diana Penty, Jimmy Shergill and Jassie Gill in its ensemble cast. In this sit-down with our Mumbai correspondent, Mohnish Singh, at Eros International, Sonakshi talks in detail about her new film, the character she plays in it and why she has no issue starring in multi-starrers.
Sonakshi, how did Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi land in your lap?
I was asked to be a part of this film and when the makers narrated to me the script, I found it extremely interesting. I have seen the first part (Happy Bhag Jayegi) and I loved that. All elements, which the audience liked in the first part, are present there in its sequel also. Having said that, there are various new elements as well. Our film is now set in China. I am the newest addition to the movie along with Jassie Gill. So, we are going to give the audience something which they loved and something new. That is what I really, really liked about it.
Brief us about your character in the movie?
As obvious, I play Happy in the film. She is a professor in the movie. She can do anything to make her family and the people around her happy.
You play a professor in the film?
Yes. She teaches horticulture in the film (laughs). I think I am the first Indian actress to play a horticulture teacher in a movie. Yes, it’s a first. Diana and my characters are very different from each other. Very different.
Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi is a multi-starrer. Was there any kind of problem with anyone while working on a film which had so many actors?
Why would I have an issue? I don’t have any issue with anyone. See, there is always a limit. Until you do not cross that line, everything is fine. I have always shared a cordial relationship with all my co-stars I have worked with. Very professional, happy, healthy and friendly equations I have shared with everyone. So, I don’t think there has ever been a situation where somebody tried to, you know, trouble me.
Are you like Happy in real-life as well?
I think, yes. That is why Mudassar offered this role to me. I think I have a lot of Punjabi traits in me, despite the fact that I don’t belong to Punjab. I am half Bihari and half Sindhi. There are many people who say I look like a Punjabi, I dance like a Punjabi. I love Punjabi food a lot though. I am constantly listening to Punjabi music. It’s my favourite music in the whole world. So, I think, it comes from my system.
There is one song of veteran actress Helen in the film, which has been recreated. Have you shown it to her?
No, not yet. I have been thinking of showing it to her ever since the song released. But we are so tied up with these promotions and everything that I could not squeeze some time out to meet and show it to her. I don’t think she has seen it as yet. If she had seen it, she would have definitely called me up. So, whenever I get the opportunity, I will go and make her see the song.
Did you show it to Salman Khan or Salim Khan?
No, I have not shown it to them either. I am so busy with promotions.
Sonakshi, when you do a comedy film, how do you approach it? Is the approach different from what you take while doing films of other genres?
I approach every film as if it’s my first film. So for me, it is always a new experience that I would like to learn something from. Comedy is something which does come easier to me because in real-life also I am very fun loving. I try to find humour in everything. You cannot take life so seriously. I love to laugh and make people laugh. So for me, being in a comedy film is like being at home. And when you have such wonderful actors who also have that little streak of naughtiness, of comedy, within them, it becomes all the more fun.
Did you discuss Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi with your father (Shatrughan Sinha) before signing?
I have not actually discussed it with him, but he saw the trailer and loved it. It was the first time when he asked me about the film, its story and all. Then I had to tell him about Happy Bhag Jayegi. I told him it is the continuation of that film. Then he asked me who the director was? He asked me to show him the first film before this one releases. He called director Mudassar Aziz over at home and had coffee with him. So, he was really impressed with what he saw… everybody coming together. He enjoys comedies.
Which is your favourite comedy film of your father?
I think my favourite film of his, where he has shown a lot of range and shades of his persona and his talent, is Khudgarz (1987). I loved that film. It’s one of my favourite films of his and I can watch it a number of times. In that film, he showed so much of comedy, emotion, drama and anger.
What do you like most about your co-star Diana Penty?
What I like most about her is that she is very quiet, sweet and simple. She is completely opposite of what I am. So, whenever I have to control my energy, I go and sit beside her and calm myself.