Sonakshi seems to love action. After giving us a dose of action in ‘Akira’ a month back, she is all set to give us higher dosage with ‘Force 2’. Sonakshi reveals all about her role in the action flick and also her experience of working with John Abraham, with whom she hasn’t worked earlier.
Q: How was it working with the team of ‘Force 2’?
Ans: Abhinay Deo, our director, was clear about what he wanted. And it was great teaming up with Vipul Amrutlal Shah, John Abraham and Abhinay. They all had a
common vision which was to double the force this time.
Q: What attracted you to ‘Force 2’ where you play a RAW agent?
My character is well etched out. She’s a strong lady, an alpha in herself. She’s a woman in a man’s world, matching step for step. She’s at the forefront. At the narration, it felt like a two-hero film where the man and the woman were working towards the same cause together, and at par with each other. My nod was almost instant. It’s balanced in that sense… John and I are equals in the film.
Q: Do you remember your first interaction with John?
Ans: It was fantastic but I made the mistake of picking a chocolate bar in front of him. And I never got to hear the end of it. Till date, he calls me by the name of that chocolate. He has a great sense of humour. The mood of the film is intense, but it was always light behind the scenes.
Q: Do you enjoy action?
Ans: Absolutely! I have always liked action films. Honestly, that aspect of my profession is closer to my real self. I’m not the damsel in distress. I’m more of an athlete. I enjoy showcasing what I love to do the most.
Q:How helpful was John?
Ans: Extremely helpful and cooperative. He was always there for the scenes. Actually, he’s a fitness trainer to everyone on set. And he’s one of the reasons I’ve become a little more serious about being fit.
Q: Were you able to match John’s energy level in the action scenes in ‘Force 2’?
Ans: What makes you think I have any less energy? Don’t underestimate me, I don’t like it. Ladki hoon toh kya? I thought that this myth was shattered with ‘Akira’. If not, ‘Force 2’ will definitely prove that women have as much energy for action scenes as men. I matched move for move with John. He was mighty impressed. So were the action directors.
Q: There’s a drastic change in your approach towards your career, given your recent choice of films. What’s the secret?
There was a time when masala commercial films were doing well. Slowly, the kind of films that were being made changed, and so did the audience’s preference. I made these recent choices only when I felt I was ready for them. The change occurred at my pace, and not because I succumbed to some pressure or was driven by what people wrote about me. Change is easier to bring about when it comes from within. I haven’t had characters like the ones in ‘Akira’, ‘Noor’ and ‘Force 2’. Maybe I wasn’t offered something like that. ‘Akira’ struck a chord. And then, I promised myself that I want to do more stuff like that and will consciously go after that.
Q: What triggered this?
A: There wasn’t any trigger per se. My first film established me as the quintessential commercial Indian heroine. So, I was offered those films. Lootera came by fluke. I was advised against it but I did it because I felt strongly for it. Then, I went back to commercial cinema. And it’s because of those films that I can pull off an ‘Akira on my own. I have a market standing. I have no regrets about my decisions.
Q: There was an evident low phase, full of criticism. What kept you going?
A: The acceptance of the fact that you will be criticized! Damned if you do it, damned if you don’t. I’m a positive person and I shut out negativity pretty easily. If I had allowed that criticism to affect me, I would have been in a different space altogether. I know I will be judged like everyone else in showbiz, all the time. And ups and downs are equally important to make you a stronger person. Irrespective of my film’s result, I have moved on to my next project, which just means work never stopped coming in.
Q:Your career can be a case study for those who think industry kids have it easy. You’ve had to work your way up… work in commercial films to do what appeals more to you. Agree?
Ans: I don’t know! But I block negative energy completely. I don’t assign importance to irrelevant opinions or take myself too seriously. I’m open to constructive criticism but not at the cost of my sanity or by making myself feel bad about it. I was bullied in school for being an overweight teenager but I remained proud of who I was and the way I was. And then, I stepped into an industry where looks matter because it’s a visual medium. So, I came down to 60 kilos from 90. ‘Dabangg’ was a huge hit. Who is anyone to tell me how I should be? I’d be sitting at home if my body or my frame mattered to filmmakers. I’m here because of my looks which are Indian, and because I can hold an expression. My craft has always been appreciated. And logon ka kya hai, they were anyway going to say something. Kuch to log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna.
Your personal life often makes headlines. Time spent with friends over dinner, a birthday party, talk about a marriage proposal and a friendship gone kaput.
Q:Do you think social media has become too intrusive, and a lot is made out of what is seen in a few pictures?
Ans: As celebrities, there’s precious little about our lives that we can keep to ourselves. Family and friends are all that I can guard. And I don’t want to talk about any of them in the press. There’s a reason it’s called personal life. For me, social media is a way to reach out to fans directly. They see what you want them to see, that you are happy to show them. Beyond that, no one can control what’s made of it, right?
Co-produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, Viacom 18 and John Abraham, and directed by Abhinay Deo, ‘Force 2’ will release later in 18th November, 2016.