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Da-Bangg ON!

She has the spunk and the chutzpah! And her presence on screen has come like a breath of fresh air. The Rajjo of Dabangg made hearts go dhak-dhak, and now, with three films – Joker, Kick and Race 2 – in her kitty, Sonakshi Sinha is already being dubbed as the next best thing in filmdom. Today, Sinha is on every filmmaker’s wishlist. But the actress wants to play her cards carefully. In an interview to Parag Maniar, she says she’d rather wait and choose the right film than simply jump onto the filmy bandwagon. Over to her

Dabangg was released in September last year. Why did you take so long to say yes to your second film?
Well, I signed my second film not long after Dabangg released. It’s just that the shooting schedule started a little later. Post-Dabangg, I was busy with the post-promotional activities. Also, since everything had happened so fast, I needed some time to consider my second offer and chose the right film. Dabangg was huge and to find something to match that was essential.

Hailing from a film family, you must know that “out of sight is out of mind”.
Yes, of course. In fact, that is the case everywhere. I was never really out of sight. I kept myself busy with events, performances and, in fact, the awards season has just ended. So I was very much around.

Do you consult your parents before committing to a project? 
Always! I am blessed to have the parents I have. With the kind of experience they have in this industry, I couldn’t have asked for more!

There was news of you being in hibernation for nearly two years before you signed Dabangg. How many films did you reject or didn’t materialise? And why? 
To start with, I had never planned to get into films. In fact, I had completed my undergraduate degree in fashion design and was all set to become a designer. Dabangg happened coincidentally and here I am. Other offers kept coming in but since my interests lay elsewhere, we turned them down. However, when I was offered Dabangg, it seemed so great that it was impossible to say no! Now I’m here and hopefully to stay.

Right now, you’re shooting for your second film, Joker, in Ludhiana. How has it been? 
We are actually shooting for it in Chandigarh. It’s been a great experience so far. My co-actors are extremely funny and we are having a blast on the sets.

Any incident etched in your mind?
The wonderful home-cooked meal my mother’s been cooking for the entire cast and crew. On most days, we eat dinner together. Since everyone is on an outdoor shoot and misses ghar ka khana, my mum’s food is a blessing.

What is it like working with Shirish Kunder?
Good! He’s a thorough professional and knows his job well. The great thing about him is that he’s always open to suggestions.

And your co-star Akshay Kumar?
Excellent! He’s so funny and jovial on the sets, time passes very quickly. He has some energy and he keeps the whole set going!!

What makes your character interesting in the film? 
I can’t really reveal much at this point.

You will start shooting for Kick this year too. Have you watched the original? 
Yes, of course I have. And I loved it!

How much credit do you give Salman for your success?
Most of it, actually. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be acting today. He was the one who thought I was capable of playing Rajjo in Dabangg.

Did the stupendous success of Dabangg take you by surprise? 
It took all of us by surprise. Everyone working on a film hopes their film does well and so did we. But we never imagined such a phenomenal success.

You are doing a film with another Khan, Saif. Are you excited to be part of the Race sequel?
Of course, I am. Race did very well and let’s hope this one does too. It’s great to be part of such a big film.

What are your criteria before you taken on a film? 
The basics really! Good script, story, director-producer combo and co-stars, and the character must match my sensibilities.

It is said that you charge a bomb for endorsements and for films… 
I am charging as much as I deserve and people have appreciated my work and are paying me for my talent.

Would you consider lowering your price for a role that is meaty?
When it comes, we will see.

Would you consider doing a film that had a limited budget? 
If the role was really nice and I wanted to do it, why not?

How important is money to you? 
As important as it is to anyone else. Luckily for me, my family has provided me with everything I need. But there’s a different satisfaction earning your own money.

Do you have your own business strategy as an actress? 
I’m just here to do good work, enjoy what I’m doing and the rest will take care of itself.

What is it about you that you feel has gone down well with the people?
That people can identify with me because when they see me, they see a friend, a sister… Basically, I guess they see themselves in me. I try and keep it real and that’s probably what has worked for me.

With just one hit to your credit, you are already considered in the top league that includes the likes of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif. Any particular character you are longing to play which has been played by them? 
I’m flattered to hear that. Thanks! There are many characters I would like to play. Vidya’s role in Parineeta, Rani in No One Killed Jessica, Kareena’s in Jab We Met, Aishwarya’s in Jodha Akbar, to name a few.

Your brother, Luv, too, made his debut last year but his film met with a lukewarm response. Your take.
Not every film does well. His first film didn’t do well. But you never know, he will bounce back with his second one.

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