Akira has taught me a lot about myself – Sonakshi Sinha
From the village belle in Dabangg to an action heroine in A R Murugadoss’ Akira, Sonakshi Sinha has pushed herself to explore various facets of acting. While she may have been away from the big screen for a while, Sinha is now back to enthrall audiences with an interesting line-up of upcoming films.
Ahead of the release of her action thriller, we caught up with the actress to get an insight into her training for this high-octane role that has her doing stunts for the very first time and how the experience has changed her as a person, among other things. Here are excerpts from the conversation.
How did Akira happen to you?
Murugadoss (Director) sir and I had worked together in Holiday. He felt that I was good in that film, given the scope of what I had to perform in that role. He was very impressed and believed that I could do this (Akira) too. And that’s how it happened.
You’re last release was more than a year back. What kept you away for such a long time?
Good things take time. (Smiles) I was shooting for Akira and it took longer than expected. But it’s finally here and I can assure you that it will be worth the wait.
What drew you to do this action-packed role?
I’ve never planned anything in life, it is almost like destiny plans things for me. I never intended on becoming an actor but got Dabangg. Even after doing Dabangg, I wasn’t sure if I would or wouldn’t be accepted. But I got accepted and kept doing films. When Akira was offered to me, I decided that I now want to do something different. I want to do roles that push me to my limit and can extract something that the audience has not seen of me as an actor.
For instance, in Force 2 I play a raw agent, which is again very exiting for me. I play a journalist in Noor, but that again is the journey of a girl, something that everyone can relate to. It’s a fun quirky character. And I’m really enjoying playing these different characters.
I want to do roles that push me to my limit and can extract something that the audience has not seen of me as an actor
How was the experience of shooting the film? Does being touted as the new action heroine increase the pressure?
Shooting this film has been a very positive experience for me. It has taught me a lot about myself, about how much I can push myself, to play a character. The response to the trailer has been fantastic, everybody has appreciated it a lot. And that gives me a lot of encouragement. We have all worked very hard for this film and I hope that the audience sees that effort and sees that we have given them a different film with good content. It’s a great action thriller.
Has being part of action films in the past with actors like Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar helped you during Akira?
Of course! Observing the actors in those action films has really helped me. They’ve been doing action for so many years and have done such good action that it’s a treat to watch them. I feel like I’ve applied whatever I’ve seen and learnt from them in this film.
Since the original film was a huge hit in the South, does that raise the expectations from you?
I don’t worry myself thinking about the pressure. For me, the interesting thing was that the film that was made down South, had a male protagonist. And when you put a female protagonist in his place, it becomes so much more interesting. My interest was piqued when I thought about how a girl would face such situations. And that definitely makes the story more interesting.
Akira, the name of your character, means ‘graceful strength.’ How did you find the balance between the delicacy of the character and the intensity required for action?
The credit for that goes to my trainer Kuldeep Singh Shashi, who taught me mixed martial arts and trained me in flexibility really well. All the action that you see me doing in the film, is all thanks to him. I’ve done all the action scenes myself. There was of course a lot of cable work involved, which I had to be taught on set itself.
Anurag Kashyap has been a fantastic antagonist to my protagonist.
The film also features remarkable actors like Konkana Sen Sharma and Anurag Kashyap, who plays the antagonist. How was sharing screen space with them like?
Konkana (Sen Sharma) is such an actress that when you’re sharing a frame with her, you automatically feel like making your performance better. She is that inspiring. And Anurag Kashyap has been a fantastic antagonist to my protagonist. He has worked as an actor and did not try to be a director. I had a great support system in this film.
Lastly, how has this experience influenced you as a person and an actor?
It has made me realize that I can push myself to any limit for a role. It (Akira) wasn’t easy. But now I’m ready to go to any extent to make my role look convincing and make it look good.