Actors may bare their souls in front of the camera, but throw in a joke about their physical attributes and an interview can take a nasty turn. Dabbang girl Sonakshi Sinha is surprisingly resilient to such barbs.
The proof presented itself when she visited the Gulf News office along with her Rowdy Rathore co-star Akshay Kumar and director Prabhu Deva earlier this month.
"When will we see you in a miniskirt?" asked a reader during our live chat. While this could be deemed as an innocent question from a fan who's eager to see his idol in Western gear, a cynic might deem it slightly snarky. Popular opinion dictates that Sinha is an ace at playing a village belle, but a role of a hip, city-bred girl might be out of her range.
"I doubt whether you will see me in miniskirt any time soon," she said, breaking into a laugh to take the bite out of it. At the time of her visit, she was in a demure albeit colourful salwar-kameez (tunic).
"I have never worn one [miniskirt] in normal, everyday life... I was born and brought up in Mumbai, so I am essentially a jeans-and-T-shirt kind of girl. So don't expect me in one any time soon," she added.
Not so long ago, the daughter of Indian actor-turned-politician Shatrugnan Sinha was subject to nasty comments on Twitter about her looks, especially her "wide forehead". In no time, the joke (which included tweets such as "Private screening of Rowdy Rathore on Sonakshi Sinha's forehead" and "Just finished meeting Director General Civil Aviation & I'm happy to announce that Sonakshi Sinha's forehead will be the new Mumbai airport") soon snowballed into a massive Twitter trending topic.
Sinha took it all in her stride, tweeting: "Sonakshi Sinha's forehead is mighty pleased ;) gnite funny people!"
"That sense of humour has been inherited from my father. Some of the tweets were very funny and excellent. I would have laughed out [loud] if such a joke was [about] another person. Life is not worth living if you can't take a joke," she said.
The actress lost a whopping 30 kilograms in preparation for her debut role in the record-breaking hit Dabangg as the village belle Rajo Pandey, alongside Salman Khan in 2010.
A dream launch of sorts, she returns today with Rowdy Rathore. Directed by ace choreographer Deva, the trailers look like they belong to the Dabangg mould: A good vs evil drama, there's the usual token signs of the film borrowing from the '80s Bollywood era. Larger-than-life heroes, bombastic one-liners that will get the masses cheering and a damsel in distress have all been thrown into the colourful mix. To complicate matters, Rowdy has the same feel of Dabangg.
"People are comparing Rowdy Rathore to Dabangg because of two common factors — the moustache and me. The resemblance ends there," said Sinha, adding that it's a remake of a Telegu film.
She plays a village girl, Paro.
"Paro is a phuljari [fire-cracker]. She is more fiery and stronger than Rajo in Dabangg."
To the untrained eye and ears, her feisty village belle act in Rowdy Rathore seems like a repetition, but Sinha held her ground.
"I have a different look and a different attitude in Rowdy Rathore. Paro falls completely in love with an absolute rowdy. That doesn't happen in Dabangg."
She may be the champion of reformed rakes, but in real life the 27-year-old actress has a good head on her shoulders.
"When I get a film, I consult my father. He has been in the industry for so long, his experience is an asset. In fact, my whole family is involved when a script comes to me."
Unlike her contemporaries, she is not bestowed with a waif-like, youthful appearance. In Sinha's case, she embraces her curves (and forehead).
"Everybody is made in a different mould. No two people can ever look the same. I have a certain height, structure and body type. I embrace it and I am proud of it."
She said she was equally thrilled about playing desi girl roles.
"I am a complete Indian girl and that's what comes across through my various roles. Trust [me], my role in Rowdy Rathore will keep the viewers entertained."
Don't miss it
Rowdy Rathore is released in cinemas across the UAE Thursday.
Did you know?
The Rowdy Rathore team arrived in a battered truck at a press conference to promote their film earlier this month in Dubai.
At the junket, organised by UTV and Ministry of Events, the stars including Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha and Prabhu Deva, kept their on-screen roles in mind and treated fans to some dance moves from the film.