Sonarika Bhadoria, who shot to fame as Parvati in Life OK's popular TV show Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev, is now eyeing Bollywood and will be seen making her debut in Rajniesh Duggall starrer Saansein, which is slated to release next week.
The pretty damsel recently caught up with Filmibeat for a candid chat. What followed next was some heart-felt conversation on her big break, slut-shaming, why she doesn't consider any actress as her role model and much more.
Excerpts from the interview..
Q. Tell us something about your journey in the showbiz.
A. My first show was Tum Dena Saath Mera which aired on Life OK. After that I did Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev. Then I moved to the South and did three films there. Post that, I bagged this movie.
Q. So how did this film land in your lap?
A. Rajiv Sir (Rajiv Ruia) called me up and told me that he has got a good script and wants me to come down for a narration. I was like 'why not' and gave it a shot. I quite liked the story and he told me that let's go with it. I was quite surprised to see that there were no look tests or auditions. It was then he revealed that he had written this role keeping me in his mind.
Q. Could you tell us a bit about your role in the film?
A. I play a modern girl. She's an orphan and has a little sister who she loves immensely. But this girl has a past which haunts her. The story revolves around how Rajniesh Duggall's character enters her life and changes it forever. The moral of our film is that people may die, but their emotions live forever.
Q. What was the most challenging thing about your role?
A. The most challenging thing about my role was to imagine a ghost. It is very exhausting to do a horror film because you have to keep screaming and be mentally traumatized.
Q. Did you guys experience any paranormal activities while shooting the film?
A. We didn't experience anything paranormal but, the places where we were shooting, were all said to be haunted. The place where the climax of the film was shot, was a government office in Mauritius called Devil, which was supposed to be a spooky place. In fact, during late nights we could hear some eerie sounds as if someone was dragging their feet to walk on the floor.
Q. Do you believe in ghosts in real life?
A. I do believe in ghosts because most of us have grown up listening to stories of them. My mother has always taught me that unless you have done bad things, nothing wrong will happen to you.
Q. You are very active on Instagram. Unfortunately, at times actresses get subjected to things like slut-shaming. Recently your bikini pictures created a furore on the social media as few of your fans found it offensive since you played a goddess in one of your shows. How do you deal with such negativity?
A. Now, I just straight away block these people on social media and delete their comments because I am a very positive person. I get anxious if I am surrounded by negative things. Till now I haven't learnt how to deal with such stuff.
Just imagine how one must be feeling on receiving distasteful comments and abuses from people whom they don't even know! Sometimes I feel that these are a few idle people who have got to do nothing in life.
If you don't like someone then don't follow him/her. It's as simple as that! Why do you have to post such disrespectful things on their pages? Nobody is asking them for their opinion. I would rather appreciate if people talk about my work whether good or bad since I believe the audience's feedback is very important.
I am all okay if someone says that we didn't like this film or song of yours but showering me and my family with abuses for my personal choices is so not cool.
Earlier I used to be so affected by the trolls and negative comments that I used to reply. But later my mother explained to me that I shouldn't stoop down to their levels. I don't need to be a part of their negative thoughts. As time passed by, I have now learnt to ignore these ugly comments. Maybe one day I will be completely over them.
Q. You played Goddess Parvati in Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev and now you are doing a film. Usually when people play mythological characters, they tend to get stereotyped a lot of times. How tough do you think would be for you to break free from that image?
A. We all know what happened with me recently when I donned a bikini. It was all very unintentional but the media ended up giving it a lot of importance. Earlier, I have written a lot of things about women rights and the welfare of animals but nobody paid any attention to these things. (laughs).
But, when the bikini incident happened, it looked like everyone from the media jumped in my defence which was a good thing. But I think in life there are a lot of other important things apart from my clothes and the media should rather focus on these issues for the betterment of the country.
I feel that the media should behave responsibly. Having said that, I have nothing personal against them nor I mean to offend them in any way by saying this. In fact they were all supportive of me during that unfortunate incident. But I just felt that the entire issue was blown out of proportion.
Q. How would you describe your journey from Television to Bollywood?
A. It has been a wonderful experience. I feel that you keep learning new things until your last breath. I have learnt, grown and became a better person. I have become a better version of myself. I have seen ups and downs in life like everyone else. I have learnt from my mistakes.
Q. What kind of roles do you wish to do in films?
A. Romance is something which I am always up for. I would love to do a nice romantic film with lots of drama...ones where the lovers perish in the end. Something like Ram Leela. Secondly, I am an action movie buff. I have grown up watching Rambo, Rocky and am a hardcore Sylvester Stallone fan. Also, I want to play a female super hero and rescue the hero.
Q. Any actor you would love to share screen space with?
A. Amitabh Bachchanji is someone who I would kill to share just 2 seconds of screen space. (laughs). I don't mind even if I land up somewhere in the background. I would buy to do that also. Just to be in his presence is like 'Oh My God'!
Q. Did you watch his film Pink?
A. Of yes, I watched it and thoroughly loved it. I am so glad that Bollywood made a film like Pink.
Q. From the current young lot of actors, who would you like to star alongside with?
A. Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor. I think they both are phenomenal actors. I would get to learn a lot from them.
Q. Any actresses whom you look up to?
A. There is no one like that. Honestly, I never wanted to be an actress. So while growing up, I never thought or wished to be like any one of them. There is no one whom I look up to. My parents are my role models because whatever I have achieved in life today, it's because of them.
Q. Lastly, what are your upcoming projects?
A. Yes, I have signed something but I am not allowed to disclose much about it. But I can say that it's a very interesting project.