Sanya Malhotra: Being on the sets of ‘Badhaai Ho’ felt like a party – Her first two films, Dangal and Pataakha, saw her playing raw and rustic characters, but in her third outing, Badhaai Ho, Sanya Malhotra has turned up the glam quotient in spades. Urban and sophisticated, she is a far cry from the unkempt girl with the stained teeth in Pataakha or the tomboyish wrestler of Dangal. Not only that, the curly-haired actress, who had made it to the top 100 contestants of Dance India Dance, finally got the opportunity to groove to her heart’s content in the film. Here, she talks about the just-released movie that deals with the issue of late parenting, her film choices and more…
Both Dangal and Pataakha had you playing a girl from the heartland, now in Badhaai Ho, you play an urban girl…
(Cuts in) Actually, Badhaai Ho happened before Pataakha. The Vishal Bhardwaj film is my fourth movie (Ritesh Batra’s Photograph is yet to release) though it hit theatres after Dangal. Whether I am playing a rural girl or an urban one, they are simply characters for me. As an actor, I feel happy and challenged when I get to play roles like Babita (Dangal) or Chutki (Pataakha). When you have to physically and mentally prep yourself before going in front of the camera, it’s creatively satisfying.
Tell us about your experience shooting for Badhaai Ho.
Since I shot for it after Photograph, I found it completely different. During the making of Photograph, I had no contact with my family and I wasn’t talking to my friends either as I was playing an introverted college girl, who is good at her studies. Since I too am an introvert, I liked the character and it stayed in my system for a long time. I had only a month to prep for Badhaai Ho after that. However, there were so many people on the sets of Badhaai Ho that it was like a party. Everybody had a gala time and I was thinking how will I do this, but Amit made me feel at home. Also, Neena Gupta, Ayushmann and Surekha Sikri are such amazing actors and so professional that they automatically make you comfortable. When they are on the sets in their attire, they become the characters and you don’t feel nervous.
Everyone is talking about your glamorous get-up in the film.
I was inspired by my sister. I had no idea of what kind of attire you wear to the office. I never wanted to work in an office, but my sister does — she is a typical Delhi girl who likes dressing up and going to work. From her earrings to her outfits, it is a two-hour fashion parade before she settles on a dress every day (laughs).
You worked with Aparshakti Khurana in Dangal and now Ayushmann in Badhaai Ho. Are the two similar?
They are similar, yet very different. Ayushmann is subtle and calm, while Aparshakti is very loud. They even laugh differently. If Apar is laughing, you will hear it even if you are five kilometres away. Ayushmann, on the other hand, is subtle. But their jokes are similar. They crack one every 10 seconds and most of them are PJs!
From Dangal to Pataakha and now, Badhaai Ho, what has dictated your choices?
As an actor, I pick up my scripts instinctively and whatever creatively excites me. I don’t think about how much money it will make, whether it’s a commercial film or not, but, yes, the director and production house are a major factor. Post Dangal, I thought I will have to start auditioning again because I felt one film doesn’t make a lot of difference to your career. However, post Dangal, on the third day itself, I got a call for Photograph and I realised my life is changing.
I want to go on a vacation. First, I was promoting Pataakha and then I was busy with Badhaai Ho. I am tired, I want to take a break (smiles).