At 27, this girl has already been romanced on-screen by Bollywood’s action pack: Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh. The latest feather in her already-studded cap is a project called Lingaa, opposite Rajinikanth, which will also mark her Tamil film debut.
But despite the mind-boggling success, multiple 100-crore films and millions of teeming fans, Sonakshi Sinha was swiftly falling into the chasm of “character roles” when she first started out, and felt she had to fight becoming stereotyped tooth and nail. “Earlier, because people were trying left, right and centre to stereotype me, I felt I did. But, beyond a point, I realised these things don’t matter because of the quality and quantity of work that I was doing. If I were stereotyped, the quantity would’ve decreased anyway, which didn’t happen. So I stopped thinking about these things and did my own thing. I’m so much happier not worrying about all that.” That philosophy, along with an amazing performance in the delicately-made Lootera, got the naysayers to zip it.
We’re ecstatic to have her come back as a Maxim Covergirl after a long break. “My feelings are mixed. I’m excited, anxious and a bit cautious, to be honest! The last time I was on the cover of Maxim, some anonymous idiot morphed a picture of me in a bikini on the Maxim template and made it viral. That affected me, and I guess that’s why it’s taken me so long to come back! But after this shoot, I felt great. I was super happy with the pictures and had a great time working with the team!” (Of course, we’ve lost count of the number of times this morphed nonsense has happened over the years.)
Sona, as she’s affectionately called, is a thorough professional when it comes to her work. “As a professional, I’ve learned so much over the years. Experiencing new things, meeting new people—it’s all been one great journey. Everything that I’ve experienced since I started out has just added more dimensions to my personality. I wouldn’t say I’ve changed, but I’ve evolved as a person.”
From studying fashion design to wearing the most exclusive designer labels from across the world on the red carpet, our favourite dialogue-toting heroine has come a long way. When she’s off-duty, Sonakshi is a very casual dresser. “High street fashion works for me. Of course, my profession requires me to go the designer way sometimes so I can adapt to that as well. But, personally, I believe in simplicity and comfort. So, casual dressing is apt for me. I like to wear the clothes and not the other way around. I’d prefer if people noticed me for who I am and not for whom I’m wearing.” We couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing more attractive than a woman who can be confident in just a top and denim cut-offs (for proof, look to the right).
The Action Jackson star has been ranked No. 9 on the 2014 Maxim Hot 100 list and she’s looking better than ever! It’s clear that a lot has changed in the last year. “I guess I made up my mind about taking my health and fitness a bit more seriously than I did before. Actually, a lot more seriously. I was extremely lazy and would use my hectic shoot schedules as an excuse to avoid the gym. I’ve stopped doing that. Today, I make time for an hourly workout, at least four to five times a week. If I know I’m going to have a long day, I get done with my workout at around six in the morning. If I haven’t been able to do that, I make sure I put on my sneakers as soon as I’m back home, and no matter how tired I am, I get on the treadmill. I have to say that just this one small change has really made a difference to my body.”
Try calling Sonakshi hot and watch her reaction. “It makes me giggle,” she laughs. “It’s really something new to me because growing up I was nowhere even remotely close to being called good-looking, forget hot!” We sincerely beg to differ. We’re certain there are men in the millions who would kill to score a date with her any day of the week, us included.
Which brings us to the secrets of successfully taking Ms. Sinha out on a date, with father Shatrughan Sinha’s approval, of course. For starters, you should be well-dressed, but more important, be ready to impress her with your charm. She believes it’s a guy’s personality that makes him stylish. But a pair of cool aviators, and a crisp white shirt may just strengthen your case, based on Sonakshi’s list of wardrobe essentials for every Indian man.
“As long as he can keep me engaged in a great conversation, he could be wearing a dull sweater for all you know! I’m a very laid-back person, so dinner and a movie would be a sweet date option. The company is more important than anything else. So if it’s someone you enjoy being with, it doesn’t really matter what you do! The evening should be filled with laughs... that’s perfection,” she says with a twinkle
PHOTOGRAPHS: SURESH NATARAJAN