One might think that this girl is yet another import from Bollywood and she might come and go with the ebb and flow of trends in Telugu film industry. Miss World (Tourism) and former Miss India Sonal Chauhaan has all the guts to admit that she was just a beginner in Tollywood, but hopeful of a longstanding career here. “I am thrilled at Telugu film industry, which has its hoary past, recently celebrating its diamond jubilee. I know I am not working in an industry that has no history. It’s my privilege and honor to be part of Andhra Pradesh and to be entertaining its people.” Currently, this tall girl, with features resembling of a Greek sculpture, is doing the heroine for Rahul (call him Tyson of Happy Days) for VN Aditya’s latest film Rainbow. She was seen shuttling from makeup room to the shot location without putting on a single sign of tedium. Idlebrain met her for an exclusive interview. She faced the interview with all curiosity, because to put it in her own words, “I can neither be flexible nor rigid. Just, let me speak as I feel.”
How you began your career in film industry?
Before cutting through the entertainment world, I had ample experience as a model. Prior to that, I participated in a lot much pageantry all over the world. As you are aware, I got through the much-happening Miss World (Tourism) show. That brought me a great beginning wherever I went. Crowds, young or old, cheered me with love and affection. To say there will not be a full-stop in my career, the title of Miss India favored me. This brought me oceanic recognition. My debut movie Jannat was the result. I played Zoya, a passionate character, showing a landscape of human emotions, feminine grace and the much-sought-after glamour share. These were words of appreciation from my well-wishers, when they reacted to my acting in Jannat. The same feedback I recall for you.
How did you get this opportunity in Telugu?
For a hardcore believer in hard work, I have no time for dreaming. As and when I finished Jannat and was enjoying its success, I got a call from Hyderabad. I was amazed with the celluloid vision of my director VN Aditya. His track record shows he is a hardcore lover of industry like me. I loved the director’s perception, his script and narration. He was thrilled with my performance in Jannat. Naturally, we believed in each other’s capabilities – Aditya as the captain, and me as a player.
Tell us about your character in Rainbow?
My character is very very very important in the film. Say, it is the central character. I play a ravishing beauty, who comes to Tollywood to become a heroine. Why did she come to the film world, at all? Did she achieve her goal? What she has lost and what she has gained? Above all, it is a moving love story. You might even retort that you had heard similar stories. But, I assure, it is altogether a new experience for all the artistes.
What kind of your support you get from your parents? What are they?
Generally, I don’t like to speak about my parents. Of course, they support me. My father is just working; and my mom, doing business. (Sonal was reluctant and felt uneasy to the question.)
Your schooling and college days?
I was from Uttar Pradesh. I was a product of Delhi Public School. I am doing my BA (Hon) through distance education. I love studies, still love studies and would continue to love it all through my life. I have an ambition – to study journalism. I will sure be doing it, if not now, at least in the coming years. I am news-conscious and keep me updated always about what is happening around me.
What are the other projects you are doing?
One with Kumar Mangath and two with Bhatts and two more for Big screen entertainment.
Don’t you think, getting busy in Bollywood might take you away from here?
Not at all. Now, I am engaged to both Bolly and Tolly. I am doing fine.
What is the most memorable moment in your life?
When my debut film Jannat got released, it was my birthday. The film got tremendous openings all over the world. When I went to the theatres, it was mind-blowing. Sea of admiration and good wishes! What else actresses want – other than good wishes from the audiences?
Similarly, any disgusting moment?
Ummm… I will tell you. (Thinks for a few seconds). I was shooting for Jannat in Cape Town (South Africa). During the break, I was regaling with the beautiful environs. Suddenly, a miscreant dashed towards me and started making ugly advances at me. Immediately, our men handled him and shoed him away. It had upset me for the whole day. But, my colleagues on the sets kept me strong.
Who are your favorite actress and actor?
They are Kajol and Sharukh Khan.
Do you look forward to work with Sharukh?
Yes. I am hopeful of the day. I saw him once during modeling. I couldn’t interact with him. I don’t remember, whether he had seen me or not.
What were the brands for which you modeled?
Wow!. It’s a big chain. To mention a few – Lays (with Saif Ali Khan), Pepsi (with John Abrams). Worked as brand ambassador for Ponds, Hero Honda, Nokia, and …. And… several big brands.
How you feel your association with Hyderabad?
I got mesmerized with this Pearl City. The people are warm and full of hospitality. I like the food and above all the Telugu film industry.
To be frank, every heroine says the same thing. What is special about you?
(Look irritated but laughs in a few seconds) I am a sort of a girl, who doesn’t care for other’s inhibitions. I think, feel and respond of my own. If I like you, I say it on your face. Same will be result when I don’t like you. Why do I bluff that I love Hyderabad.
What is your opinion about life?
Yes. Life is a beautiful expression. One should learn how to live and laugh with people around him. One should embrace life wholeheartedly.
What kind of dress you like most?
T-Shirts, Jeans and casual wear.
What is your favorite color?
I like all colors, because God created all of them.
Which is your favorite place on earth?
What is your opinion about exposing for the screen?
It is a bullshit question. But, it continues to be a hot stuff, whereas it is not. If a heroine thinks she could get stardom by exposing, she will be the first fool on earth. Please note, a majority of the films which turned blockbusters had no expose in them. The audience will sure throw a red-carpet to decency. Only some unwitting artistes and technicians falsely opine that expose is a weapon for minting bucks. They are also confused with glamour and expose. Don’t you agree?
Hopeful of anymore offers in Tollywood?
Why not. Several produces and directors are in touch with me. I am thankful to them for their confidence in me. I will be looking into the proposed projects once I finish Rainbow.
Raghu Kunche (Singer)
Udaya Bhanu (Anchor)
Meher Ramesh (Director)
Rao Ramesh (Actor)
Gopi Mohan (Writer)
Ajay Sastri (Director)
Vara Mullapudi (Director)
Bhumika Chawla (Actress)
Jagapati Babu (Actor)
Vijay C Kumar (Cinematographer)
Sekhar Kammula (Director)
Ram Gopal Varma (Director)
Srinivasa Reddy (Director)
Mickey J Meyer (Music director)
R Narayana Murthy (Producer)
Baba Sehgal (Singer)
Buddhadev Dasgupta (Director)
Tom Alter (Actor)
Kundan Shah (Director)
Priyadarshini Ram (Director)
Selva Raghavan (Director)
Vijaya Bhaskar (Director)
R Ravinder (Art director)
Chandra Sekhar Yeleti (Director)
Mohana Krishna Indraganti (Director)
Dega Deva Kumar Reddy (Producer)
Nidhi Prasad (Director)
Hema Chandra (Singer)
Vijay C Chakravarthy (Cinematographer)
VN Aditya (Director)