An actress by chance

An actress by chance

The female lead of movies like Jannat, Buddah...Hoga Terra Baap and 3G (2013), Sonal Chauhan is much more than a pretty face.

The actor, singer, model has had a successful start to 2014 with a huge hit in the Telugu movie Legend, and is looking forward to a long innings at the movies. 

Pageant progress

Sonal grew up in Delhi where she completed her schooling from DPS. She was in college when she got selected to be part of the Miss India pageant which started her journey in Mumbai. Incidentally, she also won the Femina Miss India World Tourism title in 2005 and candidly admits, “When I look back today, I realise that it is a huge achievement, but way back then, it was more like a fun thing. It was my first trip alone and it was an enriching experience interacting with contestants from other countries. In fact, I didn’t even realise that I was the winner, as I was happily clapping when my name was announced.” 

For someone who never thought she would be an actor, her career started quite by chance. “I would come to Mumbai for modelling assignments and I happened to meet a friend for dinner. She was trying to get into films and had auditioned with Vishesh films. Mohit Suri, the director, also happened to be at the same place and asked for my number the next day.

 They wanted to offer me the lead role in their upcoming movie. When my friend told me about it, I was surprised. I was happy making the money I was in modelling, and films were not something I thought I could do. Also, I was young then and even though I had an offer from Vishesh films, I did not do it. However, I again got an offer to act in Jannat and I decided to take it up.” Although the film did quite well at the box-office, Sonal did not go on a signing spree. “It was not a conscious decision. I didn’t even realise the importance of having a hit movie and went back to Delhi to complete my studies.”

Sonal has also worked in movies down South and has recently been part of the Telugu hit Legend, which brings a lot of smiles on her face. “It was a beautiful script and the experience was great, thanks largely to the production house. But the best thing was working with a great actor like Balakrishna. Initially, I was nervous, but he dispelled all my fears on day one of the shoot. I can easily say that he is one of the best co-stars I have worked with. He is a great conversationalist and the director and the unit made me feel accepted and taught me everything as the language was alien to me.” 

Choosing with care

Sonal has been receiving several offers, but is yet to sign any new films. “I would also like to do Kannada movies, but since I am not familiar with the industry, I have to do  my homework. I am ready to do a Kannada movie if the script and the role excite me.”

Ask her about how she tackles competition and she clearly says, “Even as a model, I was never in the rat race as I was always happy with what I was doing. Competition is intense in the movie business, but I look at it as a healthy one. I will never act in a film that I cannot watch with family and friends.” And naturally, her criteria for choosing any project is chalked out. “The script is important and the next thing is the producer backing the movie, since a lot of good films don’t get a proper release. Also, the character I am playing is crucial as actors become associated with the character long after the movie releases.” 

The actor is also an accomplished singer and has sung a song in her movie 3G. “I love singing and if I get an opportunity to do it, I will be glad. However, it is not something I am consciously working towards,” she says. Her fans will also get to see her soon as she currently has a film with Eros and another one that she is in advanced talks for and is hopeful of being seen on screen again next year.