All in a day's work...

Toil & fun

She debuted in a sizzling avatar in Vishal Pandya’s crime thriller Wajah Tum Ho two years ago, and has now made a marked detour into a character role in filmmaker Vikram Bhatt’s web series Zindabaad. Pretty and petite, Sana Khan is netting accolades for her portrayal of a resolute ISI agent.

“The response has been simply amazing from both ends,” she gushes. “People here in India have loved it, and audiences in Pakistan have also shared loads of love for the way I performed as an ISI agent, and have appreciated the way I showed patriotism on screen,” she says with an air of contentment.

Any special prep she worked in for this performance? “I always believe in understanding the body language of the character I am to play. The rest I leave to my director. In this case, I wanted him to make me perform the way he had visualised Benazir,” shares Sana.

Negative, not new

Zindabaad rolled out to viewers in the first week of September, with Sana starring along with Sanaya Irani and Anirudh Dave in the lead roles. But negative roles are not new to Sana. She had done “an out and out negative in the blockbuster Jai Ho” that starred Salman Khan. “But there I played more of a spoilt brat, not someone who is a villain. With Zindabaad, I am positive as I am an ISI agent saving Pakistan and working towards making the country better. In Wajah Tum Ho, it was the character’s revenge story. So I have actually never played a villain per se,” Sana hastens to explain rather painstakingly.

What brought on painful humour for our Sana was the passing away of her namesake – another Sana Khan in Pakistan, in a road accident. “I don’t know if this one is hilarious or weird. But unfortunately, people started posting condolences on my page because they thought I was no more. That evening I was out for dinner with my friend, who was visiting me in India, and while we were catching up, my phone was in silent mode. To my horror, when I glanced at the screen later, I saw about 200 missed calls from my mother and all my family members as someone had misinformed them. They were so distraught, and I still remember the moment when I called back to speak to my mother, she simply burst into tears. I ran home, and how she hugged me tightly and cried. That was quite an episode,” recalls Sana rather ruefully. The flipside of being a celebrity.

Ramp first

She started out with a thriving modelling career before she dipped into movies. The first turning point in her career came through the ‘Amul macho’ advertisement. Her entry into reality show Bigg Boss Season 6 was a turning point. “After that, my movie Wajah Tum Ho made things smoother,” she smiles. “But I guess, to be judged constantly is a little difficult, especially when people tag you with a hit or a flop. Somewhere, people forget we are humans and all of us feel hurt when our projects are not appreciated by our fans. So it is tough at times,” confesses Sana. “But I have learnt to be patient. I believe in working hard and putting in my best. Being honest and loyal to my craft has held me in good stead so far.”

Sana stays shapely and svelte by steering clear of weird crash diets. She believes firmly that “Understanding your body first is a very important thing. This is a ‘forever’ relationship and you have to be committed to it. Honestly, you should always be the best for yourself. I feel it is so important to love yourself over anyone. I am happy in my space and am grateful for the kind of upbringing my parents have given me. That explains the kind of selflessness that runs through me!” she laughs.

Sana has been swift to capitalise on her celeb brand equity and has launched her own brand of face pack, which she hopes to retail soon enough on foreign turf as well. Meanwhile, life is all about “being happy, being good to others”. Caramba!

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