Legal Action - Sana Khan

She’s bold, beautiful, and highly talented. Sana Khan’s latest film, Wajah Tum Ho, has won her many compliments, and the response – both from within the industry and from audiences – has been terrific. This week, we chatted with the bubbly beauty to learn more about what she has in the works.

Your role in Wajah Tum Ho was quite a bold one. Tell us more about it.
I played a lawyer and was the only girl in the entire film; it was great because my character is a powerful, career-oriented woman. And although I played a lawyer, the character was quite glamorous. And just like in every film, the character had a lot of emotions – love, professionalism, etc. In the film, my boyfriend and I were both lawyers; hence there was a lot of clash in terms of work and differences in opinions that led to a series of problems. And then came the hacking of a satellite and a live murder screening, all of which were very exciting to play and watch.

Being part of a thriller in your debut is quite a brave move...
It was amazing. I’ve always been a fan of thriller and horror films, and in fact I watch a lot of Hollywood horror and thriller films. While doing so I’ve always wondered why we in Bollywood don’t often make films like those. I recently watched a thriller called Don’t Breathe, and it was so exciting. I’ve always told Vishal (Pandya) that he should make more horror and thriller films because he’s so good at it – that’s his forte. You cannot make a 3 Idiots or Chak De India every time; you don’t always get it so perfect.

There was a lot of speculation about your role in the film. What’s your take on that?
I’ve had many journalists and others comment on my role. But I’ve always said it’s not me who’s designed the role. The character demanded me to be this strong, independent woman, and that’s exactly what I play. Yes, there were a few kissing scenes in the film, but that’s become quite common in Indian cinema now. The character calls for it, so why point fingers at me?! Every actor and actress has to do it if the role requires it. And it’s not like in the 1970s anymore; we watch bold Hollywood films and shows where there’s a lot more than just kissing, so why be hypocrites about it?

You’ve had a long gap between your first and second Bollywood films. Was that a conscious decision?
Of course not; I’d be lying if I said it was. I wanted to do a good project and although I signed Tom, Dick, & Harry 2 right after Jai Ho, the shooting was postponed quite a bit, and hence the delay.
In fact, ever since I got out of Big Boss I’ve wanted to get into films, and I was thrilled when Salman Khan offered me a role in Jai Ho. Nobody goes to Big Boss to pass time; it’s a stepping stone for your career. I agreed to do the film because I’d never get a chance to share screen space with Salman again. And playing a negative character was a great experience.

What was your ultimate aim while setting out?
I remember when I was working on a Tamil film in Chennai, I wanted to become a politician and Jayalalithaa was my role model. And just when I was talking to my manager about it, my car was stopped because Jayalalithaa’s convoy was passing. I remember seeing her in the car so clearly, as if it were yesterday. So when the role in Jai Ho (where I played a politician’s spoilt daughter) was offered to me, it was somewhat like I was living my dream.

I come from a lower-middle class family and my aim was always to become an actress. So it was truly a dream come true. I realised through the journey that you have to struggle; people are going to talk, but you have to be determined. I’m glad I debuted with Wajah Tum Ho because it had all the ingredients of a great film: great script, good music, good climax and talented actors.

What was the best experience you had while shooting for the film?
Shooting of the whole film was a fun experience. I was lucky to have great chemistry with my director, so I was involved in every aspect of filmmaking. Even while we were shooting for the songs, I would go on recce with the entire team before the shooting even started. It felt so good. I don’t know if I’ll ever get that sort of experience again.
Playing a lawyer was great, too. I recently had an obsession for law and even wanted to study it, so with this film it was like I was living my dream. Living the character, learning her expressions and body language for eight months was great. Whoever has seen the film can’t believe it was me on screen, because they know me as a bubbly, chirpy person, and I played the complete opposite in this film.

How was your stint in Big Boss and Khatron Ke Khiladi (KKK)? How different is reality television from films?
It was fabulous; I did 53 stunts in KKK and I felt great about doing it. Of course, television is very different from films and, moreover, I did reality television, which is very different. The audience actually sees you as ‘you’ in reality television, and that makes you quite conscious, but also helps you grow.

Was working in southern films different from Bollywood?
A film is a film; it has the same things: a script, songs, and characters. But yes, the way of working is different. People are way more punctual down south. I was elated to win the Best New Face at the International Tamil Film Awards, too.

Tell us about your ongoing projects.
I have started shooting for Tom, Dick & Harry Returns, and am also reading two scripts right now. But nothing has been finalised yet. I would love to do a southern film if I get something good.
When you’re not working you are…

Lying in bed watching television or films, or perhaps reading. I like to catch up with my friends and family, too.      ---- as told to Niharika