Sonakshi Sinha’s last three films have not been opened well at the box office. Despite the failure of Welcome to New York, Ittefaq and Noor, when I meet her the Eros office in Mumbai, the determination to crack the box office code this time is evident in her mannerisms.
Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi, the sequel to the much-loved Happy Bhag Jayegi, is slated to hit theatres this week and Sonakshi is leaving no stone unturned to ensure she is the recipient of audiences’ bounty of love.
It’s a chaotic day at the Eros office with the presence of the entire cast of the film for their media interviews. I dive straight in. So how did she hop on to the ‘Happy’ bandwagon? “I was given a narration of this film and I really liked the whole comical drama. All the elements that were loved by audiences in Happy Bhag Jayegi have been incorporated in the sequel too. At the same time, the film also has its own novelty,” says Sinha.
Sonakshi mentions that she plays a professor in the film and her character will do anything to keep her family happy. “I play a horticulturist and I think it’s the first time that Indian cinema will witness such a profession. I am sure Mudassar (Aziz; director) must have visualised me for the role because of my Punjabi traits. Though I am not a Punjabi but have loads of Punjabi attributes. So many people tell me that I look like a Punjabi. I dance like a Punjabi and am constantly listening to music from their state, which is my favourite type of music in the whole world. And yes, I like Punjabi food too. I think it all comes from there,” she adds.
The film also features Sonakshi Sinha recreating the hit song ‘Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu’ from the cult classic Howrah Bridge.
Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi is an out and out comedy. What is Sonakshi’s approach when she is offered a comedy film, we wonder? The Dabangg actress reveals that her formula is extremely simple as she approaches every film as if it’s her first. “Comedy is something that comes easier to me because in real life I am someone who finds humour in everything no matter what it is. You cannot take life too seriously. For me being in a comedy film is same as being at home. I love to laugh and I love to make people laugh. When you have wonderful actors in your company who also share a streak of naughtiness then the whole atmosphere on the sets turns very encouraging,” she reveals. The actress further says that the film also has lines which were not part of the script and were added impromptu while shooting.
Sonakshi’s father Shatrughan Sinha, known more for his intense and action-oriented roles, has dabbled in the comedy genre too. Films like Naram Garam and Bombay to Goa brought out this facet of comedy, which was later not explored much by filmmakers. Before signing this film, did she discuss it with her father? “No, I did not discuss the film with him but he saw the trailer and was mighty impressed. He was not aware of the first film. He was so impressed with Mudassar that he called him home for coffee,” reveals the actress.
Though Sonakshi remains in the lead in the sequel, it also features the original Happy – Diana Penty. The actress reveals that Diana’s calm and sweet behavior actually rubbed off on her. “She is actually the opposite of me. Just to control my energy, I often used to go and sit next to her during shooting breaks and then would automatically feel at ease and calm within.”
Sonakshi’s recent selection of films might have failed at the box office but one thing that’s clear from her choices is that she has now been picking only those roles which allow her an opportunity to be in the thick of things. “That’s true and it’s because once you do such roles then the appetite to do more only increases. If your role is well carved, then you get a range to perform as an actor. In future too I would like to do films that have me as the protagonist and if its an ensemble film then the role has to be really good,” she says.