Born on June 2, 1987, Sonakshi Sinha, daughter of Shatrughan Sinha and Poonam Sinha, graduated in fashion design and started her career as a costume designer, designing the costumes for films such as Mera Dil Leke Dekho in 2005. Talking about her first job and the first salary, Sonakshi Sinha had said, "I was volunteering at Lakme Fashion Week and I used to be ushering people. I used to be seeing their passes and showing them to their seats. That was my first job and for 5 days of LFW, I earned 3000 rupees and I thought like 'Wow! Nice'."
In pic: Poonam Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha with their kids Luv, Kush and Sonakshi.
Sonakshi Sinha loves singing. She says, "It's something I used to do since I was a child as well, like download these songs, download the lyrics, get them printed, record my voice and put it on CDs and tapes and all that. I used to really enjoy doing that. And the acting is something, I never wanted to act but when it happened to me, I was more than thankful." Sonakshi Sinha has sung songs like - Aaj Mood Ishqholic Hai and Tevar's Let's Celebrate.
In pic: A young Sonakshi with a young Shraddha Kapoor.
Having started her career in 2010 with Dabangg opposite Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha has not only evolved as an actress but also changed her image from a quintessential Hindi film heroine to that of a progressive, contemporary Indian woman with films like Akira, Noor and Ittefaq.
In pic: Sonakshi Sinha poses with her daddy dearest.
In an industry fixated with body image, Sonakshi Sinha was always considered a misfit. But she has time and again proven naysayers wrong with films like Lootera, Akira and Ittefaq. "Once we actors gain a certain reach and popularity in the beginning of our career, we can afford the experimentation. I think I am really fortunate that in a very short span, I have had a chance to work on such a variety of roles. I am here in the film industry because of Salman Khan. I had no dream as a little girl to become a heroine... So whether it is an image change or having a set fan following, I think, starting my career with Dabangg worked for me in many ways," she said.
Professionally, Sonakshi Sinha didn't have it easy in the entertainment world considering how she was body-shamed and even faced some setbacks at the box office. After making a successful debut with Dabangg, she gave hits like Rowdy Rathore, Lootera and Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty. While films like Tevar, Akira and Noor went unnoticed, Sonakshi says failure doesn't scare her.
Sonakshi Sinha had once said, "My priority has always been to be happy. Whether it's with my work or my life at home, it is important to be happy from within to make others happy. I try to be as positive so that it reflects on my work as well," and added that she believes "failure teaches a person a lot more than success does". "Nothing ever stops at failure. It's always followed by success because of the lessons it taught you," the actress added.
Did you know Sonakshi Sinha lost around 30 kgs before making her Bollywood debut? She says her goal is to consistently push her limits. "My goal is to consistently push my limits to be the best version of myself every day. I have never been (like) this before. Now that I'm here, I only want to get better and better," Sonakshi said in a statement.
Sonakshi Sinha says, "I work towards breaking the patterns of my body and challenging its awareness with everything I do - from my diet to my exercise routine. At the end of the day, it is hard work and dedication that pays off because in the long term, there are no shortcuts."
But don't body-shaming comments and questions on weight annoy her? "I have been answering questions on my weight loss for so long that I have become indifferent to them. There are certain things that seem odd at the moment, but I am kind of used to it," said Sonakshi.
She further added, "And it's okay, it's part of my profession. These are very basic things that people are interested in, which is why they ask. They are I guess, the most obvious questions."
Sonakshi Sinha says having a celebrity status gives her a voice which she can use to make a difference. "I am a part of the Hindi film industry, and being an actor gives me a voice and the means to make a difference. I wish for every woman in India to have a voice, no matter what walk of life she is in," Sonakshi said.
Sonakshi Sinha feels that women have been playing the 'waiting game' for the longest time as they are always waiting for permissions, validation, acceptance and approval. "I want to live in a world where we, as women, are able to choose. We have been playing the waiting game for the longest time. Women are always waiting to be protected, rescued, for permission, validation, acceptance and approval," says Sonakshi.
Sonakshi Sinha admitted that she was accused of doing a lot of roles in films that were regressive. "Fingers are always pointed at me. Nobody pulled up the writer who wrote the script or the director who made the film. It was always me and I used to be defensive about it thinking why this is happening to me is because I am just an actor but then I realised that may be, in some way they are right and maybe I shouldn't be doing what I am doing," she said.
Sonakshi Sinha says the pay disparity in Bollywood is far from equalising, but the discussion on the issue is going in a positive direction. She first spoke about pay disparity two years ago around the release of Akira. Has the scenario changed since then? "Though it is far from equalising, the talk on pay disparity has gone (in) a positive direction. It is much better now. Pay disparity between men and women - in any industry - has existed for years; so it will not change overnight. It is a constant process. The good thing is the process has started," Sonakshi said.
Sonakshi, being a star kid, said, "Being an actress, I am talking about the film industry, but it exists in other fields as well - whether it is sports or business. All professionals put in equal effort, then why is there a gender bias in pay?"
The entertainment industry - be it Hollywood or Bollywood - is having its moment of reckoning in the wake of sexual abuse reports coming in from all quarters. Sonakshi Sinha also voiced her opinion on the same. She is glad that women are speaking up, but feels the debate should have started "long back". "I think it's very important and this stir should have been made long back. Nobody deserves to be made to feel unsafe, especially while working. It should be something to look forward to. I am glad women are finally speaking out," said Sonakshi.
Sonakshi Sinha had once revealed that she had a crush on actor Hrithik Roshan. "He (Hrithik) was my first crush in school and when his film released, I went ballistic. He is the only actor whose posters I have had in my room. I used to send a boy from my house to his - we stay five minutes from each other - every day with a different poster. I used to say, 'Get me his autograph'. He is the only actor I have ever done that for," said the Dabangg actress.
In 2014, Sonakshi Sinha worked in the Tamil film Lingaa with superstar Rajinikanth. She says that since she has tasted the dynamics of how regional cinema works, she knows that it's a strong industry. Sonakshi said, "I have done a Tamil film, and based on that I can say that their style of work is slightly better than how we work over here (in Bollywood). In terms of timings, vision, originality and the concepts that they come up with... like the stuff they make over there, we could not even imagine making over here."
Sonakshi Sinha was last seen in Abhishek Varman's Kalank. She played Satya, Aditya Roy Kapur's on-screen wife in the film. Though the film flopped at the Box Office, Sonakshi's work was praised by one and all.
Sonakshi Sinha will be next seen in Salman Khan's Dabangg 3 as she will reprise her character Rajjo in the franchise. She will also be seen in the multi-starrer Mission Mangal. Meanwhile, Sonakshi's latest release Khandaani Shafakhana has hit theatres today!
Here's wishing all the very best to Sonakshi Sinha for her future projects!
Sonakshi Sinha's latest release Khandaani Shafakhana has hit theatres today. Here's a look at Sonakshi's journey from a Bollywood newbie to one of Bollywood's most bankable actresses.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe