Multi-Faceted Beauty

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Master of self- defence, a princess on the ramp and a diva on the silver screen, Sandhya Shetty is a woman of many talents. She talks to Nancy Varghese about her mantra for the perfectly balanced life that she leads and the challenges she faced during the shooting of her upcoming film

Did you develop an interest in modelling/acting since you were a child or did it happen much later?
I was very curious as a child and would love to try multiple things. I was extremely creative and had great interest in sports and cultural activities. I would always experiment with fashion; wear trendy clothes, shoes, and bags that I’d see on TV or on someone stylish. I wasn’t afraid to explore and experiment. Sometimes, I would goof up as well, but still dared to do it anyway. My interest in modelling and acting started at an early age but I never realized it until I did college fashion shows and of course, the big step to participate in the Miss India pageant. Life, as I knew it, changed and choosing modelling and acting as a career, slowly opened doors for me.

You’ve won many accolades in your career as a model as well as added several feathers to your cap by winning national karate championships. How do you work at keeping the balance?
Life is all about a beautiful act of balance, especially when one is juggling so many facets. For me, my work as a model, actress and compere is more like worship and I just can’t have enough. Karate for me is a passion that makes me feel beautiful and strong as a woman. I’m really focused and time management is crucial in multitasking. Early to bed, early to rise, a healthy diet followed with healthy habits helps me keep the balance. Apart from these, I always say smiling and being positive makes most things easy to deal with.

What genre of films are you attracted to in Bollywood and what do you look for in a script?
As an actor I am open to all kinds of films and any kind of roles. But realistic films are closer to my heart. The real to reel journey is really exciting as a genre. Of course, the very essence of Bollywood is entertainment, and I’d want to do that as well. Peppy dances and dramatic stories have their place and method in the industry. If, as an actor, I get to try all of it, I would consider myself very fortunate.

What was the experience like shooting for Woh Ek Mulaqat over 12000 feet above the sea level and at freezing temperatures?
Shooting for Woh Ek Mulaqat was a meeting with the self. It was about testing my strengths and pushing my limits. Trekking every single day for 6 to 7 hours and bearing the cold temperature; all this with the most minimal facilities one can imagine. I was trembling but I was determined to be the part that I was playing. It felt like I became her, living and breathing the part more than portraying her. I had a severe eye infection during the shoot as well as a fracture before the shoot which I was still recovering from but my will power and my passion for what I do never let that be a deterrent. Overcoming these challenges was rewarding when I saw how good things were shaping up to be.

What do you like the most about Woh Ek Mulaqat as a film? What kind of role do you play in the movie?
Woh Ek Mulaqat is a miracle according to me. I don’t think any unit has gone through so much hardship while shooting such as this one. The best part was that every single person smiled and supported each other, enjoying the journey of this wonderful film. It was made with hearts coming together and energies of lovely people who love cinema. I play a village girl who is smart yet vulnerable, intelligent but emotional, independent but docile. Every girl will relate to this character because it’s very simple and wonderfully essayed.

Who are the directors and actors you wish to work with in the film industry?
Film making is a magical process. I wish to work with directors like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Prakash Jha, Anurag Kashyap and many new directors who have such amazing creative vision. Films like Queen, NH 10, Badlapur, Milkha Singh, Gangs of Wasseypur are incredibly inspiring and real. I would love to work with Amitabh Bachchan once in my lifetime for sure. He is the yugpurush, as once somebody rightly said. I also want to act with brilliant actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Irrfan Khan, Kay Kay Menon, Darshan Kumar, Rajkummar Rao.

How do you keep so fit?
I love working out. For me, my body and mind has to be as beautiful as it can get. I practice karate regularly and also do weight training in gym thrice a week. Sometimes, I focus on outdoor training, hand training and endurance training. I also believe in eating healthy. I sleep and rise early, and I make sure that I give myself enough time to see my progress both physically and mentally. To bring in excitement in training regime, I sometimes go cycling, swimming or dancing. Variation breaks the pattern, makes it exciting and never lets it get monotonous.

What advice would you give to aspiring models and actresses out there?
Always be open to learning. Respect your work and keep experimenting. Being polite and punctual keeps you grounded. Your work should be your passion and being a professional takes you a long way. Make friends, share your knowledge and don’t be too judgmental. Work hard and welcome it with a smile on your face.

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RAPID FIRE
Must-have essentials in your bag
Perfume, tissues, lip colour, mouth freshener, wallet, cell phone, a fruit, water, pen and my visiting card

First thing you do when you wake up
Pray to lord Ganesha with a smile on my face

Love is?
Love is life, it’s beautiful, and one should celebrate it every single day

If I wasn’t an actress/model I’d be?
I love who I am and I never think about what I could’ve been

Favourite cuisine
Indian and Thai

 

Volume 4 Issue 10

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