Sakshi Tanwar Opens Up About Gender Inequality In The Entertainment Industry And More

Divya Rao , 20 Dec 2016
Sakshi Tanwar, Aamir Khan

That Sakshi Tanwar is a brilliant actress is something we all know. The actress has been loved right from her TV debut with Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki and has since then, only grown in popularity. She was last seen on 24 with Anil Kapoor, and is now all geared up to make her big Bollywood debut opposite Aamir Khan in Dangal.

I caught up with the actress to find out more.

You’ve had a hugely successful innings on TV. What took you so long to make the switch?

The fact that I’d never planned for it. In fact, I had never planned for my television innings as well. It all happened to me by chance. I was preparing to be an IAS officer, I was preparing for my civil services exam. I guess destiny had other plans. So, I started doing television and before I could even realise, the show had become very popular and I had no time to reconsider what had happened. So, even after that show got over, there was no plan. There never ever was a plan. It’s just that I allowed things to happen to me instead of choosing things to do. That way, I’d consider myself blessed that the right projects chose me at the right time. Whether it was the first daily show that I did or Bade Acche or 24, the right ones kept coming my way. Similarly, for Dangal, it was never on my agenda. Even when I would read about the film being made and that Mr. Aamir Khan is doing Mahavir’s role and that they’re hunting for the girls, I would just read it as any other news. The thought would never even cross my mind that I could be a part of it or that I should be a part of it. It just happened – organically.

Then how did Dangal happen?

I got a call one day from Mukesh Chhabra and he asked me to audition for the role. So, I went in and gave my audition. A couple of days later, I got a call from Aamir Khan telling me they really liked my audition and that I got the part. At first, I didn’t believe it. I thought it was someone playing a prank on me and just took it lightly. But later when I realised it was true, I was over the moon!

Aamir Khan is known to be a perfectionist. What was it like working with him?

You know, there is this very serious image of Aamir that people have. There’s this thing about him being a big movie star but he’s nothing like that on set. He’s so chilled out and is so normal, he makes you feel really comfortable. He sits with everyone on set, we all eat together, chat in between shots, and he’s actually got a really good sense of humour. I was a little nervous before I got on board but once we did the readings and saw how easy going he was, it made me feel comfortable instantly. I’m thankful I got to learn from a veteran like him.

What about the girls in the film?

In this case, it was totally different because none of them looked like they’re facing the camera for the first time. They were so confident, they knew exactly what was required for their character, and they would deliver it. They were so well prepared for it. I used to think that maybe with the younger girls, there could be times where we’d have difficulty filming the scenes because they would just run around from one corner to the other, crack jokes all the time. There would be a lot of masti going on. But as soon as they say the shot is ready, the two would just cut off and get serious and into character – much to my surprise! So, it didn’t feel like they were newcomers. Sania and Fatima are at another level completely. They just lived those characters for the duration of the shoot. I didn’t see Sania and Fatima in them. I saw the character in them at all times. They have so much fire in them and their eyes speak. I didn’t have many scenes with them but whatever little I did do with them, they were incredibly amazing. I was blown. My reaction would be’ WOW!’

The film is about gender equality. Do you think there’s equality in the entertainment industry?

I think television as a medium is a great example. I mean, look at the producers who are ruling the medium. Look at the actors. I think this medium is by the women, for the women, of the women. So, I did not have to face any prejudice because of my gender there fortunately. The remote is in the housewives’ hands. There are so many female writers in the industry, directors, camera – DOPs – they’re everywhere, and that makes me very happy. About the film industry, I can’t say much because I’ve only just started and fortunately have not experienced anything yet.

You’ve largely played the role of a mum in your films. What is Sakshi like in real life?

I’m a very normal and simple girl. Honestly, there are no hang ups when it comes to me. I’m not fussy, I’m chilled out and am a low maintenance person. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends when I can. The one thing I do at every given opportunity is travel. If I have spare time, I always pack up my bags and head somewhere to spend some quality time with myself.

Nice! Where did you last head to?

I went to the Andaman Islands and oh my, it was absolutely beautiful!

Whats the one thing no-one knows about you?

The one thing not many people know about me is that I love to sleep! I think I can do that all day. Another thing is that I love to watch sunsets. That’s something I absolutely love. I live on the 20th floor and I get to see beautiful sunsets from my balcony every single day.

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