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Kathal | Sanya Malhotra on not putting herself in a box: Don't want to be comfortable and complacent with where I am | Exclusive

Sanya Malhotra is currently seen in Kathal, streaming on Netflix.

Kathal | Sanya Malhotra on not putting herself in a box: Don't want to be comfortable and complacent with where I am | Exclusive
Sanya Malhotra/Instagram

Last Updated: 01.12 PM, May 20, 2023


Sanya Malhotra's latest release, Kathal, premiered on Netflix on Friday. In the satirical social comedy that Yashowardhan Mishra is directing, the actor plays the role of a cop. This is Sanya's second outing with Ekta Kapoor and Guneet Monga after the 2021 film, Pagglait. Ahead of the release of Kathal, OTTplay caught up with the actor for an exclusive chat, where the actor spoke at length about not putting herself in a box. She also shared the pearls of wisdom she received from her directors, Vishal Bhardwaj and Nitesh Tiwari.

Sanya was asked, while finding space in a content-driven film that is not necessarily a commercial potboiler, does she get into a box while breaking one? The actor told us, "I don't think so. I can say that's a motto in my life, not only professionally but personally, to not be comfortable and complacent with where I am. I can be comfortable, but not in the sense that, 'Oh, now I've achieved what I've achieved,' and switch off that student in me and say, 'I know everything.'"

She further said, "If getting out of the box means that's what I'm doing professionally too, I want to do characters that I might think are not possible unless and until I try. I won't even know it. For example, Pataakha was very different from what I am; she was very loud and spiteful, Chutki, but I wanted to try that too, and I could. When I met Vishal Sir (Vishal Bhardwaj) for the first time, I could see it on his face: 'She won't be able to pull it off.' I took it up as a challenge because I wanted to see if I could do it or not. I have to push myself to get out of that box. I might create it, but for now, I won't let that happen."


Talking about the unique title, Kathal, Sanya revealed, "I think it's unique. The film is very unique. It's fun. You see in the trailer that it's intriguing. That's what I felt when I first heard a line or two. I kept on thinking about what would happen next. Guneet (Monga) also didn't reveal the ending; she just gave me a one-liner. This is right after Pagglait, and I was like, 'Yes.' I want to be a part of a film that is a family entertainer because it sounded like one back then. When I heard the narration, I was like, 'This is the kind of film I want to be a part of. I would want to watch a film like this on screen. In today's day and age, you just want to sit back and enjoy a film, laugh, and be happy. There's so much happening that a few films are being made like this that you can enjoy with your family."

On being asked if she can see herself playing a token character only because she wants to work with a certain director or an actor, the Ludo actor stated, "That is something that comes first for me. There is something that Nitesh Sir (Nitesh Tiwari) told me when I did Dangal. He told me, 'In the future or even for this one, see what you can add to the script with your performance, and as an actor, don't think about what the script will do for you.' So, that stayed with me. I approach all the characters or films that I choose with that mindset. What can I add with my performance to the story that I'm a part of? The story comes first, definitely, and then, of course, people that I want to work with."

Sanya concluded by saying, "I've been very lucky and fortunate that there has been a good balance until now. I'm very fortunate that I have been getting these opportunities, be it with Dangal, which was my first film. Pataakha with Vishal Sir; Ritesh Batra's Photograph; Badhaai Ho; Ludo; Shakuntala Devi; Meenakshi Sundareshwar; Pagglait; Kathal; Jawan; and Sam Bahadur; so, in these films, I got lucky that I got these opportunities. Not just luck; I even worked hard for it."

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