Last Updated: 06.58 PM, Oct 26, 2021
Five years after her sensational debut with biographical drama "Dangal", actor Sanya Malhotra says she has finally found her footing in the film industry as now she feels more "comfortable" with her craft.
Her portrayal of wrestler Babita Kumari in the Aamir Khan-led movie, opened doors for the Delhi-born actor, who later took up diverse projects such as Vishal Bhardwaj's "Pataakha", National Award-winning movie "Badhaai Ho" and "Photograph".
"I'm much more comfortable and confident in myself now. After five years, I can say that (because) for a few years at the beginning I was quite confused, I'd think 'What is happening? How do I do this?'. But now I am much more comfortable being myself. That's a great journey," Malhotra told PTI.
The 29-year-old actor has been having a golden run with critical hits like "Shakuntala Devi" and Anurag Basu's comedy "Ludo".
In 2021, Malhotra earned praise for headlining the Netflix film, "Pagglait".
"I'm confident with the kind of films that I'm doing, the kind of characters that I'm playing and whatever is happening in my professional life. I'm quite happy. It is a nice comfort zone that I have achieved. I hope I am able to sustain it," she added.
The actor returns to streamer Netflix with her latest, "Meenakshi Sundareshwar", co-starring Abhimanyu Dassani.
In the Karan Johar-backed romantic comedy, Malhotra plays one half of the titular character and says she was instantly drawn to the project because as an audience she was craving to watch a love story.
In Meenakshi, an independent, fiesty girl from Madurai, the actor saw an opportunity to perform and lead a relatable romantic film.
"It was love at first sight for me. When I first heard the script, I could relate to it. It is a universal and a very relatable story. The character also spoke to me on a lot of levels.
"And the fact that as an audience, I was craving to watch a simple love story, that was also something that I got attracted to the character and the script," she added.
Helmed by debutant director Vivek Soni, the film follows the journey of a young couple, Meenakshi and Sundareshwar, who are in a long distance marriage.
Malhotra described her character Meenakshi as someone who is confident and knows what she wants.
"I love the fact that she loves Sundar for the way he is. She doesn't want him to change. They are two opposite people, who are ready to grow together and don't want both of them to change even a bit for each other."
When the film's teaser and trailer were launched last week, a section on social media had expressed their fear that "Meenakshi Sundareshwar" will only further South Indian stereotypes.
Malhotra said there was never a possibility to turn the characters as caricatures as the team was sensitive with the narrative it had to chronicle.
"Our direction was clear, Vivek did that very well to ensure that it (stereotyping) doesn't happen. It is a Bollywood film with extremely well written characters and scripts. As an actor, I didn't need anything else apart from the reading material that I had when I was prepping for the character.
"There is a Rajinikath dialogue that I speak in the film, so for that I did a lot of homework. It wasn't on my mind that I don't want to offend anyone, I simply wanted to perform it well," she added.
Co-written by Soni and Aarsh Vora, the film will premiere on Netflix on November 5.