Whether it was essaying a wrestler in Dangal or playing a feisty sister in the upcoming Pataakha – Bollywood actress Sanya Malhotra is carving out a niche for herself as a performer who celebrates the idea of gender equality and feminism. She says it’s a concept quite misunderstood by many.
Asked about the changing image of women actors in cinema, Sanya told IANS: “It is inspiring to see that women are majorly not objectified in cinema and more women-centric films are happening. As an actress though, I don’t want to limit myself.
“I cannot play a disrespectful projection of woman because I believe in gender equality. Having said that, not everyone gets the concept of feminism, especially in our country.
“I am glad that people are talking about it and a conversation has started all over. We should not expect everyone to change drastically as it will take time. Filmmakers are writing many substantial roles for women and presenting them as equal to a man. That is a positive sign. That is how we see our image changing.”
Sanya has worked under directors like Nitesh Tiwari in Dangal, Vishal Bhardwaj for Pataakha and Ritesh Batra for Photograph. She says they have helped her learn the craft of acting better.
Sharing one such instance, she said: “As an actress, I should know how to use my body while performing, how to use my hands, when even I am delivering a simple dialogue. During the shooting of Pataakha, I learnt it. I also do not have any physical inhibitions that I had earlier… I do not have it anymore.
“I think I have opened up physically and mentally much more after gaining the experience of Pataakha.”
Sanya features in the movie with Radhika Madan.
While most of the young actresses of the same age group have a competitive spirit, Sanya shares a very warm relationship with all her co-stars.
Her first film Dangal revolved around the bonding of two sisters and she became close friends with Fatima Sana Shaikh. Now in Pataakha, which is again a tale of two sisters, she has developed a bond with Radhika.
“Catfights between two actresses is so last season… I always bond with people who are secure. I believe in luck to an extent where I know that if a film is meant for me, it will come to me. Putting myself in a competitive space, I do not want to ruin the friendship and good vibes,” said the actress, who also did an ad film with Fatima recently.
Pataakha is releasing on Friday.