From her debut with sports drama Dangal in 2016 to the crime thriller Love Hostel, Sanya Malhotra has explored a diverse spectrum of roles. She likes pushing herself out of her comfort zone, and sees it as a challenge that also brings a sense of accomplishment when she succeeds. Talking to Indian Express, ahead of the release of Love Hostel, Sanya discusses the difficulties in working in a crime drama, and how she managed to overcome the difficulties.
Talking about Love Hostel, Sanya says, “Definitely challenging, never explored this genre. When I read the script, I was actively seeking, and manifesting a crime thriller. I could not keep the script down, I was moved. There was so much empathy and anger and that drove me as an actor. What gave me confidence was that Vikrant Massey was also on board, and I really trust him and his actor’s instinct. Red Chillies was also backing the film, and it gave me a sense of confidence.”
Sanya feels that there is much growth that lies in such a role. “All the characters I’ve played till now, have come with their set of challenges, and growth lies in challenges. I push myself to do it. I feel a sense of accomplishment. The same thing happened with Love Hostel. I am glad it came to me, and that they chose me to play Jyoti.”
It wasn’t easy at times, and it was almost draining in fact. Talking about this, she says, “It did take a toll on my mental health, it’s a heavy film. As an actor, I’m trying to set my boundaries, and sometimes I surrender and live the life of the character I’m playing. For this one, I had a therapist and friends on call, because there were scenes that moved me and made me imagine things that I wouldn’t normally imagine. It confuses your subconscious, and there were times that I was confused subconsciously about the character I was playing. I’m trying to have that boundary, but sometimes I like to blur the lines between personal and professional too.”
Explaining her character Jyoti from Love Hostel, Sanya describes her as ‘confident and chilled out’. “Growing up she has had a privilege and conditioning that gives her a sense of confidence –she has no inhibition, and she fears no one. There’s a stark difference between her character and Ashu’s (Vikrant Massey), as he has no privilege. Yet, these lovers are so different, that they’re willing to run away and hope that everything will be fine one day.”
Sanya has no complaints with the cast and crew. “It was such a smooth ride with Vikrant. For a few days, I was giving him this benefit of doubt that it can’t be this good, and it can’t be smooth. It takes time to strike that rhythm with a co-actor, but we were on the same page, and we really understood Ashu and Jyoti, from day one. Major credit goes to Shankar sir, and he helped us get closer to Ashu and Jyoti. He never saw me as Sanya, he still calls me Jyoti, and that played with my psyche. Your job gets easier when you work with someone like Vikrant. I am glad that I really got a film with Vikrant. I really admire him as an actor.”
Sanya is a Bobby Deol fan, as she says, and was quite excited that he would be in the film too. “Meeting Bobby Deol. I am a huge Bobby Deol fan. I was quite excited and I met him as a fangirl and I could not get his songs out of my mind. When I saw him on set as Daagar, and that fangirl shed. He was scary and he’s not like that in real life, he’s warm, friendly and childlike.”