Sonakshi Sinha (pronounced [soːnaːkʂiː sɪnɦaː]; born June 2, 1987) is an Indian actress. She is daughter of actors Shatrughan and Poonam. After working as a costume designer in her early career, Sonakshi made her debut in action-drama film Dabangg (2010) which led her to win the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.
Sinha has played the romantic interest of the male protagonists in several top-grossing action-dramas, including Rowdy Rathore (2012), Son of Sardaar (2012), Dabangg 2 (2012) and Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty (2014), though she was criticised for taking up roles that offered her limited scope. She received critical acclaim for her portrayal of a woman suffering from tuberculosis in the romantic drama Lootera (2013), for which she was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress in 2013. She also received praise for her roles in Akira and Force 2.
Sinha was born on 2 June, 1987 in Patna into a Bihari Kayastha family. Her father, Shatrughan Sinha and her mother Poonam Sinha (née Chandiramani) are actors in Hindi Cinema. Her father is now a political member of Bharatiya Janata Party. She is the youngest of three children, her two elder brothers, Luv Sinha and Kush Sinha are twin. She did her schooling at Arya Vidya Mandir and later graduated in fashion designing from Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University.
Debut and breakthrough (2010–13)
Sinha started her career as a costume designer, designing the costumes for films like Mera Dil Leke Dekho in 2005. She made her acting debut in the 2010 film Dabangg, in which she starred opposite Salman Khan. It went on to become the highest-grossing film of 2010 and ultimately emerged as an all-time blockbuster. Sinha had to lose 30 kg in preparation for the role as a village girl. Her performance was well received, with noted critic Taran Adarsh noting that “Sonakshi Sinha looks fresh, acts confidently and pairs off very well with Salman. Most importantly, she delivers the right expressions and is not overpowered by the galaxy of stars in the cast.” Although Sinha had no film releases in 2011, she won awards for her debut. This included the Filmfare Award as well as the IIFA Awards among many others.
Sinha had four releases in 2012, her first being Prabhu Deva‘s Rowdy Rathore, opposite Akshay Kumar. The film opened to mixed reviews from critics, although it had a strong opening at the box office, collecting approx. ₹150.6 million (US$2.2 million) on the first day and eventually became a blockbuster.
However, critic Rajeev Masand criticized her ornamental role and wrote that Sinha “seems to exist in this film only to have her midriff repeatedly pinched by Akshay Kumar.” Her next film, Shirish Kunder‘s Joker, also opposite Akshay Kumar, proved to be a trade disaster at the box office and received overwhelmingly negative reviews.
Her third film, Ashwni Dhir‘s Son of Sardar opposite Ajay Devgan was poorly received by the critics but proved to be an economic success. Critic Saibal Chatterjee from NDTV noted that Sinha “endeavours to be pretty and dainty amid all the madness.” Arbaaz Khan‘s Dabangg 2, the sequel to her immensely successful debut garnered little praise from critics, though proved to be a major financial success. Sinha also dubbed for the voice of Tooth in the Hindi version of Rise of the Guardians.
Sinha’s first film of 2013 was Vikramaditya Motwane‘s period romance-drama Lootera opposite Ranveer Singh. Despite receiving a lukewarm response at the box office, it and Sinha gathered praise, with Sinha’s portrayal of Pakhi, a Bengali girl who is dying of tuberculosis, receiving universal acclaim from critics. Sarita Tanwar notes that “the star of the film is undoubtedly Sonakshi Sinha [who gives] a mature and refined performance. She lives the character body and soul.” Raja Sen agrees, saying that “Sonakshi Sinha plays Pakhi beautifully, creating a character who is immaculately wide-eyed and possesses casual, yet unmistakable, grace. It is a performance that starts off dreamily soft and turns harder, and she does well-etched dialogue justice like few actresses can. There’s a discernible vulnerability to Pakhi throughout the film, and Sinha brings out this fragility perfectly without ever overplaying it.”
Sinha appeared in Milan Luthria‘s crime romance film Once Upon ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara!, the sequel to Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, in which she was paired with Akshay Kumar again, as well as Imran Khan. The movie was a commercial disappointment and critic Mohar Basu labeled her “a chatterbox replete with idioticity which the director frames as naiveness.” She then appeared in Tigmanshu Dhulia‘s Bullett Raja opposite Saif Ali Khan, a box-office flop. Her final release of the year was Prabhu Deva’s R… Rajkumar opposite Shahid Kapoor. A moderate commercial success, the film and her performance received negative reviews. Taran Adarsh labeled her “repetitive” and noted that she needed to “reinvent herself.”
Recent work (2014–present)
In 2014, after providing her voice for the voice of Jewel in the Hindi-dubbed Rio 2, Sinha was seen in A.R. Murugadoss‘s action thriller Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty, a remake of the director’s Tamil film Thuppakki. Starring opposite Akshay Kumar, Sinha appeared as a boxer. It received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics and emerged as a box office hit. Jyoti Sharma Bawa said of Sinha’s portrayal: “Sonakshi has nothing to do much in the film and overacts in places. For an actor who has already proved her mettle in the acting department, this definitely is a downer.” Sinha appeared in a music video with Yo Yo Honey Singh titled Superstar. In July, Sinha jointly bought a team in the World Kabaddi League. Her second release of 2014 was Prabhu Deva’s Action Jackson with Ajay Devgn and Yami Gautam.
She made her Kollywood debut opposite Rajnikanth in KS Ravikumar‘s Lingaa, her final release in 2014. She then appeared in Boney Kapoor‘s remake of Okkadu titled Tevar (2015) opposite Arjun Kapoor. For the last of these, Rajeev Masand wrote, “Sonakshi Sinha, playing another simpering damsel in another South remake, once again has nothing to do. She appears content showing up for a few dance numbers, and waiting around for a man to save her.”
As of July 2016, Sinha has completed work on the remake of the 2011 Tamil film Mouna Guru, entitled Akira, an action-drama from director AR Murugadoss in which she plays an aggressive college student and Abhinay Deo‘s action-thriller Force 2 opposite John Abraham. She is currently filming Sunhil Sippy’s comedy Noor based on Saba Imtiaz‘s novel Karachi, You’re Killing Me!. She features in the titular role of Noor alongside Kanan Gill, Shibani Dandekar and Purab Kohli. She is also signed on for Abhay Chopra’s remake of the 1969 murder mystery, Ittefaq, opposite Sidharth Malhotra, and Vipul Shah‘s comedy Namastey England opposite Akshay Kumar.
In March 2017, Sinha announced that she is currently working on a new single. She also confirmed that she will perform as the opening act for Canadian singer Justin Bieber‘s Purpose World Tour concert at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on 10 May, where she hopes to launch her new single.
Sonakshi Sinha is a professed animal lover, and she had posed for a PETA campaign advocating the adoption and sterilization of dogs and cats. She has starred in a one-minute video PSA, urging everyone to adopt animals and have them sterilised. She has been quoted saying “”Breeders, pet stores and people who don’t sterilize their animals are responsible for all the animals who end up homeless. Every time someone buys a dog or cat from a breeder or pet store, a homeless animal roaming the streets or waiting in an animal shelter loses a chance at a home and a good life.”
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2012||OMG – Oh My God||Herself||Special appearance in song “Go Go Govinda”|
|2012||Son of Sardar||Sukhmeet Kaur Sandhu|
|2012||Dabangg 2||Rajjo Pandey|
|2013||Himmatwala||Herself||Special appearance in song “Thank God It’s Friday”|
|2013||Lootera||Pakhi Roy Chaudhary||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actress|
|2013||Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara||Jasmine Sheikh|
|2013||Boss||Herself||Special appearance in songs “Party All Night” and “Har Kisi Ko”|
|2014||Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty||Saiba Thapar|
|2014||Lingaa||Mani Bharathi||Tamil film|
|2015||All Is Well||Herself||Special appearance in song “Nachan Farrate”|
|2016||Force 2||Kamaljit Kaur|
|1.||Aaj Mood Ishqholic Hai||T-Series||23 December 2015|
Awards and nominations
|2011||Annual Central European Bollywood Awards||Best Newcomer – Female||Dabangg||Won|
|Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards||Best Female Debut||Won|
|Filmfare Awards||Best Female Debut||Won|
|International Indian Film Academy Awards||Star Debut of the Year – Female||Won|
|Lions Gold Awards||Favourite Debutant Actress||Won|
|Star Screen Awards||Most Promising Newcomer – Female||Won|
|Stardust Awards||Superstar of Tomorrow – Female||Won|
|Best Thriller/Action Actress||Nominated|
|Zee Cine Awards||Best Female Debut||Won|
|Best International Female Icon||Nominated|
|FICCI Frames Excellence Awards||Best Debut Actress||Won|
|Aaj Tak Awards||Best Debutante Actress||Won|
|Dadasaheb Phalke Awards||Best Debutant Actor – Female||Won|
|2012||ETC Business Awards||Highest Grossing Actress||—||Won|
|People’s Choice Awards India||Favorite Movie Actress||Rowdy Rathore||Nominated|
|Favorite Youth Movie Icon||—||Nominated|
|2013||Stardust Awards||Best Thriller/Action Actress||Rowdy Rathore,
|Best Comedy/Romance Actress||Son of Sardar||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards India||Best Movie Actress||—||Nominated|
|BIG Star Entertainment Awards||Most Entertaining Actor in a Romantic Role – Female||Lootera||Won|
|Most Entertaining Film Actor – Female||Nominated|
|2014||Filmfare Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards||Best Actress in a Leading Role||Nominated|
|Screen Awards||Best Actress||Nominated |
|Popular Choice (Female)||Nominated |
|Zee Cine Awards||Best Actress (Critics)||Won|
|International Indian Film Academy Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|