Back in 2007 she stood out as the feisty Preeti Sabarwal in the young cast of the hockey team in Chak De! India. SURINA SAYAL chats with stunner Sagarika Ghatge about her work, hair and beauty routines and her latest Punjabi film, Dildariyaan. Read all about it…
From an athlete in Chak De! India in 2007, to now playing a Punjabi kudi in your latest, Dildariyaan, tell us all about it. You even learnt how to speak Punjabi for the film….
I’ve always wanted to experiment with cinema and I never segregated it according to language. I never wanted to be typecast as the Bollywood girl. I did a lot of homework when it came to essaying this character; a good six months was spent in Punjab trying to understand the psyche of a typical Punjabi girl. Diction classes, watching a lot of Punjabi films, I did it all. I don’t want to do things that don’t excite me, but cinema is pure passion. Someday I might do Tamil and Bengali films now that I’ve already dabbled in Punjabi and Marathi cinema!
Tell us about how Chak De! India happened for you almost a decade ago.
It wasn’t a deliberate move then and acting was never a plan. A friend happened to show my pictures to the production house and gave them a history of my sporting background, mentioning that I studied at a boarding school and was heavily into sports. It was all so sudden because I had never really shot a portfolio; I didn’t even know what giving a side profile meant and as soon as I finished, I was just selected that very night.
In fact it took me an entire week to tell my father that I had bagged a role and I was rethinking my decision to pursue an MBA overseas. But it all ended well and my family supported my decision. The film was largely about sports development and my father always knew how strongly I felt about the subject.
What was your experience working with Shah Rukh Khan like?
It was my first film and I don’t think there could have been a better platform than this for a debutant. He was pretty much the disciplined task master that you saw on screen with us off-screen, too. I got to learn a lot from him and he inspired me to be a good human being and a great actress.
We haven’t seen you on screen for awhile, has this been intentional?
Well it’s more of a personal reason and less a professional one. On the sidelines, I was also pursuing a fashion course back in London, my second home, and now that I’m back, I’m going to give the film industry my best shot. It’s always good to revisit your career from time to time and I think you just come back with a fresher perspective.
Tell us about your hair and beauty regimes, and of course, your fitness routine…
For my skin, I have formed a habit of using a cleanser, toner and moisturiser before I go to bed. I drink plenty of water, catch up on eight hours of sleep and consume lot of greens and fresh fruits. Coming to fitness, this is a basic necessity for my body. My fitness mantra is about feeling good from inside more than looking good outside. My calorie intake does not exceed the amount I normally burn. I engage in a 30-minute planned exercise routine everyday either at the gym or at home with my personal trainer. I alternate with cardio and aerobic exercises, and strength training exercises and weight lifting.
What is your signature style when it comes to your hair?
I like to wear the poker straight, sophisticated look. I experiment once in a while depending upon my frame of mind. Generally I opt for the light blonde shade if it’s highlighting and I enjoy the layered well-set look in styling.
5 hair care items/tools/products you cannot live without…
TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray, Moroccanoil’s Pure Argan Oil, John Frieda Luminous Glaze Clear Shine Gloss, L’Oréal Everstrong Reconstruct Shampoo and Dove’s Dry Shampoo.
Every girl has her one big hair concern. What’s yours and how do you deal with it?
Monsoons and hair! I avoid hair sprays or gels during monsoon as the hair lacquers and gums can stick to scalp causing dandruff. I opt for a hot oil treatment once a week to keep my hair problem free.
Tell us a little about your role in the upcoming thriller-drama, Irada, that also stars Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah.
I’m currently gearing up for my role in Irada where I essay an independent woman who is battling with the harsh realities of life. The role is very central to the entire script and it’s a great honour to shoulder a role opposite stalwarts like Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi. It’s been a dream to share screen space with Naseeruddin and I’m super excited.
When not busy with films, what other projects keep you occupied these days?
I’m toying with the idea of opening up boutiques like the ones you see in the quaint lanes of Europe, catering to that section of society who worships luxury but can only afford prêt. I’d like to offer custom made make-overs, bespoke fashion and tailor made accessories. I think if I wasn’t an actress I’d do pretty well as a fashion entrepreneur.
Note: This interview first appeared in the January 2016 issue of Hair & Beauty magazine.