Interview : Sonal Chauhan

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After the release of her first Bollywood film JANNAT, Sonal Chauhan has become the new blue-eyed girl of the Bhatt camp. Sreya Basu caught up with this new heartthrob of Bollywood during her breezy visit to Kolkata for the promotion of her film

How did you make it to the Bhatt camp?
Till the shooting for JANNAT started I did not have the remotest idea that I will take up acting. I was into part time modeling and wanted to become a journalist. But never thought I will land up being a heroine in a Hindi flick. Kunal Deshmukh, director of JANNAT, saw me at a restaurant in Mumbai. He came to me and asked for my contact number. In a week I was on the floors shooting.

Have you ever taken a formal acting course or felt the need of it?
I don't have a formal training in acting. But now that I have made up my mind to become an actor, I feel that a formal training is very much required. I will soon join an acting school.

Tell us about your character in JANNAT?
My character Zoya is not a typical 20th century girl. She knows her limitations and knows how to react in different situations. Unlike a typical girlfriend, she refuses gifts from her boyfriend Arjun (Emraan Hashmi) and prefers shopping with her earnings.

Are you comfortable acting with Emraan Hashmi? Please don't give a politically correct answer.
Emraan is a delight to work with. I know what the media wants to know- it's about my two kissing scenes in the film. Yes there are kissing scenes and I didn't feel uncomfortable with those. I was a bit uncomfortable about wearing a bikini in the movie and when I told my director Kunal Deshmukh and producer Mukesh Bhatt about it, they said I need not wear it. I will never do any thing that I am not comfortable doing.

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You share your birthday with the release date of JANNAT (May 17).
I feel blessed. This is the best birthday gift that I can ever have. I turned 21 this year and I take this as the happy beginning of my career.

Were you nervous before the release of the film?
I almost had a nervous breakdown in anticipation of the fate of JANNAT. I was not worried about the box office results but audience reaction, if the audience will accept me or not. But seeing the response of the film after the first show I am relieved. People have liked the film, and thankfully me as well.

The role of Zoya was first offered to Esha Deol. What's your take on that?
I thank her from the bottom of my heart that she refused the film. Or else my life would never have this 360-degree turn.

We heard that in the climax of JANNAT the hand of the heroine shown is not yours. Is it true?
Yes. There was a change in the climax. But as I was shooting for a Telegu film I could not give dates to the film. The hand shown is of Kangana Ranaut's. It was really nice of her to come at such a short notice and literally "lend me a helping hand".

Your forthcoming films?
I have two untitled films with the Bhatts and one film with Kumar Mangat.

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