Sonakshi Sinha (pronounced [soːnaːkʂiː sɪnɦaː]; born 2 June 1987) is an Indian film actress. She is the daughter of actors Shatrughan Sinha and Poonam Sinha. After working as a costume designer in her early career, Sinha made her acting debut in the action-drama film Dabangg (2010), which won her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.
Sinha at an event for Mission Mangal in 2019
|Born||2 June 1987|
|Residence||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
|Alma mater||SNDT Women's University|
|Parent(s)||Poonam Sinha |
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 criticized for taking up roles that offered her limited scope. She gained critical acclaim for her portrayal of a woman suffering from tuberculosis in the romantic drama Lootera (2013), for which she received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. She followed this initial success by starring in a series of films that did not perform well commercially.
In addition to acting in films, Sinha has sung a small part in the Imran Khan song "Let's Celebrate" in her film Tevar (2015). She then made her official singing debut with the single "Aaj Mood Isqholic Hai" and sung in a total of four of her films.
Sinha was born on 2 June 1987 in [Mumbai] into a Bihari Kayastha family from her paternal side and Sindhi from her mother. Her father, Shatrughan Sinha and her mother Poonam Sinha (née Chandiramani) are actors in Hindi Cinema. Her father was a political member of Bharatiya Janata Party and switched to Indian National Congress in 2019. She is the youngest of three children, her two elder brothers, Luv Sinha and Kush Sinha are twins. She did her schooling at Arya Vidya Mandir and later graduated in fashion designing from Premlila Vithaldas Polytechnic of Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women's University.
Debut and breakthrough (2010–14)
Sinha started her career as a costume designer, designing the costumes for films such as 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 3 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 commercial disaster at the box office and received overwhelmingly negative reviews.
Her third film, Ashwni Dhir's Son of Sardar, opposite Ajay Devgn, 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 it 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, placing her opposite Ranveer Singh. Despite receiving a lukewarm response at the box office, the film 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 a 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."
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 Rajinikanth in KS Ravikumar's Lingaa, her final release in 2014.
Career fluctuations (2015–present)
In 2015, she appeared in Boney Kapoor's remake of Okkadu, titled Tevar, opposite Arjun Kapoor. In his review, 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." Tevar underperformed at the box office and was one of the biggest flops of the year.
In 2016, Sinha starred in the remake of the 2011 Tamil film Mouna Guru, entitled Akira, an action-drama from director AR Murugadoss, in which she played an aggressive college student. Akira had taken the best start at the box office amongst all female-centric releases of 2016. The film had initial recovery of 15.5 crore, and the film made over 33+ crore on box office, becoming an average grosser. Then, she appeared in Abhinay Deo's action-thriller Force 2, opposite John Abraham. The film made on a low budget, grossed over 58.75 crore and was declared an average grosser. Though Sinha's character was labeled as a unformed agent, her performance received some acclaim. Bollywood Life reviewed her performance as "Sonakshi Sinha is believable in action scenes she got and ably supports John."
In 2017, she was seen in Sunhil Sippy's comedy film Noor based on Saba Imtiaz's novel Karachi, You're Killing Me!. She featured in the titular role of Noor alongside Kanan Gill, Shibani Dandekar and Purab Kohli. Her performance received major acclaim, with one reviewer writing that "Sonakshi Sinha pulls off her character without appearing to try too hard." Hindustan Times wrote that "Sonakshi looks quite convincing with the grimaces, pouts, eye rolls, scowls and goofy grins - displaying an amusing dorkiness. Even when her character turns serious, Sonakshi displays her prowess and aces the grim looks." Commercially, the film flopped. Her last film release in the year was Abhay Chopra's Ittefaq, a remake of the 1969 murder mystery Ittefaq, opposite Sidharth Malhotra, and Akshay Khanna. Ittefaq was a moderate box office success.
In March 2017, Sinha announced that she was 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.
In 2018, she was seen in comedy spoof film Welcome to New York, with an ensemble cast including Diljit Dosanjh, Karan Johar, and others. The film was shot in IIFA Awards 2017 and was the first film to be based on an award show. The film received overwhelming negative reviews and Sinha's appearance in the film was particularly criticized, with Rajeev Masand of News 18 saying that ''Not very funny, unfortunately, is Sonakshi Sinha, who comes off exaggerated and out-of-step even in a film of such ridiculously low standards. She spends the bulk of her time on screen contorting her face like Jim Carrey, but with none of the same results.'' The film was also a box-office bomb, earning only Rs. 75 lakh on its first day. The same year, Sinha appeared in female-oriented comedy film Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi along with Diana Penty in the eponymous character. The film was released on 24 August 2018. As with her previous release, Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi was a commercial disappointment. Then, she made a special appearance in a song of Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se.
In 2019, she performed in a song ''Mungda'' in comedy film Total Dhamaal. She next starred in the period romance film Kalank with an ensemble cast including Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan. The film failed to perform well commercially.
Sinha will next star in Mission Mangal, which features an ensemble cast, including Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan and Taapsee Pannu. She is appearing alongside Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt and Parineeti Chopra in war drama film Bhuj: The Pride of India. After that, she will reprise her role in Dabangg 3 opposite Salman Khan, which will be directed by Prabhu Deva.
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." She also promotes breaking the steroptypes of typical body size.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2010||Dabangg||Rajjo Pandey||Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut|
|OMG – Oh My God||Herself||Special appearance in song "Go Go Govinda"|
|Son of Sardaar||Sukhmeet Kaur Sandhu|
|Dabangg 2||Rajjo Pandey|
|2013||Himmatwala||Herself||Special appearance in song: "Thank God It's Friday"|
|Lootera||Pakhi Roy Chaudhary||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actress|
|Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara||Jasmine Sheikh|
|Boss||Herself||Special appearance in songs: "Party All Night" and "Har Kisi Ko"|
|2014||Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty||Saiba Thapar|
|Lingaa||Mani Bharathi||Debut Tamil Film|
|All Is Well||Herself||Special appearance in song "Nachan Farrate"|
|Force 2||Kamaljit Kaur|
|2017||Noor||Noor Roy Chaudhary||Also playback singer of song "Move Your Lakk"|
|2018||Welcome to New York||Jinal Patel|
|Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi||Harpreet|
|Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se||Herself||Special appearance in song 'Rafta Rafta'|||
|2019||Total Dhamaal||Herself||Special appearance in song 'Mungda'|||
|Khandaani Shafakhana||Babita "Baby" Bedi|||
|Mission Mangal||Eka Gandhi|||
|Dabangg 3||Rajjo Pandey||Filming|||
|2020||Bhuj: The Pride of India||Sunderben Jetha Madharparya||Filming|||
|Tevar||"Let's Celebrate"||Imran Khan||Eros Music||2015|
|Single||Aaj Mood Ishqholic Hai||Meet Bros||T-Series|
|Akira||Rajj Rajj Ke||Vishal-Shekhar||2016|
|Noor||Move Your Lakk||Badshah||2017|
|Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi||Chin Chin Choo (Remake)||Sohail Sen||Saregama||2018|
|Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se||Rafta Rafta Dekho Medley||Vishal Mishra||Saregama||2018|
|2015||Indian Idol||Sony TV||Judge|
|Indian Idol Junior|
|2017||Nach Baliye||Star Plus|
|Om Shanti Om||Star Bharat|
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|
|2013||ETC Business Awards||Highest Grossing Actress||—||Won|||
|People's Choice Awards India||Favorite Youth Movie Icon||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards India||Best Movie Actress||Nominated|||
|People's Choice Awards India||Favorite Movie Actress||Rowdy Rathore||Nominated|
|Stardust Awards||Best Thriller/Action Actress||Nominated|||
|Best Thriller/Action Actress||Dabangg 2||Nominated|
|Best Comedy/Romance Actress||Son of Sardar||Nominated|||
|2013||BIG Star Entertainment Awards||Most Entertaining Actor in a Comedy Film – Female||Son of Sardar||Nominated|
|2014||BIG Star Entertainment Awards||Most Entertaining Actor in a Romantic Role - Female||Lootera||Won|||
|Most Entertaining Film Actor – Female||Nominated|||
|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|||
|2014||Stardust Awards||Best Thriller/Action Actress||Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty||Nominated|
|2017||Most Entertaining Actor in an Action Film – Male/Female||Force 2||Nominated|||
|Lux Golden Rose Awards||Power Packed Performer Of The Year Award||Akira||Nominated|||
|Lux Golden Rose Awards||Charismatic Beauty Of The Year Award||Nominated|||
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