Art & Entertainment

'Kadak Singh': Sanjana Sanghi Opens Up On Her Challenging Role, Biggest Learning From Pankaj Tripathi And More

Sanjana Sanghi who plays a pivotal role in 'Kadak Singh' spoke at length about her character Sakshi, working experience with Pankaj Tripathi, the film getting screened at IFFI and a lot more.

Sanjana Sanghi

Actress Sanjana Sanghi made her acting debut in Imtiaz Ali's film 'Rockstar'. She later appeared in movies like 'Fukrey Returns' and 'Hindi Medium'. In 2018, Sanghi played the lead in 'Dil Bechara' where she starred alongside Sushant Singh Rajput. She is just 27-year-old and at such an early age in her career, the diva is choosing the right scripts. 

Sanjana will be seen in Pankaj Tripathi-starrer 'Kadak Singh'. Directed by National Award-winning director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, the movie will premiere on Zee5 on December 8. At the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, 'Kadak Singh' trailer was launched by the makers. Also, a world premiere of the film under the ‘Gala Premiere’ category was held. 

We recently had a freewheeling conversation with Sanjana Sanghi where she spoke at length about her character Sakshi, working experience with Pankaj Tripathi, the film getting screened at IFFI and a lot more

Here are the excerpts from the interview: 

'Kadak Singh' opened IFFI 2023 with trailer launch and it also had a Gala premiere. It's your first film to be screened at such a prestigious film festival. The feeling must be surreal, right?

Yes, of course. I was telling Pankaj sir and the director that it was my first film festival ever. I have never been to one as an actor with my films as you said. It was a double celebration for us because we got to launch our trailer at the opening ceremony of IFFI and a day later we got to premiere our film at the Gala World premiere which I could have never imagined that feeling of sitting with 500 hundred avid cinemagoers who registered to specially come and watch our film. It was the first time I saw the finished product. We just had tears rolling down our faces. Pankaj sir and I had a steady river flowing from our eyes.

I can't exactly put a finger on where that overwhelming feeling came from whether it was how proud we are of this film or the experience of IFFI at least for me personally but I think it was all put together.

Working with the stellar team of National Award-winning director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, legendary actor, Pankaj Tripathi and others, how does it feel?

Honestly, it feels rewarding and validating. As kids who come from other cities, who kind of pursued their dreams without ever knowing what shape and form it will take. All we have to offer is the earnest head-down hard work and the talent that we bring to the table. There is nothing else that we can offer and it's just to see like you said pedigree filmmakers like Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury entrust you with the things that Sakshi is not a frivolous girl. It is a hugely complex part. Like Kisi Basu was my debut this was equally more. To see that unwavering faith in him that 'you are going to do this' is everything you need. All those moments of doubt, and uncertainties that one experiences. Like I have been in Mumbai for 6-7 years and you go through many situations where things feel very shaky. So, moments like this kind of seal the deal.

Was it a yes instantly or did you take time?

It was an instant and absolute yes almost midway. I didn't have the patience to wait for it to get over. I feel that as actors we are scavengers who are literally on the binocular search for that one beautifully written, well-rounded and well-balanced script. They are very rare to find and it's not like they are out and plenty. So, when it comes to you, you can sniff it from a distance. Without asking when we were shooting or which platform it was attached to, we all just jumped on.

How was it working with Pankaj Tripathi and what was your biggest learning from him?

This is my favourite question. When I said yes to this film, I didn't know whether it was going to be Pankaj sir or not. I had my fingers and toes, everything crossed that it would be him absolutely but then I had daunting fear in my stomach for a part which is so complex and so performance oriented will I be able to knock with him on the court in a balanced way. Do I have the label of skill that it takes? You have this question. He is legendary.

For me last year was so nourishing as an actor that I could keep all the noises aside and deep dive with him. I unravelled the craft and I took that opportunity and was selfish about it. I was like I am not going to get this chance every day. He was generous enough to have me come to his home for 10 full days where his guru from the National School of Drama came down to do workshops with us. We would do the workshops for 4-5 hours in the morning, then his amazing homemade momos and fried rice would get made for lunch and then he would just listen to classical music and talk about our film. Through that process, I went through a Masters in Ph.D. in both life and acting. It was wholesome for me.

At every point, he respected how challenging my character was. Kadak Singh is a genre-melting film because it's both a family drama but also a crime thriller. So, it's very tricky as an actor. You can overcook it and cross the line and mess it up. He and I had to have those unsaid things to pull it off.

The portrayal of Sakshi in 'Kadak Singh' is different from anything you have done in your career as a leading actor. What's your takeaway from your character and the film?

I am honestly in love with her. She is young and fragile but so mature and so wise for her age. She is taking control of a situation that is far beyond her years and amidst that she has it in her to be sensitive, broken but beautiful. Playing her made me believe that girls like her with such kind of resilience exist. They are out there in our country who are going through situations that are so challenging but they have that inner reserve in them to fight. I think by living Sakshi, I started believing that you can spike it all. This learning doesn't come every day on a film set. You can do endless projects where you don't take away any of these learnings but with her, it has added that to my life which is huge for me. I feel 13 years ago Rockstar did that some kind of magic that you can't describe and then I experienced it in Kadak Singh.

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