Women's Day special: An unfiltered chat with Sara Ali Khan who says, 'Being honest and frank pays'
It's just been three years since Sara Ali Khan debuted in Bollywood with the film Kedarnath. But unlike other star kids who entered the industry during the same period, Sara was a breath of fresh air. Outspoken, articulate and unafraid to speak her mind, she particularly impressed the audience when she appeared on Koffee with Karan with her dad, Saif Ali Khan. The one-hour episode showed viewers that there was more to the actress than just the weight of her surname. Since then, Sara has let the audience discover something new with every interview and outing.
Though her filmography is yet to make an impression at the box office, with the only exception being Simmba, this hasn’t diminished her appeal or dulled her spark. Her magnetic and charming personality shines further on social media. Whether it was the ‘behind the scenes’ video in which she’s getting her wisdom tooth extracted or the yoga video she posted on Valentine’s Day advocating self-love, the 10 lakh plus likes testify to her popularity online. The caption on the yoga video was an affirmation of her
self-assurance. It read, “Self-love for Valentine’s Day. Always remember to be your own Bae (sic).” With two sentences, Sara communicated that she’s happy in her space. Whether it is the rumoured link-up to Kartik Aryan or the constant comparison to other star kids, nothing seems to stop Sara from living her life on her own terms. It doesn’t come as a surprise that brands are making a beeline to get her onboard. The newest association is with home decor and accessories brand Chumbak. This Women’s Day, we spoke to the star-in-the-making about her journey so far, how her mother Amrita Singh is the biggest influence in her life and her commitment to fitness.
Since your debut with Kedarnath how have things evolved for you in Bollywood?
I don’t classify my journey as easy or difficult. Everybody’s journeys come with their share of hardships, trials and triumphs. I am really enjoying what I am doing at the moment. But honestly, I feel my journey as an actor hasn’t even begun yet. So, I am looking forward to doing a lot of good work.
What is it that you look for in a script when you decide to act in a film?
The most important thing I look for is my conviction in the script.
You have been quite frank and unapologetic when it comes to expressing your thoughts and opinions. Does this run in the family?
I am Amrita Singh’s daughter, and I think she was known for expressing her thoughts and opinions as they are. I guess this characteristic runs in the family because as children we were taught not to mince our words, and call a spade a spade. In our industry and generally in life, just being honest, upfront and frank pays because it takes you far and people end up respecting you more for being open about your opinions. I really don’t have a filter and wouldn’t know any other way of going about things.
So do you consider your mother, Amrita Singh, to be your biggest influence?
Of course, I aspire to be like her. If I can have one-tenth of her talent, one-tenth of her grace or one-tenth of her strength, I will be able to take on life. I have always aspired to be like her and continue to do so.
You and your dad Saif Ali Khan seem more like friends than a father and daughter. Do you discuss work with him?
My father and I have always said that we have a very unconventional relationship but it comes with a lot of love and a lot of respect. He is my father and he is always there for me. I do turn to him for advice on work and advice in life.
Your brother Ibrahim and you are constantly making it to each other’s social media posts. Who is the brat between the two of you?
Neither of us is a brat. I definitely like to spoil him. I am more than happy to give him what he wants. Even if it’s something as simple as one good piece of chicken, I will let him eat it, because he is my younger brother and I want him to have the best! But I also think that he goes out of his way to look after me and sometimes I do feel like his younger sister. He is always telling me right from wrong and gives me the best advice. We do have a very good equation.
You have been quite candid about your weight loss journey and have never shied away from talking
Weightloss was a journey for me that was very challenging. It was very difficult for me to perform something as simple as three situps without crying. It was difficult to walk for more than five minutes on the treadmill. But I think perseverance, consistency, discipline and commitment was the only way to
achieve it, and this is the advice I would give to everyone.
Before you entered the film industry, you were studying at some of the most reputed educational institutions in the world. Do you ever think that you could have pursued academics?
I enjoyed studying both in school and in college. I think my education made me the person that I am. It’s given me the foundation to think. I don’t look at it as a means to something. It has been a definitive and formative thing in my personality.
How did the Chumbak association come about?
The ethos of Chumbak is that it allows you and helps you find happiness and gratitude in small things in life like a pretty pillow cover or a coffee mug. I believe in their thought process and I am happy to be their brand ambassador. I love all Chumbak products but it’s their coffee mugs that I use the most.
What does your room look like?
Pink has always been favourite colour. Every time we redecorate, we stick to the pink theme. My room is pink and white, we always get new curtains, pillow covers and wallpapers, all in the same colour scheme.
What are you working on next?
I have to still shoot some portions of Atrangi Re with Dhanush sir and Akshay sir. It is directed by Aanand Rai sir.