Sonal Chouhan's new-found hobby
Deccan Chronicle.| Sashidhar Adivi
Combat training for The Ghost has opened new avenues for the actress
Sonal Chauhan and Nagarjuna in 'The Ghost'. (By Arrangement)
Sonal Chauhan had just wrapped up a hectic schedule in Dubai, where she shot for the Nagarjuna-starrer The Ghost. The actress plays a bad-ass character for the first time in the movie.
It is an intense, action-packed role. She plays a RAW agent who assists Nag (an ex-RAW agent) in a mission in the Praveen Sattaru directorial.
From styling to posture to body language, Sonal underwent a major transformation for the role.
In addition to the physical makeover, she also took extensive training in combat weapons and got familiar with rifle shooting, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) combat weapons handling and self-defence techniques. She found the experience amazing.
"I have never done action sequences before, this is the first time I kick some butt. I started preparing for the role the moment I was on board," says Sonal. "I trained for a month rigorously, working around six hours a day in Hyderabad in January. It was so liberating," she shares.
In fact, she liked it so much that the actress says she intends to continue her training even after the shooting is over. "This is my new found hobby; it’s so much fun and it was like discovering myself," Sonal says. "The director complimented me and said, ‘You can actually be a professional shooter’," she added.
It was during her Mixed Martial Arts (MAA) training that she realised her potential, she revealed. "Apart from being physically strong, training in combat or MAA sports makes you stronger mentally. This training has been like self-discovery. I realised that every baby step you take makes a lot of difference and takes you forward," she shares.
Thanking directors and writers for creating strong female characters, Sonal also says that OTT has ushered a change in the way roles are being written. "Things are definitely changing in India; due to the pandemic OTT has been accepted fast. And this took away the numbers game from the theatres. But this is just the beginning and there’s still a long way to go. More action-packed roles should be written for women, and I think we are ready to have female superheroes," she feels.
While the actress had a limited interaction with Nagarjuna when she joined the sets of The Ghost initially, she had a blast with him during the Dubai schedule. She describes Nag as a charmer, intelligent and an amazing co-star. "His great sense of humour is a big turn on," she reveals, adding that he is able to talk on a wide range of topics. "During the shot breaks we spoke about food and fitness and he shared several anecdotes. He’s very easy to have a conversation with," she says.
She says that the experience of shooting in Dubai was certainly better than she anticipated it to be. "Thankfully, most of the time the weather was pleasant, sunny and kind to us except for a couple of occasions while shooting in the desert," says Sonal.
The actress is glad to shoot back-to-back films in Telugu – F3 and The Ghost – and is happy that the two roles are in stark contrast. "That’s what we look forward to as actors – being diverse," she says. "While my role in F3 is a comical one, my character in The Ghost is action-packed."
She says that working in the Telugu film industry has always been a fantastic experience. "The New Year started on a great note and I hope that I get more diverse with time," she signs off.