Despite Sonaksi debuting in one of the highest grossing Bollywood movies of all time, 2010’s Dabangg, in which she won numerous awards and received national recognition, acting has taken a more of a backseat role of late.
“I first started as a fashion designer and designed clothes for the movie Mera Dil Leke Deko in 2005. After that my friends pushed me onto the catwalk really, and then I became an actress. Recently though I’ve found myself returning to my first love.”
Sonakshi shone during the shoot at Vijitt whilst wearing various fabulous and colourful designs, none of which unfortunately were hers.
“Designing requires quite a lot of time,” explained Sonakshi, “Which I find I don’t really have with being an actress and model.
“But I’m working with some of the finest designers in India. The items are summery and flowery as it’s very hot, both here and in India.”
Sonakshi wore a variety of clothes throughout the shoot; delectable dresses, snazzy skirts and literally hair-raising hats, but no saris, (as she often wears them in her movies playing the traditional Indian girl) and absolutely no bikinis or swimwear.
This is a lesson she learned a long time ago.
In 2010, Sonakshi appeared on the front cover of the Indian edition of Maxim wearing a tiny white bikini.
The shots were deemed incredibly sexy for the Indian market, the only problem was that the photos weren’t genuine; a crafty graphic designer had photoshopped her unsuspecting head onto a bikini-clad body.
“It was quite upsetting at the time. But it didn’t affect me as much as it should have,” said Sonakshi with a brave smile, “Appearing in a bikini is something I wouldn’t do.”
Sonakshi explained that this is not because she is afraid of being seen as sexy, but rather the wrong type of sexiness.
“Being sexy is fine for an Indian woman, it just has to be within the confines of the Indian woman’s image. But Indian women are sexy, many countries think so.”
Sonakshi believes that cultural sensitivities and expectations are not necessarily a restriction, “There’s so much you can do with the Indian woman. There’s also so much difference depending on the part of the country, so there’s lots of variation and lots to work with.”
This was Sonakshi’s first visit to our shores, but she was eager to explore more. She said, “For the Indian community, [Phuket] is known as a party destination with beautiful resorts like the Vijitt Resort for example. It’s a place to come and cheer and have a good time, and that’s certainly a good image to start with...”