Sonali Bendre-Behl: “I was given Pooja Bhatt rejects!”

Sonali Bendre Behl was candid about her film career in a recent podcast. Photo: Humans of Bombay

Humans of Bombay, India’s largest storytelling platform, recently hosted veteran actor Sonali Bendre on their podcast. Recalling her glory days in Hindi cinema, Sonali revealed some interesting anecdotes.

In Sambhala hai maine bahut apne dil ko, a hit song in her debut film, Naaraaz, she revealed that all her costumes were hand-me-downs of the main lead Pooja Bhatt, the film’s director, Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter and niece to producer Mukesh Bhatt! “When I signed Naaraaz with Bhatt-saab, the clothes for the second heroine were the rejects of Pooja Bhatt. That’s what came to me. But the advantage of that was her rejects were clothes only I could pull off. Suddenly that one song from Naaraaz made me.” Later, Sonali got hit songs like dancing to Hamma hamma in Bombay or Jo haal dil ka in Sarfarosh.

On the importance of looks, Sonali said, “Film is a visual medium, that’s the business. There is no need to shy away from it. If you do not look a certain way, you cannot be on screen. You need to have a certain kind of symmetry, and it is only because of that symmetry I got into this business.”

On being an outsider, she stated, “I remember that for most of my career, I was not enjoying what I was doing. When I was shooting Naaraaz, I did not even know that the words “5, 6, 7, 8,” were a cue. Everyone started to dance while I was still waiting for the director to call ‘Action.’ I was so embarrassed. I felt like an imposter.”



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