'I was too harsh on myself as an actor'
In a span of five years, Sanya Malhotra has delivered acclaimed performances featuring in a record-breaking blockbuster, a National Award-winning dramedy and a series of well-received films - all while battling crippling self-doubt as a performer, which she said did not let her celebrate her success.
Malhotra burst onto the scene as wrestler Babita Kumari in her 2016 debut 'Dangal'. The global success of the Aamir Khan-headlined sports drama was followed by Vishal Bhardwaj's boisterous 'Pataakha', where she played one-half of the quarreling sister duo.
The actor then balanced the quirk of Delhi-set 'Badhaai Ho' with the silence of Ritesh Batra's quaint 'Photograph'.
In an interview with a leafing news agency, the 29-year-old actor said all her best-reviewed performances were a result of a maddening pressure to not make a single misstep.
"Earlier, I was too harsh on myself as an actor. I would get mad at myself for making mistakes, which was not helping me with anything. I was harsh on myself because maybe I was still trying to learn about so many things, about the industry, the job. Even a small mistake used to tick me off. I was trying to be perfect in everything," Malhotra said.
Malhotra recalled how she would never like her work despite the critical acclaim that came her way. The dislike was so intense, she would cry herself to sleep, she said.
"Whenever a film used to come out, I would not listen to anyone and first give myself a report – 'I did not do this well', so that if next time I got an opportunity like that, I should work harder. After every release, I would go back home and cry myself to sleep. My family has seen it so much," she shared.
This need for perfection, however, was quite new and is contrary to the life she led in Delhi before joining the film, she said. Malhotra, as a student, never chased the perfect score, but something changed when she bagged 'Dangal'.
For an outsider, a film starring Khan, where she was also getting a solid positioning next to another debutant actor Fatima Sana Shaikh, meant no room for mistakes.
"It was the pressure that I had put on myself during my first film. I thought if I was getting this opportunity, then I have to be perfect. In 'Dangal', I
had one minute of wrestling, but I prepared for 10 months. Not that I had an option, but there was a lot of pressure from my end to not let go of a film like 'Dangal'," she revealed.