Sonnalli Seygall's journey as an actress has been a bit unpredictable. She didn't really have any plans of becoming an actor and all she wanted was to be Miss India. When she moved to Bombay and started modelling and most specifically when she started doing tv ads she realised that she enjoyed the process of expressing emotions to the camera.
She started auditioning and landed on her first film. It was during Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2, not even Pyaar Ka Punchnama when realised that I really enjoy the craft of acting and fell in love with the whole process of acting. PKP2 kind of taught her that. In the middle of the lockdown, she has kept herself positively engaged.
"I've been up to a lot of things during the lockdown, some routine, necessities and some hobbies. There's a lot of cleaning involved and stuff like that even though I have help, there's a lot of extra cleaning I'm doing which otherwise I don't get time for, that's a wardrobe, like a deep cleaning of the sort so it's kind of fun, kind of therapeutic because I have all the time to look into it myself.
There is some cooking that I'm experimenting with I'm not a great cook, but I do enjoy it from time to tome. So there's a lot of that happening. Apart from that, I try and workout at least 5 times a week if not every day, sometimes 6 times, sometimes every day. I just take it easy once or twice a week. Mostly it's a yoga and home workouts and spending a lot of time with my mom and dogs and watching a lot of stuff on tv. A lot of films, shows and some really cool stuff, a bit of reading, a lot of dancing.
Taking out time for a lot of hobbies that I had kind of forgotten like Kathak. I tried my hand at revising belly dancing for which I used to take classes for long back. Feeding the strays on the road or whoever I can help like slum dwellers, a lot of rickshaw and dabbawalas unions also I've been kind of trying to help out and reach out. So all that, at the end of the day I have no idea where my day goes by so actually the days are sort of busier than usual," said Sonnalli.
Actresses are often trolled, complimented less when they release bold, or bikini-clad pictures on their social media handle. How do you perceive this behaviour?
'Don't feel the need to dignify trolls with the response'
I don't feel like I need to dignify it with a response or call them out because I feel that's what they are here for, they want people to react to them, and they are looking for a reaction and they sometimes want celebrities to come and talk about it or create this chaos and I don't want to give them that. I don't want them to be satisfied so that is out of the question so I'll never respond.
Also, I feel that it's lot better now, initially whenever I would put up a bikini picture or anything that is bold earlier it would be the ratio of around 70:30, 70% unkind comments and 30% genuine stuff and now it's kind of reversed so I take it as that people also give up, the ones who want to troll you also give up after a point when there's no reaction so some haters will always be there and they really don't need much of my attention that I'm talking about them.
Big having said that I also feel, like for example my mom she is someone who will never ever press like on a bikini picture and we have a good laugh about it and every time I put a bikini picture she'll Whatsapp me and send an angry face or an eye roll so I've tried to explain her my thought behind it and how I strike a balance. It's not like I go online looking like that today I'll post a bikini picture, it doesn't work like that, a good picture is a good picture for me if I feel comfortable in it.
'If I'm comfortable in a bikini I am comfortable to share it with the world'
If I'm comfortable in a bikini roaming around in Goa or wherever I'm wearing it then I'm comfortable to share it with the world as much as I'm comfortable in sharing my kurta pictures.
So for me, it's art and photography at the end of the day, if its a nice picture and it is not vulgar and I look nice and fit, I look like inspiring people I will go ahead and share it and I try and explain that point of view to her but I also understand that she comes from a space that maybe it'll take time for her to come to terms with it and eventually she will, like when I was younger she was in Calcutta, at that time she was not even comfortable with me wearing sleeveless tops but time does come around.
So I feel things change, time change, perceptions change and if you are doing it with the right intention and not to bring anyone down, not too short self yourself then eventually I'm very proud of the fact that I know I'm not gonna put content out there which is not going to make me proud or my family proud, I'm always gonna make my family proud. So haters can hate, and as long as I'm happy of what I'm putting out there and as long as I'm inspiring more people I'm happy with that so I try and look at that side.
So you have also opened a fitness channel?
My channel is actually not just a fitness channel I'm aiming at making it more wholesome. Of course, the first video that I've come up it is my favourite topic which is fitness and yoga so it was only natural that I start with something that I'm comfortable with and I want to share with the whole world.
But eventually, it's gonna have a lot of other videos coming up like planning to come up with a makeup video next and even a lot of healthy recipes, a lot of BTS, a lot of stuff from my shoots, from my shows, some dances and even something for the fans maybe like a day in my life maybe like what I do so I'm constantly working on ideas on how to make it more interesting and also keeping in mind a lot of suggestions that I get on my social media of what I should come up with next.
Do you think through social media, Tiktok, people have found a new platform to expose their talents?
'TikTok facilitates a little bit more'
Yes sure, I think there are so many platforms nowadays not only tik tok, there's YouTube, Instagram, Facebook even just recording videos and circulating them on Whatsapp there are so many ways for people to showcase their talent and ya tik tok is I is one of them. I also feel tik tok somehow facilitates a lil bit more with all the editing features etc and some of them are quite entertaining.
Many people are unable to exercise due to their work schedule. What is your advice for them?
I think it's a number one struggle or obstacle that people find that people wanna workout but their so busy with their work that they don't have time and I genuinely believe that it's more of an excuse that we give ourselves and I speak for myself also because there are times when I have super hectic shoots where my call time is probably 6 am and I'm like oh I can't workout because it's so early in the morning and I won't have energy left then I'm not gonna look fresh, but you know those are just reasons we give ourselves but once you motivate yourself and push yourself then no matter what it's like a medicine for my body that I need to sweat it out even if it's for 30 minutes or 40 minutes or honestly even for 20 minutes of high intensity, you can take out that time and once it becomes a routine or a habit, it's like would you ever say that you don't have any time to eat, work is so hectic but you still take that lunch break for 15-20 minutes.
'Health is an investment you are making today and tomorrow'
Even for people who genuinely have a super hectic life where they're even having working lunch and they don't have time to work out my advice is only that you motivate yourself because it's an investment that you're making today and tomorrow your health problems are only gonna increase and I feel with regular workouts not only your body but your mind stays fit and it is really the need of the hour and your productivity is gonna increase if your fit mentally and physically trusts me, your work productivity is also gonna increase you just need to find that one thread of motivation then it becomes a part of your lifestyle.