The editorial team of Konkani News and Konkan Vision caught up with Ms. Sonal Monteiro, The rising star of mangalore. Below are a few excerpts from our interview

Q: Hi Sonal, Could you please tell our readers a little more about yourself and your background ?

A: I come from a humble and simple background, My dad passed away when I was young and I have two elder twin sisters so basically I m the youngest one. Since I am youngest I was the one pampered the most. This is a short introduction of my family. Regarding me I started my schooling from St Mary’s and college in St Agnes. due to some commitments i took a break and then continued studies via correspondance courses.

Q: When you felt like becoming a model or actress.

A: I was 14 years old.When I was 14 I had my first photoshoot for a bridal gown brand, It felt like i was being married off at as a child (laughs), The hoardings are still up at Milarges. One of my wellwisher saw this and casually passed a remark saying "sonal will be a mode". My cousin enrolled me in miss mangalore 2013,I wasnt aware of it initially but I qualified for the semi-finals.This was my first walk on the ramp. i won the ’miss beautiful smile’ It was very sponteneous and interesting.

Q: Where you were nervous then?

A: I was really very nervous, My cousin all of a sudden comes home and says ’get ready’. And within no time i am walking a ramp in hall filled with audience.

Q: So your mom was all fine with all this.

A: My mom has been very supportive. Inititally when i got an offer for a tulu movie she was very interested in me taking this up. When i insisted the other way, she did not speak to me for a week

Q: Why didnt you both speak?

A: I was not confident if i could act. But my family thought this was a good opportunity for me. I wanted to continue college. If i took up this offer i had to drop out of regular classes and take up correspondance. My audition was filled with uncertainity. But when i got a call from the team, It was really a boost to my morale.

Q: So you went lucky again?

A: I was in a fix, I had made it very clear that Tulu is not my forte. Though i understand the language, Its not really my strength. ’Ekka Saka’ was my first movie and it was a challenging role for me. A girl getting into movies invites a lot of critiism and cynicism from people.

Q:Who were these people?

A: There is so much talk in town on the movie business and its darker side. I was really scared if this was right for me. I was not confident. The first day of Ékka Saka’i remember sitting in a corner and not speaking to anyone. However slowly i began mingling with the production team. I enjoyed working with the team, i felt comfortable and secure. I am really blessed to have got a chance to work with such an interesting team. They really shaped and pepared me for my future.

Q: Who is your role model?

A: From childhood, Mother Thersa has been my role model and inspiration.I love visiting shelters of the homeless and spending time with them. I will surely do my best to help in whatever way possible.

Q: How were your college days, tell us more ?

A: College has been a wonderful experience. My principal, lecturers and the entire faculty has been very supportive and loving. When i chose to discontinue college they were happily obliged to help. My friends have kept in touch even after college. I still remember my entire gang of friends joining me on the premiere of ’Ékka Saka’. I have a couple of very close friends too

Q: Whom do you consider as besties ?

A: I have two of them ,one is Richel and one is Darren.These people have always been with me.

Q: Going further into your involvement in movies, what kind of roles you prefer to act in?

A: I would love to take challenging roles. This is because in my first movie I was a very simple innocent girl who went around in saris and flowers. However, in my second movie I got a different role in which I play a glamorous role. In fact i think i like to do all kinds of roles that go with my physique, looks, attitude, etc.  At the moment I am doing a Kannada movie, Abhisaarike, which is a romantic comedy, in which I have a challenging role.

Q: Would you mind sharing with us some of your experience acting in the film?

A: As I said, its my first Kannada movie and most of the co-actors, director, cameraman are young and naturally our wave length is almost same. I think only older person in the unit is my Mom.

To share with you a particular moment once, we were shooting Manali in Mumbai. We had been there for a week and it was cold out there. I was wearing a backless gown.  It was so foggy whole day, I could not even see the face of the person shooting, yet it was a lovely experience.

Q: Is there any difference in Kannada and Tulu movie, as far as acting is concerned?

A: I have never realised any such difference. I feel Tulu industry is already a grown up industry hence it has matured enough to come in line with Kannada film industry. When I worked for my last movie Pilibail Yamunakka which was the same team of "Ekka Saka",the work done in same fashion, professionally.

Q: Do you expect any film roles coming from Bollywood?

A: Yes, one offer is already in my cards; prior to that I will be working for a Marathi and a Gujarati film. Once I am done with them, I will be comfortable to work in Bollywood, i think. I will be going to Mumbai on the Feb 21 then I will get to know more about the project. 

Q: Who is your favourite actor and actress in Bollywood?

A: Salman Khan and Deepika Padukone

Q: Something personal about yourself, how do you manage to keep so slim and fit, do you do something about your diet to look like that?

A: Never. I don’t follow a diet regime.  At the moment diet is not among my scheme of affairs. I get up very late in the morning but when I have a shoot I definitely get up early.

Q: Are you indulged in any extra -curricular activities like yoga and aerobics? 

A: I used to do Yoga but lately I have given a break. Same case goes with aerobics.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

A: 5 years down the line I will want my studies to be completed. The second thing is I want to be an Independent woman. I cannot predict what the future would be, but certainly I would like to see myself in this field but you never know, I hope to see myself in Bollywood.

Q: How was your experience at  Elite Miss India 2015?

A: It was a wonderful experience. In fact it was my first trip to Delhi in which my role was to be a judge in the contest and to groom the girls there. The girls belonged to all parts of India hence I learnt a lot while grooming them. I was the only South Indian judge so it was a good experience.

Q: Would you be taking part in Reality Show as nowadays very few contestants prefer to act in Reality Shows?

A: For the moment, I have not thought about it. May be, later, as I am not averse to acting in Reality Shows as well.

Q: Are you currently SINGLE?

A: Yes I am. But then let’s see, I am yet to fall in love.

Q: What is your advice to the aspirants in acting and modelling specially girls?

A: There are many girls who want to get into acting or modelling, including some of my friends. I believe the family support is the foremost. In case of men, its easy, they can just go ahead and act, but in case of girls, we need to be careful as for us support from the family and public opinion are two important factors. But things are changing so also our society is evolving towards everything good and positive.

Q: Lastly, a sweet message for our Konkani readers... 

A: I have always been following this site. I advise more people to browse the site and check for updates. Also thanks for supporting me through this interview.