Fatima Sana Shaikh On Collaborating With Her Dangal Co-star Sanya Malhotra in Sam Bahadur: A Stroke of Serendipity

Fatima Sana Shaikh

The 2016 cinematic creation, “Dangal,” under the direction of Nitesh Tiwari, not only shattered box office records but also captured the hearts of millions. This cinematic masterpiece delved into the real-life narrative of the wrestling prodigies, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat. Starring Aamir Khan in the lead role, “Dangal” served as a stepping stone for two fresh faces making their grand entrance into the world of Bollywood. These novices were none other than Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra. They adeptly portrayed the on-screen offspring of Aamir Khan’s character. While Fatima impeccably embodied Geeta Phogat, Sanya Malhotra skillfully essayed the role of Babita Phogat. Following the resounding success of “Dangal,” Fatima and Sanya sought to carve their unique niches within the cinematic landscape. Now, they once again join forces in Meghna Gulzar’s forthcoming opus, “Sam Bahadur.”

Reflecting on their collaboration, Fatima expressed, “Both of us were genuinely thrilled to be part of the same cinematic venture and share this incredible journey. The bond we share transcends the screen; we meet each other not just on sets but also in the ebb and flow of life. However, there’s an ineffable sentiment attached to being co-stars in a film, and that sentiment is profoundly overwhelming.”

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Sanya chimed in, underscoring the emotional resonance of working alongside the person with whom she embarked on her cinematic voyage. “We embarked on this journey together. I vividly recall our days of riding a scooter to the ‘Dangal’ auditions. During that period, I was also auditioning for the role of Geeta Phogat. Our sentiments were akin to, ‘If I don’t make it, you will.’ We’ve now completed seven years in this industry, and it’s an incredibly gratifying feeling, to be honest.”

“We’ve witnessed each other’s evolution from the days of struggle to securing projects, and from the grand success of ‘Dangal’ to where we are now. It’s paramount to have your partner-in-crime by your side. In this respect, I consider myself exceptionally fortunate to have her as a constant in my life,” Fatima added.

“Sam Bahadur” delves into the life of Sam Manekshaw, portrayed by Vicky Kaushal, who rose to the position of Chief of the Army Staff during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War. The narrative chronicles his remarkable journey, as he became the first Indian Army officer to attain the prestigious rank of field marshal.

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