The first time we called her, she could not take the call. The second time she took the call only to say call back in an hour. Quite a surprise, coming from Sagarika Ghatge. The actor who played centre forward Preeti Sabarwal in Chak De! India did not even have a portfolio when she auditioned for the film.
Wishes come true
Sagarika had always dreamt of being an actor. Her dreams have been realised after the success of Chak De! India. She has been flooded with offers, and is busy finalising deals. The actress feels that half her dream has been realised by making her debut with Shah Rukh Khan, who she says, has been a driving force.
Weren't the other girls envious of Sagarika for being the only glam factor in the film?
"There wasn't much envy because we all had to undergo rigorous training. We were all excited about working with Shah Rukh Khan," she says.
The Mumbai girl never dared to express her desire of facing the camera to her parents.
"They are really strict, I didn't tell them that I would like to act," she says.
"I was appearing for my graduation examinations when I heard that they were auditioning for Chak De! I ran for the auditions," recollects Sagarika.
A sportsperson in her boarding school and college days, who had a thorough knowledge of the game, helped Ghatge clinch the role of the glamorous Preeti Sabarwal in the film."Chak De! has made me appreciate sport more," says the actor.
<b1>Sagarika believes that Chak De! was a team effort, which is what led to its success.
"At times, Shah Rukh would stay in the background to allow the camera to focus on us. He understands the medium and gave everyone room to perform. He took active interest in the game and made everything easy," she says.
She feels the sessions with hockey Olympian Dhanraj Pillai, during which he trained the girls, were especially memorable.
Getting her break with Yashraj Films certainly counts for Sagarika. She is now getting offers for lead roles from big banners. "I am finalising one by next week. I just can't wait to face the camera," says Sagarika.