Sonia Rathee says her problem in acting industry was adjusting to India: 'Now it has become my home'
Sonia Rathee, who has appeared in several web series and TV shows, will be next seen in a film opposite Harshvardhan Rane. Sonia said one of the struggles she faced in the entertainment industry was just adjusting to India after spending her whole life in the United States.
Sonia Rathee has appeared in a number of web series, including Broken But Beautiful and Decoupled since she started her journey in the Indian entertainment industry a few years ago. She is now preparing to make her film debut with the John Abraham-produced film Tara Vs Bilal, in which she will star opposite Harshvardhan Rane. Sonia has said that it has been a smooth journey for her in the industry so far, and believes that her biggest struggles are yet to come. Also Read| Sonia Rathee happy to get an acting debut:I realize how difficult it is to get a break
Sonia’s family is from Haryana, but she has spent most of her time in the United States. In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, Sonia opened up about how she had to choose an academic route in her professional career to satisfy her parents before she decided to start acting. She also opened up about her equation with her brother and actor Ankur Rathee, who is known for his work in Four More Shots, Made in Heaven, and Thappad among others.
During the conversation, Sonia also debunked numerous reports about her pre-acting life that have been doing rounds on search engines. These rumours include claims that she studied at Princeton University, worked as a production designer, and then as a makeup artist before she started acting. She said, “I will be honest, all of those facts are untrue. I did not go to Princeton, that was my brother. I would love to take credit for that. I wasn't a production designer either, and I was never a makeup artist. All of these are not true. But these are nice ones, I would love to take credit for them.”
Instead, Sonia was working in the finance industry in New York before she came to India to pursue acting, “I always wanted to be an actress, since I was a kid. But then we all grew up and we went to college and we were like 'oh this is reality, maybe I should be in finance.’ So that's what I did. I did finance and marketing, and I got a job in New York. I did that for one year, and then I was getting bored at work so I started taking acting classes. I started my own dance company. And then I quit my job one fine day. My mom and dad were like ‘we are not gonna let you go to India until you are able to get a full-time career in New York.’ So I got a full-time career in New York and then I came here.”
Sonia shared that she believes she entered the entertainment industry at the right time as there were plenty of opportunities with OTT getting popular in India. Asked if it was difficult for her to get work as she was an outsider, Sonia said, “I was getting a lot of auditions and I was able to get Broken and Decoupled within the first year of my being here. So for me, it's been like a very smooth journey. I haven't faced that as much.”
However, Sonia faced a different kind of struggle when she joined the industry, and it was adjusting to her ancestral country. She recalled, “I guess my biggest (struggles) are yet to come. It's been a great ride so far. I think one of my bigger problems was just adjusting to India. I spent my entire life in California, and then I moved to New York. So just coming here, obviously, I knew Hindi but just understanding the way people worked, how Mumbai worked especially... Like the difference in timing. Like everything is on Whatsapp here, and in America, everything is on email. There are all these small nuances that you are just learning and now it has kind of become my home. So that was kind of my biggest challenge. Industry-wise and working wise I have never been challenged like that.”
Sonia rose to fame with the third season of the web series Broken But Beautiful, which released on ALTBalaji and MX Player in May 2021 and starred her opposite late actor Sidharth Shukla. In December 2021, she appeared in the Netflix series Decoupled alongside R. Madhavan and Surveen Chawla. The release date of her next project Tara Vs Bilal is yet to be announced.
Talking about Tara Vs Bilal, Sonia called it a ‘beautiful romantic-comedy’ and noted that John Abraham has been ‘super invested’ in his production venture. She said, “I didn't have many interactions with John. But he has been on top of the production. He has been very kind every time I met him. I loved working on his film.”
Apart from her acting projects, Sonia was also seen in the music video of Badshah’s song Chamkeela Chehra last month. A trained dancer, she hopes to showcase her talent in more dance numbers. Sonia also hopes to appear in a project with her brother Ankur Rathee, who is often seen with her in hilarious reels on their Instagram accounts. Asked how the actor-siblings help each other in their professional projects, she said, "We help each other with auditions and whatnot but only sometimes, it depends. We are not that critical of each other. We celebrate each other way more."