I am an actress and I Executive Produce, Direct and Act in my own movies! I am also a Black Belt Martial Artist and I incorporate my Shaolin Kempo skills in my action film “Eye of the Empress”. I received my black belt at the Shaolin Temple in China. Training in Martial Arts gives me an extra skill as an actress in my films – I play a strong, female action heroine in “Eye of the Empress” which involves lots of fight scenes with men. I play the role of Skylar who is bold, fights many henchmen and has her harem of men just like James Bond has his women!
During the fight rehearsals and to prepare for a fight scene in “Eye of the Empress”, I have had to deal with dozens of male fighters of different backgrounds and their “prima donna” personalities. But I am “THE BOSS” so either they listen to my direction or they are out!
I am originally from Zimbabwe and I am of Indian descent. I went to colleges in Oklahoma, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and got my degrees in Texas. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in History with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin and my Master’s Degree in Speech Communications from Texas State University. I have lived in many cities and have traveled to thirty eight countries so far.
Even though I wish I had studied drama and film at college, I fell into performing arts and the art world because of a serendipitous event (which I do not wish to disclose) but it pushed me into studying acting. For many years I took scene study classes, improvisation, voice lessons, movement, performed in over a dozen plays (Shakespeare, Restoration comedies, other), acted in fifteen student films, worked as an extra in forty films, worked as an associate producer, assistant to a director, production assistant, acted with Oscar winning actress Melissa Leo – in other words I have paid my dues!
Under my Star Sapphire Media banner, I produce my own films (“Eye of the Empress”, “Portrait of a Nude Art Model”, “Motel Patel” and “Cyber Romance”) and I publish my own children’s books (“My Life as a Dollar Bill” and “The Chocolate Pony”) with fifteen more written stories to publish or turn into animation.
I am a lot more progressive than most Indian women and women in general. I play roles that are provocative because as an actress and as a woman, I own my sexuality! In my film, “Portrait of a Nude Art Model”, I play a confident nude art model named Valentina. I used to work as an art model for colleges, high schools, community centers, animation schools, art studios and video game companies so the latter film is based on my personal experiences.
I also play the action heroine role in “Eye of the Empress” as I have mentioned. I have many male actors who I direct in my films – shooting guns, fight scenes, playing bad guy types, etc. Very few women produce, direct or act in a very masculine-oriented film like my “Eye of the Empress” but of course, I play a very strong, alpha female lead or action heroine who dominates.
I will also be shooting a short film called “Cyber Romance” soon. It is a comedy about two women and their dating and relationships with today’s influence of social media, cellular phone texting/sexting, use of different dating APPS and how it makes communication more challenging. I will play the role of Lakshmi who only sees men as “pieces of meat” and believes that men should be good in the bedroom and kitchen only. Again for an Indian woman, I am very progressive and this role shows a woman who is very sexual, confident with her sexuality, who likes to conquer young and beautiful men and regards men as sex toys.
My life has been like a movie and my movies are like my life. So it is like art imitating life and life imitating art. My personal stories are woven into my film scripts so I like make the outcome of my films strong and positive. I like to empower women by the strong character roles that I play and the provocative and action-oriented films that I produce. My path is to create my own films, my own books my own products and to showcase my unique stories and ideas to the world.
To the future:
The slate of films and stories I wish to produce and act in are as follows:
1) To continue to play the action heroine Skylar character and finish my “Eye of the Empress’ film.
2) To complete the Skylar trilogy – “The Dragon Pearl” (involving the Shaolin Monks in China) and “The Diamond Skull”.
3) To produce and play the role of Indira Gandhi – India’s two time female Prime Minister who was assasinated.
4) To produce and play the role of Nefretiti – the powerful Egyptian Queen.
5) To produce and play the role of Aphrodite – Goddess of Love and Beauty
6) To produce a documentary about a strong, little woman who is the only modern day saint – Saint Mother Teresa and her sisters who carry on her legacy. I have volunteered with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity for many years and I know many of her sisters.
7) To produce my animated script, “Beverly Hills Skunk” and my 15 children’s stories.
8) To finish my “Motel Patel” film.
9) To produce my own commercials (hair, skin lotion, pearls, mascara) showcasing a strong, provocative woman. I plan to sell own hair care products, skin care products, beauty products, perfume line, pearls, etc.
My goal is to win many Oscars and have those little gold men lined up on my shelf – for my beck and call!
Check out all Sanjini’s work:
Also keep in touch with her twitter @sanjiniactress