Sinha started her career as a costume designer, designing the costumes for films such as Mera Dil Leke Dekho in 2005. She made her acting debut in the 2010 film Dabangg, in which she starred opposite Salman Khan. It went on to become the highest-grossing film of 2010 and ultimately emerged as an all-time blockbuster. Sinha had to lose 30 kg in preparation for the role as a village girl. Her performance was well received, with noted critic Taran Adarsh noting that "Sonakshi Sinha looks fresh, acts confidently and pairs off very well with Salman. Most importantly, she delivers the right expressions and is not overpowered by the galaxy of stars in the cast. " Although Sinha had no film releases in 2011, she won awards for her debut. This included the Filmfare Award as well as the IIFA Awards among many others.