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About Simran |
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I can never forget those days. It all happened when I was shooting for Superhit Muqabla for Doordarshan’s Metro channel. I got a call from ABCL (Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited) and when I got there, Jaya Ji (Jaya Bachchan) was there and asked if I would be interested in a role in their forthcoming film. It was like a dream…I came to know that quite a few ladies were screen-tested! There I was sharing the screen with three other relative newcomers Chandrachur Singh, Arshad Warsi and Priya Gill
I did get some offers after ‘Tere Mere Sapne’ but none of them excited me. It was then that ‘Once More’ came to me. I was lucky to share screen time with greats like Shivaji Ganesan. The movie did well and I was considered a lucky actress. I stayed back longer when I was offered Malayalam film ‘Indraprastham’ with superstar Mammootty. Again it proved to be a hit and I realized that regional cinema was my playing field.
I have virtually settled down here though we still have our connections with Mumbai. Yes, I do like Chennai a lot... its atmosphere, its people, though climatically it is hot and sultry. I find the people very easy to get along, despite being conservative. Compared to the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, Chennai is peaceful and of course, I really love the south Indian food.
I have some interesting roles lined up. I am acting in actor-director Nasser’s film Popcarn (it is pronounced with an ‘a’). I am sharing the stage with Mohan Lal. I am now looking more at quality rather than quantity. Glamour can sustain you momentarily, but you have to possess histrionic skills to survive in the long run. I have also been offered a role in Kamal Haasan’s Telugu project ‘Panchatantra’ to be directed by K.S. Ravikumar. They there is ‘I Love You Da’ that deals with the issue of match-fixing and cricket.
Basically, I want to do roles that offer me better scope to perform a variety of emotions. I only accept well-defined characters now, be it in Tamil, Telugu or Malayalam. I am really happy to be working with people like Mani Sir (Mani Rathnam), Nasser, Kamal Hassan, Mohan Lal… etc. These people give you confidence. If you see, each role of late has been different. If Pammal K. Sambandham had me do comedy, Parthale Paravesam is different and so is Kannathil Mutham Ittal with Mani Sir and Madhavan.
I have learnt from each director and each unit that I have worked with. K. Balachander always reminded me of a school principal. I guess I learned at least 10 new expressions on every day of shooting that we did. Mani Rathnam is so organized. Read the script and you won’t need any further explanations. I sometimes am surprised by the zest that these filmmakers show. Despite it being his 100th movie, you should see the enthusiasm and the drive that Balachander Sir has.
The first Tamil film I watched was Kamal Hassan's Avvai Shanmughi (made into Hindi as Chachi 420). I did not employ a tutor. Instead I saw to it that my assistants spoke to me in Tamil. I learnt four to five words a day. Now I can speak the language fluently. I must tell you that even in my initial days, I did not get my dialogues written out in Hindi. I just took the help of a prompter. I am quite comfortable with Tamil now, though the other three south Indian languages still do not flow naturally, though I can understand them.