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Friday, April 07, 2006
It is rare to find someone working in the world of glamour who doesn't like blowing his/her own trumpet and just let the work speak for itself. Simone Singh is one of them and just when this writer was expecting some quotable quotes from her after her bravura act in Being Cyrus, she threw in a surprise by being utterly modest and mostly to the point. And yes, she was patient too in spite of an overall jerky conversation due to broken cell phone connection and a bad line!
First of all congratulations for the good act in Being Cyrus. You must be on the top of the world to gain appreciation from all corners even with actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia, Saif Ali Khan and Boman Irani in frame!
Yeah, it's a nice feeling and it's good to have people call you up and congratulate you for a good performance. So ya, that's always good to hear.
This must have been pretty much anticipated while you are shooting, isn't it? The movie was truly different.
Yup, in fact once you read the script, you know it's going to be different. And then its translation from page to screen was also done well.
If we go a little in the past you did play bit roles though noticeable enough in hardcore commercial potboilers like Ek Rishta, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kal Ko Na Ho.
Ya, they were cameos. At that time that's all I was interested in doing.
But then you disappeared after that for a long long time.
No, in fact I was doing television at that time. I do only one project at a time. I do very little work and that's how I have done all this while.
So how difficult was it to break free from the 'Heena' image and then do something typically potboiler?
You know, it's so funny because lots of people ask me that. Though if you look at it, the character in K3G was very similar to the 'Heena' character. Also it was not difficult for me to break through because I was getting lots of calls from the film makers who asked me that "hey, this is small role, a cameo, do you want to do it?" And I was OK for these cameos because at that time I wasn't really looking at making a career in films at all. That was not at all planned for me!
Coming back to Being Cyrus, was it a challenge to have your character get into a different association with Saif Ali Khan when in Kal Ho Na Ho your character went all out to woo him?
It was as much of a challenge as any other character. See, if you look at Being Cyrus, my character had much more graph than Camilla [character played by her in KHNH]. In the end, it was very interesting to play such a character. That's the whole point of being an actor. You need to deliver what the writer and the director have envisioned, i.e. to bring alive a character. That's the actor's challenge in any role you play. Now look at Heena. It was a totally different challenge and I know that it was a job well done because when people see me in person they are completely thrown by surprise. It's a complete shock for them to say an entirely different person that what they have seen on screen.
Coming to characterization, were you entirely convinced about your character in Being Cyrus when it was first narrated?
[Says positively] Yeah, off course!
When the film was first narrated to you, did it sound simple or abstract?
See, when Being Cyrus was narrated to me, on page it sounded very clever with a tight screenplay. But no, there was nothing abstract about it.
Your on-screen husband Boman Irani seemed to be pretty much a devil who could be worse than a conventional Bollywood villain!
See, Boman brings so much life to a character that you don't see Boman but THE character! Though the character seemed extreme, in fact there are people like who are so self-centered while doing everything wrong. This way Boman brought to life a very-very extreme character!
Your interaction with Manoj Pahwa [the Punjabi cop] turned out to be one of the most hilarious sequences in the movie. How did you still manage to keep a straight face?
Ya, to be frank I couldn't stop. He is so funny that he inevitably makes you laugh.
Was there any kind of special preparation required to enact a Parsi character since you are a Punjabi?
I am a half Sikh and half Bengali. And no there was no special preparation since I have grown up amongst the Parsis all my life!
So what's next in the pipeline after Being Cyrus?
Ya, now after Being Cyrus, I look forward to working in new age cinema that is emerging from the Bombay film industry.
But after playing cameos, are you interested in playing a typical Bollywood heroine for a change?
Hmmm, I would prefer doing this kind of new age cinema. But then even a conventional part may seem good some time because you may not have done a thing like that before and hence it may sound interesting!