It’s been four years since Simone Singh starred in a TV fiction show. Her last daily Ek Haseena Thi, went off air in 2014. “I had decided not to do daily soaps for television, but then I was offered Ek Haseena Thi, which I really enjoyed. After that, I was working on digital projects and movies. Television is a demanding medium for actors to work in,” says the actress, who has worked on web series (Haq Se and Four More Shots!) and a few films during her break from television. “I have just wrapped up Imtiaz Ali’s Ajj Kal, Navdeep Singh’s Laal Kaftaan and am shooting for Sunny Deol’s next,” she says.
The pretty actress is back playing a strong character in Colors TV’s new series Bahu Begum, which is going on air today. Produced by LSD Films, it also features Arjit Taneja, Sameeksha Jaiswal, Diana Khan and others. Simone, who plays the role of Raziya, the Begum of Bhopal. “She comes from a matriarchal family and is responsible for the well-being of lot of people. She is woman of power, but takes it very lightly. In her own life, Raziya has been through difficult circumstances and it’s her decision to live by herself raise her son as a single mother. She is woman with progressive values, but those values get questioned when a certain tragedy happens,” she says, adding that her character is multi-layered. The story is an interesting exploration of values and love colliding.
Finding strong and independent characters on television can be a difficult task. Most female characters are stereotyped and portrayed as either a saint or devil. Very few follow a middle path. Simone, who is known for her roles in Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh, Heena, and Aandhi among others, says, “It hasn’t been either easy or different for me. I have been lucky to receive characters that are strong, interesting and stand by themselves. They are not an add-on to another character.”
Simone has been working with young actors in Bahu Begum. She has many good things to say about them. “All of them are really lovely. Sameeksha and Diana have their special qualities that they bring to the screen. Even in real life, there is such a sweetness and playfulness about them. Arjit is funny and sweet. They’re always having fun on the set and that’s a great energy to have around you. I admire their work ethics and the way they are committed to the project,” she says.
Simone made her TV debut with Swabhimaan, making her a part of the industry for over two decades now. On how TV, as a medium, has changed, she says, “With daily soaps, you have to be careful about the writing because it can take a toll. Being aware about keeping the quality going is important.”
After having worked in both digital and television, Simone says that web provides a much wider opportunity for developing content. “You have audiences you can identify and write for. It’s really blown open. In case of TV, it’s a family medium and you have to keep that in mind while developing stories and characters,” she says before signing off.