EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: “Bahu Begum Is An Unusual Story For Television,” Says Simone Singh

Mohnish Singh |Jul 16, 2019

Mostly remembered for playing Heena Nawab Mirza in Sony Entertainment Television’s “Heena”, actress Simone Singh has bagged yet another plum role in Colors’ new offering “Bahu Begum”.

Simone Singh needs no introduction! She has to her credit one of the most popular Indian television soaps, Heena, which made her a household name across the country in the late 1990s. The Sony Entertainment Television show was so popular that many of its avid watchers still know Simone Singh by her screen name of Heena Nawab Mirza.

The actress also received an overwhelming response for portraying a negative character in Star Plus' Ek Hasina Thi, but it could not replicate the success of her breakout performance in Heena.

Simone Singh 2
Image source: Ronny Sequeira

After staying away from television for quite some time now, Simone Singh is back with her new daily soap, Bahu Begum, also starring Arjit Taneja, Samiksha Jaiswal, and Diana Khan. Produced by LSD Productions, Bahu Begum stars Simone Singh as a strong-willed, powerful woman who has raised her son on her own. The show premiered on July 15 and will air every Monday to Friday at 9.30 pm only on Colors.

Ahead of the launch of Begum Bahu, STARBIZ correspondent Mohnish Singh had a candid conversation with Simone Singh, where the talented actress talked about her character on the show, what made her give a nod to it, how she sees her journey in Indian television space over the years, and much more. Excerpt…

Please tell us something about Bahu Begum

The story of the show revolves around a conflict between love and friendship and what happens when love and friendship collide. It talks about the conflict that arises when these two collide and the challenges that follow.

Shed some light on your character

I am playing Razia who is the Bahu Begum of Bhopal. She comes from a family of Nawabs. She is responsible for a lot of things that will unfold later. Razia is a single mother who has raised her son with her own progressive values. However, suddenly, life takes an unexpected turn and all those values she taught to her son fall apart in front of her eyes.

You have portrayed some iconic characters on Indian television, one of them being Heena. How Razia is different from all the characters that you have already essayed?

Every character is different in a sense that you will have to find out an aspect of yourself that can resonate with the part that you are playing. Razia is different from the two web-series that I am doing. She is different from all the film roles that I am playing. She is a woman who is in a position of power but she wears her power very lightly. She is against the backdrop of a very patriarchal society. She is someone with a gentle soul but has a very progressive mindset and has to stand firm to her values and has to teach the values people around her and translate them to the society which may not be willing to learn. That is shown in the opening episode as well.

Will your character have any grey shades?

I think it’s always interesting to have various shades to your character. Whether or not Razia has shades will emerge later. Having said that, I think she is definitely a complex character. She is not a one-note character at all. Human beings are complex. They don’t always do the right things. Sometimes they are compelled to do the wrong things as well. Sometimes they make decisions to do things that don’t serve them well and that don’t serve other people well. As I said, human beings are complex. So it’s nice that it’s not one sort of a straight path.

What was your reaction when the makers approached you for the show?

They were very kind and very sweet. They were very persuasive. They said that they could not see anyone else playing this part. They were very flattering. So, you know, which actor does not enjoy that kind of flattery? And then they narrated the entire story and the character to me. It was definitely very interesting. It’s an unusual story for television I am told.

Bahu Begum boasts of an ensemble cast. How has it been working with so many actors on the sets?

It’s a very core team. I don’t know whether or not there are a lot of actors. But yes, on set, we have a lot of people. There is a lot of revelry in the house. There are so many fun characters that inhabit the house. But in the core story, there are not many of them. Samiksha, Diana and Arjit are lovely. They bring such great energy to the set. They are so madcap – all of them. It is great fun. I get to talk to Supriya Shukla a lot because we are similar age wise. So, yeah, it has been great fun.

Which one is your favourite character on the show, apart from yours?

Well, that is a good question. I don’t actually have a favourite character though. I think everyone has their own place. And, you know, what I like most about the show is that these two girls have such a very different personality and there is such innocence about both of them. I am talking about Noor (Samiksha Jaiswal) and Shayra (Diana Khan).

It has been more than two decades since you started your career. How do you see your journey so far?

I don’t see my journey so far as a journey really. Sometimes when you look back you say, “Okay, you have done this and that.” What I can say is that I enjoyed all of it.

Do you have any message for your fans?

Well, here is my new show Bahu Begum. You all have been so loving, so supportive all these years. I hope you watch the show and enjoy it. We are doing our best.


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