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Filmi crossing over

harshini vakkalanka
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cinema Actor Simran turns filmmaker and wants to provide an opportunity for young talent to showcase their skills

T his actor, born as Rishibala Naval, nearly ruled the Tamil film industry in the 2000s with movies like “Kannathil Muthamittal”, “Ramana”, “Priyamanavale” and “Panchathanthiram”. She starred in some Tollywood box-office grossers with Telugu superstars Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh and Balakrishna.

She won a Filmfare award in 2008 for her role in Gautham Menon's “Vaaranam Aayiram”, after a hiatus from acting post-marriage since 2004.

But Simran says she has never lost touch with movies. She is now involved with her own production house Arigem Movies with the intention of making movies in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.

“I want to make all kinds of movies. My motive is to entertain people and make movies that rejuvenate them. I also want to provide an opportunity for young talent to showcase their skills,” she says. She was in the city for the launch of a new project by Artha Properties.

Talking about her heydays, she says, “I have had a beautiful journey full of satisfaction with my work. I'm happy that I have done a variety of roles and have won awards for them. I want to continue my passion by becoming a filmmaker.”

Her film career has taken her across a variety of roles, right from that of a love interest, to a wife harassed by her brother-in-law in “Vaali” (for which she won the Kalaimamani Award), a worried mother in “Kannathil Muthamittal”. She has even dappled with negative roles in movies like “Parthen Rasithen”.

“My experience as an actress was rocking. Everyone in the industry was very cooperative. People always stood by me and gave me confidence. They accepted me fully. What more can one ask from God?”

Simran is now a mother of two kids. Her second child was born only a few months ago. How has life changed for her?

“Life is always beautiful for me, whether I'm acting or not. I have seen both sides of the film industry. At home, I'm just a woman. Life's all about how you deal with all the situations that you're placed in,” says Simran who enjoys listening to music, both Carnatic and Western, while relaxing.

She also enjoys good cinema. Some of her favourite movies are “Shutter Island” and “Million Dollar Baby”. Simran has acted with almost all the big stars in South India – Mammootty, Chiranjeevi, Kamal Hassan, Ajith Kumar, Suriya. One big name is missing from that list. “I will do a film with Rajnikanth,” she says resolutely.

harshini vakkalanka

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