Simone Singh, better known to TV viewers as Heena from the erstwhile eponymous show, is making a comeback after seven years. She talks about playing a grey character on Ek Hasina Thi, the change she sees in the TV industry, and more.
Why did you choose to return with a negative role?
Because it was unexpected of me. I’ve never played a grey character, and it was exciting and fascinating to explore it.
Returning after seven years, what changes have you found on TV?
Daily shows are very different from the way they were. It’s more hectic, which means greater discipline from everyone non-stop. Also, a lot of attention is being paid to styling these days. Content on TV has improved a great deal, too, as for a while, the story-telling had stagnated and people were tiring of it. Today, there are diverse shows including reality, dance, music and comedy shows that doing really well. Our serial is a thriller.
Was the hectic work schedule one of the factors that kept you away?
It was one of the reasons. I got similar roles, and back then, it was also a transition period as producers were getting accustomed to shooting dailies. With hectic shooting schedule, you don’t have a work-life balance. Home is important to me. My last show was Ravi Rai’s Kashish, and, in the interim, I did English-language talk shows on news channels, but not fiction.
Heena got you the most popularity. Do people still call you by that name?
People don’t call me Heena, but during the promotions of this show, they said that they missed me on TV, and that was wonderful to hear. I was overwhelmed to know that people remembered me as Heena, and I was moved by the love.
Heena is perhaps one of the few iconic Muslim-based shows. What do you think of the resurgence of such shows recently?
It’s wonderful to have cultural diversity on television and I feel all communities should be represented. TV is a powerful medium and there is space for all kinds of stories.
It’s been 14 years since you got married. Any plans of starting a family soon?
Not at the moment, though Fahad (Samar; husband) and I are a family. As a rule, I don’t discuss our marriage. It’s our sacred space. We love to travel and are passionate about literature.
What is secret to your great skin?
Reading late into the night, because then, I feel tired the next day.
I don’t watch much Indian TV, but I like The Good Wife.
Kapil Sharma’s show is brilliant and funny. He’s quite popular.
An unbelievable scene you have enacted?
While shooting for my TV show, Sea Hawks, I had to stand at the edge of a cliff, which was really daring and scary. It was very windy, so it was terrifying.