Mumbai, 29 July, 2019: Veteran actor Simi Garewal says her westernised upbringing initially cause a hindrance in her acting career but she decided to deal with it by doing films with the likes of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Raj Kapoor.
While Garewal worked in Kapoor’s “Mera Naam Joker”, she teamed up with Ray for “Aranyer Din Ratri”, with Mrinal Sen in “Padatik” and Raj Khosla in “Do Badan”.
“I did face difficulties here but that was not due to other people. They were my own difficulties. Like my own upbringing had thrown up. My westernised upbringing initially did not help me fit within the industry at that time.
“Though if I would have come in now, I would have fit in well. When I came in, the industry was different. It was hard for me to fit in. Initially, there was a struggle. I did try and make the adjustments and tried to fit in. But I stayed the way I was,” Garewal, who grew up in England, told in an interview.
Recalling her experience of working with some of the most iconic filmmakers of India cinema, the actor said she feels “privileged”.
“I was working with two prolific directors Raj Kapoor and Satyajit Ray at the same time. It was an amazing experience to shoot with two top directors – one in commercial and other in art cinema. This is an experience that very few people would have had,” she added.
Garewal, 71, has been appreciated for several of her performances but “Mera Naam Joker” still remains her favourite.
“I gave a lot of myself in that film. The dialogues that I spoke, came from me. Even the clothes that I wore were all created and styled by me. Though a lot of people like ‘Karz’, “Mera Naam Joker” is still my favourite.”
In the ’80s, she turned her attention to writing, direction and formed her own production company, Siga Arts International.
She hosted, produced and directed a TV series for Doordarshan called “It’s a Woman’s World” (1983). She also made a documentary titled “Living Legend Raj Kapoor” (1984). This was followed by a three-part documentary on former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, “India’s Rajiv” (1991).
She also wrote and directed a Hindi feature film “Rukhsat” (1988), featuring Mithun Chakraborty, Anuradha Patel and Amrish Puri.
Garewal said she does have a few story ideas but is not keen to don director’s hat.
“I have written a few scripts one is a human drama, another is a fantasy superhero, these two are my favourites. There is a musical as well. A lot of people have told me they are good ideas. I can’t do direction now, it is too much of hard work, it is too tiring. I can’t take that kind of heavy-duty work. I do not mind selling my scripts and watching other people make it.”
However, she is open to acting offers.
“There are a lot of offers coming my way but none are interesting enough. There is one short film that I have liked. I felt the story was very interesting. I discussed certain elements of the story and told them to rewrite a second draft. That is the story I would like to do. I can’t talk about it in detail. All I can say is it is a lead role in a short film. And that it is an unusual story,” she added.
The actor is all set to return with her iconic chat-show “Rendezvous with Simi Garewal”.