Simran Natekar was first introduced to us as the innocent child who looks worriedly at her coughing dad in the No Smoking ad that comes before every movie. The young artiste has since chosen showbiz as her career and made several appearances on television and the silver screen.
Having done nearly 150 TV commercials, a handful of movies and teleserials, Simran now takes her first step into the south Indian industry with the Kannada film Kaajal. The film has her paired opposite Santhosh Balaraj, who plays the lead. Produced by hero’s father Anekal Balaraj, the project will be helmed by Sumanth Kranthi
The heroine of Kaajal has given her first media interview to City Express, and says an opportunity to work in a movie is always a big thing. “When I was 8 years old, I did my first ad with a social message about dangers of smoking. At that time, I hadn’t planned on becoming an actress, it was not my dream. But, later, after I did a couple of TV shows and films, I grew hungry for more and I wanted to be a part of the cinema world.”
She is happy to be recognised as the little daughter worried for her father in the ad, but says making her presence felt in the South was going to be a challenge. Simran has watched only one movie from this industry -- Baahubali -- which, she says was fantastic.”
Having had a brush with acting, she knows what works best for artistes. Simran’s reason to accept this movie was the compelling character and the storyline.
“I was very keen on doing a film in the South, but I was not aware how the casting is done. So, when I got this offer, and when I heard the script, I felt it was the right time to step in. I am happy to be part of a Kannada film, a new language and I will learn,” she says.
As for her character she plays the title character, Kaajal, an NRI girl. “A bubbly, and a strong-minded girl from the USA, who comes to India only to spend time with her relatives in her village. That is when she meets the hero Santhosh, a middle class boy, and falls in love with him. The story of a rich girl falling in love with a poor boy will always hold an appeal. Having said that Kaajal has many shades to her, which I will get more familiar with once we begin to shoot from this month end or by May 1 week,” she says.
It is not just acting that interests this young kid in the block. She has just completed her Class IX exams and will be appearing for her X next year, even while she has her Bollywood dreams.
She says, “Priyanka Chopra is my idol. She has made us proud by getting into Bollywood and now into Hollywood. I want to follow her style of work. It’s just not about acting because I want to do well in my academics too.”
She is juggling many things, but prefers to call them “passionate pursuits” instead of “responsibilities”. She says, “I have a show in Mumbai and have to manage my dates for Kaajal. It is not any trouble because work for me is the pursuit of passion. Whenever I see myself on TV or on a 70mm screen, I feel happy and proud.”