While she doesn’t entirely relate to her character, actress Simron Upadhyay says that she loves being Noor on screen. The actress, who is part of the show Rabb Se Hai Dua, says that her character has many layers.
“I am playing Noor, who is Haider’s (Karanvir Sharma) step sister. Noor is totally a social media freak who loves making reels. She is disinterested in her family dramas and is obsessed with her content. Even if a full-blown meltdown is going on in her family, she is okay to record and post it to gain some extra followers and likes. She lives in a virtual world and whenever there is a situation, she doesn’t understand a thing and that makes her character very interesting. She acts as a comic relief in a show. Her step brother and father are involved in a heated discussion. Her father is a shayar so he uses the muhawaras and shayris and she doesn’t understand a thing. Even in that tensed situation she will say something very silly, stupid and goofy. All this adds a joy to the scene even if the scene has arguments going on. She is a mama’s girl and is always involved in her ammi’s planning and plotting. She doesn’t realise the implications of her planning. Ammi wants Haider and Dua to have arguments and even my character doesn’t like Dua because she is preachy and she will always lecture her on something,” she says.
She adds, “I don’t relate with her at all. I am neither a social media freak, nor am I the way she is in the show. It’s fun playing her because every character that I have done so far was relatable in some ways.”
Simron says she wanted to do the show as soon as she heard the story. “Who doesn’t want to do a show which has Islamic background in it because it’s beautiful to watch, right? There are so many reasons that the Pakistani shows do so well. In India there are so many people who watch Pakistani shows. I was really very excited for the show but I also hesitated a bit to do this character. Then I spoke to our creative, Abhiroop sir and then was convinced. I am happy to play Noor,” she says.
However, she made sure to prepare well before the shoot. “Before shooting the first two episodes, we had a lot of workshops. Zaheer Sir, who is our writer, also joined us, and made sure that we learn the key sounds and nuances of Urdu. He made sure that we learn how we wave, initiate a conversation, and rectified our pronunciation. Even now, if we stumble across any dialogue or word, we call and ask him. It was difficult because there are so many words and phrases that are pronounced differently. We have learned the basics very well and it’s fun to do a show where you are learning the lingo and culture of a different religion,” she says.
Meanwhile, the actress says that strong storylines do well. “While looking for a show to watch on TV, a viewer is looking forward to the content a lot more than anything else and that’s the reason that shows like Anupamaa are working. Beyhadh worked too because it was so content-oriented and dealt with social issues. Anupamaa is a story about a strong woman and that’s why people connected to it. I hope Rab Se Hai Dua also does that. Textbooks and religious textbooks are misinterpreted and people just make their own viewpoints. Our show will bring a new story line, one that has not been seen before,” she says.
Talking about working with producer Prateek Sharma and Studio LSD, she says, “It’s amazing to work with this production house. I am new to Mumbai and it’s just been a year that I have shifted here. It’s my third show. LSD production treats their artists and the entire team so well. Prateek sir is so nice and sorted and always smiling. I am doing my masters in international relations and strategic studies from Mumbai University and, in a week, we got to know that we are going for a field trip for 4-5 days. I panicked because the shooting had just started and we had massive event scenes. I told the production 5 days prior and they understood because it was my exam. Even in the mock shoot, I had my exams and they were the most accommodating. In here, it’s very sorted.”
Shooting for a daily soap is not easy, says the actress, adding, “It requires a lot of hard work and patience because you have to shoot for 12 hours. Daily soaps have the longest dialogues which you have to read and learn on a daily basis. Sometimes you have night shoots and don’t get the day off. There is so much pressure. People think that actors have an easy life because they are always pampered but there is so much hard work and tension. There is so much going on in your personal life but you have to act and get rid of your thoughts. In this field, there is no work from home option. You need to be dedicated and give so much effort and commitment to this job.