Interview with Sabeeka Imam (Simran) on 7 Welcome To London
1. It’s your first film with a first time actor/director the script must have been exceptional for you to place your own debut into the hands of a new comer?.
Yes it's my first film with a first-time director but Asad has always been great with working in front of the camera. If I remember correctly I was India when I was first contacted regarding the auditions. It was the first the audition I went to upon my return. I did a cold read with Asad in front of the rest of the team and something just clicked. When I read through a scene I can usually tell within minutes if I feel like I can contribute to the blank words on the page. Upon reading the full script I was wowed! I loved the build-up and layers of love, friendship, dilemma and action.
Asad and I have both trained as actors so it was easy to let go and bring the pages to life. He has written a perfectly balanced script which is what made me think it was exceptional. I trusted his vision and his experience in front of the camera. The moment I read the full script and heard how passionate Asad was about this project, it was easy to believe that this would be a great film and it has certainly turned out to be of a great standard. He might have been a first-time director, but he knew exactly what he was doing.
2. So do you identify with Simran ?
Of course, but I think a lot of girls will be able to identify with her. As an actor it is extremely important to me that what people see on screen is not a forced representation of a character therefore I always choose characters I can identify with. We are multi-dimensional creatures and I tapped into my Simran-like qualities and brought them out fully so that I could 'be' her. It was great fun to play a sweet, simple, innocent character.
3. What was it like working with an All British Cast?
Everyone that was working on the film delivered what was required to a great standard. I'm not sure whether that has much to do with being British or whether I was just blessed to be working with very talented individuals.
4. You grew up on a diet of Bollywood films did you ever think you would be staring in one inspired by that genre?
If you asked my mother she'd tell you that I wanted to be a performer since I was a little girl. I would always be acting, dancing and clowning around. I'm sure she is quite relieved that I've ended up in a Bollywood film rather than the circus! I took up drama and dancing quite naturally as they were my main interests. Watching Shahrukh Khan movies inspired me further to be an actor and I soon realised I wanted to work in front of the camera. I just wanted the right opportunity and luckily I got it with 7 – Welcome to London.
5. Asad the director or actor?
Now that is a tough question. Let’s just say, I'd gladly work on a project whether Asad was directing it or acting in it.
6. You’ve locked lips with Asad what did you parents have to say about this?
My parents know how I approach intimate scenes. They know that everything I do is dealt with a high level of professionalism whether a character is laughing, crying or kissing. At the end of the day, a kiss represents the intimate side of two characters.
It’s what we do with people we love and in some scripts it’s important to show that between two characters as it exhibits how we show affection as humans in real life. I am very blessed to have parents who see those scenes as just part of a story.
7. What was it like shooting intimate scenes with a full cast?
It was actually rather comforting. However, it is no different to when you have to laugh or cry. All of those emotions can make you feel quite vulnerable if you are in the moment. Having the cast and crew around makes me feel more relaxed.
8. What do you prefer modelling or acting?
I enjoy them both and approach everything I decide to do sincerely
9. Future plans ?
I have a number of different projects in various stages of development but for now I am eagerly looking forward to the release of 7 – Welcome to London.