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Simi in the hot seat

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Desi chat queen Simi Garewal returns with her new chat show Simi Selects India’s Most Desirable. Dhanashri Kulkarni gets candid with the elegant and stylish star to get her take on her favourite guest, Lady Gaga and everything in between
There’s no mistaking those pristine white outfits. Simi Garewal is back! The queen of chat can now be seen on Simi Selects India’s Most Desirable (SSMID) which airs on Star World. On the show she gives us an insight into the lives of the newest and hottest stars. We catch up with her to find out more about her show, her style and her love for Bollywood.
What are the qualities one should possess to be India’s most desirable?
They have to be young, single, eligible, famous, glamorous, bright and talented achievers. They also have to have sex appeal and an enviable lifestyle and personality. They should possess that extra special quality that makes them ‘objects of desire.’ 
What kind of research do you do on a celebrity before the shoot?
Well, in Rendezvous I would research everything about the person. I’d read, talk to people, do whatever it took to know about them because that show was very in-depth and comprehensive. In SSIMD it’s simpler as my focus is mainly on their ‘desirability’ factor. I ask questions that the average boy or girl, who dreams of meeting them (or even marrying them), would like to know about them, especially their views on love and relationships, how they deal with relationships and break ups and what they look for in their mates.
How difficult or easy is it to make celebrities open up about their personal lives?
I have never found it difficult to talk to people about their personal lives. I respect their privacy and deal individually with the person in front of me. You have to make your assessments on the spot. I think they know that I am not trying to gossip or be sensational.
Who has been your favourite guest?
There is no way I can choose one single guest! I have had over 140 guests on Rendezvous and now 18 more on SSIMD. Everyone is unique, they bring their own personalities. How can you say one personality is better than the other? Each one is fascinating in their own way.
You are known to have a fascination with white. Why?
Yes, I really do love white. Ever since I was a little girl my favourite party dresses were always white. I feel happy when I wear white. If I happen to get attracted to designs in another colour, I buy them, but they remain in my wardrobe, unworn. I also like cream and ivory but they are just extensions of white really.
Recently you shot for an episode with Lady Gaga in Singapore for SSIMD. Can you tell us about your interaction with her?
Lady Gaga has been my favourite pop performer for the last two years. I’ve heard all her music, so I was delighted when I got the opportunity to interview her. She was amazingly warm and friendly. Very girly! She noticed everything I wore and complimented me profusely. I gifted her an Anamika Khanna lehnga — she absolutely adored it and called her designers in to see the exquisite embroidery. I also gave her a DVD of Bollywood dances by my friend Farah Khan.
She was quite upset at the media reports that stated that she would not be doing a concert in India because she wants more money. She said it was entirely untrue. She is dying to connect to India, loves Indian food and she knows she has hordes of fans here. So she is coming to India in October, she said, not for a concert, but for a promotional tour. Our interview covered her childhood, her music, her family, her transformation to Lady Gaga. All this will be in my documentary style show on Simi Selects India’s Most Desirable – Lady Gaga Special, so don’t miss it.
What did you like about her?
I liked the fact that she has no airs. She wasn’t the prima donna or diva I expected. As I said she is very girly and when we talked about fashion, it was just like talking to one of my girlfriends. She is not hesitant to praise another woman and that is so rare these days. It’s wonderful to meet an icon who has made such a huge success of her life at the age of 25. And it’s wonderful to see that despite of all the fame and adulation, she remains very human.
What differences do you find in the young stars of today and the ones you interviewed earlier for Rendezvous?
I interviewed a lot of young stars in Rendezvous also; the difference here is that my guests are all young. They are the new generation. They don’t have hang-ups or baggage. They speak freely and are very intelligent, smart and fun. Reading minds of any age is not difficult they are all human beings. They all have feelings.
You wear so many hats — actor, producer, TV host and writer. Which role is closest to your heart?
You would be surprised to know the hat I enjoy the most is actually the one you haven’t mentioned. I enjoy editing. But truly the whole creative process is fascinating to me, from writing to directing. It gives me a high like no other.
You don’t seem to age. Can you give us some tips on how to look young?
It’s sweet of you to say that, thank you. I really don’t do anything special which other women don’t do. Except that I don’t drink alcohol and I workout every day. I don’t go in for facials and beauty treatments. I watch what I eat… you know the usual.
l Simi Garewal is an actor, producer, TV host, writer and editor.
l Her favourite colour is white and she is famous for her white outfits.
l She debuted in the film Tarzan Goes To India alongside Feroz Khan in 1962.

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