A Bollywood Star is born: Surrey’s Simran Sidhu to appear in major movie after winning OMNI TV show

Published: April 27, 2014


Picture 1 of 9

Simran Sidhu, the winner of OMNITV's reality show Bollywood Star, pictured at her Surrey home. Mark van Manen/PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Surrey’s Simran Sidhu has always dreamed of making it big in Bollywood.

Born in Dubai, raised in India and now a Surrey resident, the 25-year-old ICBC employee has been enamoured by the glamour and emotion of Hindi film since she was a kid. She looks up to Bollywood greats like Madhuri Dixit and dreams of dancing and acting alongside heart throb Shah Rukh Khan or the glamorous Deepika Padukone.

Now these lifelong dreams have come true for Sidhu, as she was announced the winner of OMNI TV’s Bollywood Star, a reality series documenting the search for Canada’s next big Hindi film actor. Sidhu’s grand prize is a role in a Bollywood film.

“This is my dream, this is it,” said Sidhu excitedly from her Surrey home. “To make it big in Bollywood.”

Although she was revealed as Canada’s next big Bollywood star in the finale of the four-part docu-series Sunday night, it’s a fate she’s known — and had to keep secret — since December.

“It’s been very hard,” Sidhu said with a laugh, adding she’s spent months avoiding friends. “I’ve had to keep it quiet for so long.”

And while she’s had time to soak it all in, “I’m still shocked,” she said.

The shock was even greater four months ago — just after she finished the show’s final challenge in Goa, India — when Bollywood director Nishikant Kamat announced Sidhu as the winner.

“I honestly didn’t expect it at all,” she said. “It was a tough competition and I had no idea who was going to win it.”

At that point, Sidhu had been in India two weeks, competing against three other finalists: Gaurav Bhatti from Brampton, Ont., Antara Das of Scarborough, Ont. and Ruchi Kumar of Richmond Hill, Ont.

“Everybody who was with me was so talented,” said Sidhu. “When they picked my name I was shocked … I didn’t realize I won until Ruchi turned around and she’s like, ‘Oh my God Simran it’s you.’”

The entire experience — from the Vancouver audition, to the Toronto, Mumbai and Goa challenges — was “incredible.” But none of it was easy.

“The first time that I made it through I thought it was pure luck,” Sidhu said as she recalled her Vancouver audition last fall.

But it was certainly more than just good fortune that got her from top 16, to top eight, to top six, to top four.

She had her work cut out for her, though, as she admits that “acting was never my forte — it was always dance that I was relying on.”

She squeaked into the top eight as the last name called and made the top six despite the show’s judge Richie Mehta telling her she “wasn’t memorable.”

Related Stories:

By the time she got to India, it was non-stop training.

“It was literally Bollywood boot camp because we were pushed to our limits,” said Sidhu.

Every waking moment was spent at Mumbai’s top film school Whistling Woods International, where the focus was on acting. Lessons were delivered by stars such as choreographer Shiamak Davar and casting director Mukhesh Chhabra.

“It was like acting central — you had to give everything you had,” said Sidhu. “You had to be vulnerable, you had to be angry, you had to be sad … all the emotions that you can think of that you go through in one year — you have to go through in five minutes.”

“I never thought acting was as hard as it is … it was brutal and emotionally very draining.”

“(But) if you don’t give it your all, somebody else is going to take the prize. Either you delivered or you go home.”

Her last challenge in Goa was the toughest. Given 24 hours to memorize a three-page monologue, Sidhu — always referred to as the “bubbly” one — had to portray a dark character.

“I gave it my best shot and I honestly had no idea what to expect,” she said.

And now here she is, OMNI TV’s first ever Bollywood Star.

Sidhu’s upcoming Bollywood role is “top secret” as the production team works out the details, so for the time being she’s perfecting her craft with acting classes and script readings.

“My goal right now is to improve my acting so when it does happen … nobody thinks, ‘Oh she’s just a winner, but she’s not very good,’” said Sidhu. “(I want) to prove that I’m a great actress and I am here to deliver and I’m going to give them what they’re looking for.”

“I think this show was just a catalyst to my career and my dreams.”

“The big dream is to stand next to Shah Rukh Khan and act, to stand next to Deepika Padukone,” she said. “That would be unreal.”

Related links:

lcahute@vancouverdesi.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

surgery wait times

Surrey Memorial tops surgical wait times exceeding one year, could be fined for backlog of bookings

ADRIAN MACNAIR SURREY NOW  METRO VANCOUVER — Fraser Health could face $2.5 million in fines over a backlog of surgical wait times in hospitals across the…
Continue Reading »

"There is No Honour in Violence Against Women" Campaign

MOSAIC tackles ‘honour-based’ violence against women and girls (w/video)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Non-profit immigrant settlement agency MOSAIC B.C. launched a campaign Friday to raise awareness about ‘honour-based’ violence against women and girls. The…
Continue Reading »

Social Responsibility

Surrey Food Bank’s annual open house to show off renovations

SURREY NOW  ‘Tis the season, and the Surrey Food Bank is kicking things off with its annual open house. Set for this Saturday (Nov. 29),…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

surgery wait times

Surrey Memorial tops surgical wait times exceeding one year, could be fined for backlog of bookings

ADRIAN MACNAIR SURREY NOW  METRO VANCOUVER — Fraser Health could face $2.5 million in fines over a backlog of surgical wait times in hospitals across the…
Continue Reading »

BC teachers strike-politics

Christy Clark throws support behind Amrik Virk taking ethical fire

NDP insists B.C. premier should fire advanced education minister for helping bypass provincial pay rules while on board of Kwantlen University ROB SHAW POSTMEDIA NEWS  VICTORIA…
Continue Reading »

Football

Hard work paying off for North Surrey junior bantams

PATRICK JOHNSTON VANCOUVER DESI It’s championship weekend all across B.C., and another group of hardscrabble youth have a tale of their own: the junior bantam…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

BC teachers strike-politics

Christy Clark throws support behind Amrik Virk taking ethical fire

NDP insists B.C. premier should fire advanced education minister for helping bypass provincial pay rules while on board of Kwantlen University ROB SHAW POSTMEDIA NEWS  VICTORIA…
Continue Reading »

FASHION-PAKISTAN-AAMNA-AQEEL

Gallery: The bold and beautiful strut their stuff at Pakistan Fashion Week

VANCOUVER DESI Pakistan’s bold and beautiful models presented the Autumn/Winter 2014 collections at the three-day long Fashion Week in Karachi. The Pakistan Fashion Week has…
Continue Reading »

Black-Friday-Sale-1

Coupon Queen: Tips for Surviving Black Friday Mania

RUBY BEDI BAINS VANCOUVER DESI You may be planning on crossing the border to head to the US but take note Canadian retailers have embraced…
Continue Reading »

murder-British-India

South African judge will decide whether to throw out honeymoon murder case

CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS JOHANNESBURG — A South African judge will rule Dec. 8 on whether to dismiss the murder case against a British…
Continue Reading »

Surrey-crime-stats

Surrey mom who lost her daughter to a drunk driver calls for tougher laws

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Dare to know how many times police in B.C. issued Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for impaired driving over the past…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Salman Khan's sister Arpita's wedding

Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha rubbishes reports of teary tiff with Salman Khan at Arpita’s wedding

HINDUSTAN TIMES On Thursday (November 27), a report suggested that Sonakshi Sinha was reduced to tears at Arpita Khan’s wedding reception after an alleged argument…
Continue Reading »

Irrfan Khan

Bollywood’s Irrfan Khan already in talks for another project with Steven Spielberg after Jurassic World

HINDUSTAN TIMES While he has proven his acting prowess in Hindi films time and again, Irrfan Khan is also, perhaps, India’s best-known export to the…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood movie

Ungli: Relevant and Timely, ‘Ungli’ fingers the corrupt (w/trailer)

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Film: “Ungli”; Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Emraan Hashmi, Randeeo Hooda,Kangna Ranaut, Neel Bhoopalam, Angad Bedi, Neha Dhupia; Directed by Rensil d’Silva; Rating:…
Continue Reading »