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Meera Syal

On her book-turned-film Anita & Me, scheduled for an all-India release later this month

Meera Syal
Meera Syal
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
What is the response to the film in the UK?
We've already made £2.5 million. It's great for a film with a small budget of £3 million.

Do you anticipate a similar response in India?
I hope so because it isn't like a Bollywood movie. It's sweet and funny.

Do we read a message for Indians keen to go abroad?
No. It's a story of friendship, a kind of metaphor of how we felt as kids growing up there.

So, is Anita & Me an autobiographical effort?
It is. A lot of Meena's emotions are like how I felt as a child.

You cried when you arrived on the sets the first time.
Yes, I was very emotional because it was like stepping back in time. The village where I grew up does not exist now.

But why did you choose the role of Auntie Shaila in this movie?
Because I realised that I won't get another opportunity to work on both sides of the camera. Besides, I know a lot about such bossy women. I miss them.

How does it feel to work in different fields—theatre to writing to sitcoms and movies?
Being creative in different mediums gives a feeling of independence.

Do you see any market for English films made by Indians?
Absolutely. A lot of people are bored with Bollywood formulas.

So, are more movies planned?
I am doing a comedy for the BBC. I am also working on a new script for Bombay Dreams.

How about the other book, Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee?
I have just adapted it for a three-part series for bbc. It will be telecast later this year.

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