We had the good fortune of connecting with Simmie Sangian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Simmie, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I am an Indian woman from the United Kingdom. My dad was born and raised in England, and mom moved from India in her twenties. I grew up eating both fish and chips, and chicken tikka masala. The best of both cultures. I moved to LA at eighteen, but England will always be my home. Growing up as an Indian girl in England had its personal ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! As I delved deeper into my art, it became apparent to me the impact my background will always have on my work. Growing up with Indian family, I was always being educated on various traditions and unfair things that happen to Indian people every day because of ‘tradition’. It will always be important to me and my biggest goal to raise awareness on human rights. One topic very close to my heart, Forced Marriage. Something that happens to this day all over the world, including England and the USA. I want to educate through my art. If I can save at least one person from breaking this norm and give them the courage to speak out and say no, my purpose will be fulfilled. Whenever I start a new project, whether that be in film, or theatre, I always ask myself, how can I inspire someone who is being treated unfairly, but they feel like they have no voice? What can I do with my next project that will at least allow one person to take a step in a direction that feels true to them?
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What excites me most is how my art will grow. As the world evolves, I evolve too. I am always learning, and that will always reflect in my work. I’m so excited about the stories I haven’t written yet, the film’s I will get to be part of. I got to where I am today with passion, determination, and a little bit of faith. By no means has it been easy, and I’m pretty sure it never will be. But, whenever I’m feeling the lowest of low, questioning whether I am good enough, I have to remind myself that I did not come this far, to only come this far. I think of all the work I have yet to do, and the impact I want leave on this world. I’ve learned many lessons when it comes to my field of work. One of the biggest being, be authentic to yourself. I can hear my acting teacher voice in my head right now saying it. I made a promise to myself very early on that whatever films I write, produce, star in, they have to be about something that is important to me, not whats ‘in’ right now. I audition for TV & film whenever I am lucky enough to do so. I put 100% into each audition, in hopes for a call back. I am always excited at the thought of starring alongside strong women on camera. It’s what made me fall in love with acting. My first inspiration with Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, and Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. I thought to myself, that’s what I wanna do. A strong badass female lead who inspires young girls. That is what I want my brand to be known for. A strong female actor and story teller. When it comes to my next project, I want to make clear that every young girl should get the chance to dream, be inspired, and most importantly, a chance to an education.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is gonna take forever! So if my girlfriends from England came…We would go to Republique, Squirl or a really good bagel place for breakfast, or maybe even Ye Olde Kings head for a full English! Definitely The Grove for some shopping, and a chocolate brownie empanada from the Farmers Market. I’d take them on a hike, rollerskating disco, a day on the beach and swimming in the ocean! Drive down Mulholland drive, and I know they’d want to see the Hollywood walk of fame. We’d dance all night in WeHo, have drinks at Mama’s Shelter and Good Times. Dinner at Ysabel’s. Or In N Out, depends what we’re in the mood for. I would definitely need to take them to iHop. Of course my favorite taco truck, Ricky’s Fish taco’s! Wow I’m drooling right now. Astro burger is a must. Porto’s bakery. Im a BIG foodie. Can you tell? We’d get the best colorful latte at the butcher the baker the cappuccino maker, and the best aperol spritz at M Cafe. Badmaash for Indian food, and my guilty pleasure favorite, IndiMex. Its an Indian /Mexican combination. Weird, I know. But you have to try their chicken tikka quesadilla! For more fun, six flags! I love rollercoasters! I’m lucky enough to have family in San Francisco so we would definitely have to drive there! There’s nothing like home made Indian food. And if there is enough time, we would stop in palm springs for a night. I realize this list got way too long, and I still have hundreds more ideas to add. But I’ll stop now.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people who deserve credit and recognition when it comes to my story. From my mentors I found at college, to the best friends I made in LA. But, the two people who I owe it all to, are my mom and dad. I would not be where I am today without their love and support. I had a crazy dream of moving to LA for college and pursuing acting. Not once did they question my choice. Despite my dad being born and raised in our hometown, he did not say one negative thing. Apart from the college prices. Haha. But even back then, five years ago, I remember noticing that. Why haven’t they talked me out of this? Do they really believe in me that much? — I firmly believe that their support is the reason I am where I am today. It pushes me every day to do better. From my first award winning short film about forced marriage, to my first TV gig, my parents were their every step of the way. I owe it all to them.