In spite of being India’s most relevant and celebrated contemporary actress Shabana Azmi never stops looking for new opportunities to challenge her gargantuan talent.
In the last two years she has discovered two new filmmakers who have thrown open new doors for her to walk through.
Steven Spielberg and Karan Johar have been added to Shabana’s dazzling list of filmmakers that includes luminaries like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Roland Joffe, Goutam Ghose and Mahesh Bhatt.
Spielberg has produced Halo which has Shabana in one of the leads.
“At 76, Steven Spielberg has the energy, enthusiasm and eagerness for new challenges , of a child. He is forever exploring new ideas. He won’t rest on his laurels,” says Shabana.
As for Karan Johar, Shabana says she was taken aback by his commitment to the craft. “When one thinks of Karan Johar one thinks of him as a glamorous popular figure in and out of parties, etc. That he is such a committed filmmaker came as a complete surprise to me. It’s not easy to direct so many actors in one frame. But he has done full justice to every character in Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani.”
An added incentive for doing Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani was the glamour quotient.
Says Shabana, “I’ve never had a chance to look so glamorous in any of my films.I remember we were were shooting in Delhi in November and I had to attend a wedding right after the day’s shoot. I decided to go in the saree and jewellery that I wore for the shooting.Our designer Manish Malhotra was aghast. ‘How can you go in costume jewellery? At least let me give you real jewellery to wear.’ But I decided to go the way I was, and I got complimented throughout the evening for how good I looked.”