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Shabana Azmi: Good time for actors as stereotypes are rejected

Updated on: 13 August,2023 07:39 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Upala KBR |

Following up Rocky Aur Rani with the sports drama Ghoomer, Azmi says she is lucky to bag diverse roles

Shabana Azmi: Good time for actors as stereotypes are rejected

Shabana Azmi in 'Ghoomer'

Ghoomer is her “revenge” against her cricket-fanatic family, laughs Shabana Azmi. In the upcoming R Balki-directed movie, she plays a cricket-obsessed woman who is a source of support to her cricketer-granddaughter, essayed by Saiyami Kher. This, when she isn’t fond of the sport in real-life. “I’m considered panvati; I only have to look at the TV and somebody from the Indian team gets clean bowled. My family and staff boycott me [when a match is on]. If I enter the room, I am made to sit with my back to the TV. So when Balki offered me this role, I felt this was my revenge on the lot. Javed [Akhtar, writer-husband] is a sports buff and has tried to explain the intricacies of cricket to me often,” she smiles.

In her first collaboration with Balki, the veteran actor is deeply impressed by the director’s working style. “He is relaxed on the sets, but he will make you do the shot again and again till he gets what he wants. He adores cricket and Abhishek says this is his most emotional film.”

With Ghoomer, she comes full circle with the Bachchans. Having worked with Amitabh Bachchan earlier and more recently with Jaya Bachchan in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (RARKPK), she is delighted to team up with Abhishek. “I had done Umrao Jaan [2006] with Abhishek earlier. He is a prankster, but also courteous and well-behaved with seniors. His role in Ghoomer is unlike anything he has done before and he has risen to the challenge impressively.”

Her last release, RARKPK, has been loved by audiences, with her character of Jamini Chatterjee being particularly appreciated. Had she expected such a warm response? “It has been overwhelming. The credit goes to Karan [Johar, director] and Manish Malhotra in how they styled me. Anurag Kashyap said that seeing me in the soft, romantic role made him realise how important it is for directors to break the stereotypes in their heads, when it comes to casting. I’m lucky to do different roles, like the ones in Rocky Aur Rani...and Ghoomer, on the heels of one another. I’d be happy to do more of such roles in the future. This is a good time for actors because the stock stereotypes have been rejected.”

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