Actor Shabana Azmi’s work has been praised by critics throughout her career, be it films or stage. “For an actor, the ideal is to be able to work in both theatre and cinema. That’s why actors such as Kevin Spacey do theatre, even if they get one-hundreth of the kind of money they get in cinema,” she says. She was in the Capital to act in adman Alyque Padamsee’s play Broken Images.
Since the beginning of her career, she has pulled off both the mediums – cinema and theatre with ease. The same, however, isn’t true for the young brigade of female actors in Indian cinema. “Not many of them are doing it (theatre),” says Azmi.
Ask who, according to her, would be good at theatre and she adds, “Vidya Balan, for instance, is going to be terrific. Vidya has a beautiful voice. So, if she decides to do stage, she’ll do wonders with it.”
And that’s not all the praise coming Vidya’s way, “I think that Vidya is a very fine actor,” adds Azmi, when asked who from the young female actors can win five National Awards like her.
But the list doesn’t stop there. “I think there are many because ultimately it depends on the opportunity you get. I think that Vidya Balan is a very fine actor, and so is Tabu, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka (Chopra) and Konkana Sen Sharma. There is a whole lot of them who are doing really good work.”
As far as Azmi’s theatre training is concerned, it goes back to her childhood. She says, “I was four months old when my mother used to strap me on my back and take me for rehearsals. My training started at that time. That is the smell of theatre in my nostrils, so to speak.”