Magazine article Screen International

Shabana Azmi: 'Woo Big Actors with the Right Roles'

Magazine article Screen International

Shabana Azmi: 'Woo Big Actors with the Right Roles'

Article excerpt

When first-time directors approach established actors, they need to convince them that they're right for the role and not just bringing finance or kudos to the project, said actress Shabana Azmi speaking at Film Bazaar's Producers Lab yesterday.

Azmi recently took the plunge with first-time feature director Piyush Panjuani in Idgah, an adaptation of Munshi Premchand's short story, which is screening in Film Bazaar Recommends. She added that the fact she knew the source material also helped.

"I wasn't convinced in the beginning but he persuaded me that he wanted me as an actor," Azmi said. "Also he saw something that I could bring to the role that I hadn't seen myself. The script has to be right but you also have to have perseverance."

Panjuani, who has a background in theatre and advertising, said it took him about five months to persuade Azmi to star in the film, which revolves around the relationship between a grandmother and her grandchild: "It's important to give an actor time. …

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