‘I have wor­shipped Sha­bana Azmi’

Ac­tor Vidya Balan says she can’t ful­fil Azmi’s wish of join­ing the­atre, as she is scared of a live au­di­ence

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Henna Rakheja

It’s not just for the sake of an­swer­ing a ques­tion from the me­dia that ac­tor Vidya Balan (right) says she con­sid­ers ac­tor Sha­bana Azmi in high re­gard.

Some­time back, HT City asked Azmi, who would she like to see, from the cur­rent bri­gade of fe­male ac­tors, tak­ing to the stage and the vet­eran wished that Vidya takes that legacy for­ward.

Re­cently, when Vidya Balan was in Delhi, to check out de­signer Gau­rang Shah’s lat­est col­lec­tion, we asked her if she would ful­fill Azmi’s wish and the ac­tor said, “I don’t read news so Sid­dharth (Roy Ka­pur) told me that Sha­bana Azmi said this and I was like ‘Oh my God, what a huge com­pli­ment!’ I’ve al­ways wor­shipped her. Hav­ing said that, I’ll die in fright in front of a live au­di­ence. So I don’t think I’m ready for that (the­atre) yet.”

She, how­ever, holds Azmi in high es­teem and says that the big­gest com­pli­ment was when she was com­pared with the ac­tor, soon af­ter the launch of the trailer of her next film.

“I’m a huge Sha­bana Azmi fan and peo­ple told me that when they saw the trailer of my film, my char­ac­ter re­minded them of Mandi (1983). That’s a huge com­pli­ment. For my role, I don’t think I was in­spired by any­one but the script,” says the Na­tional award-win­ning ac­tor.

Vidya Balan’s char­ac­ter of a brothel head has been draw­ing com­par­isons with lead­ing fe­male ac­tors, who have played pros­ti­tutes on screen, in the past.

Balan how­ever says, “It’s a dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter. There might be some com­par­i­son with Ri­tu­parna Sen­gupta, who played the same role in the Ben­gali ver­sion of this film, and I would still think that’s fair, but you know, I don’t get both­ered by com­par­i­son.”

PHOTO: PRODIP GUHA/HT

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