An actor must derive from his own experiences, says Shabana Azmi

Known for her realistic portrayal of characters on the screen, seasoned actress Cabaña Zamia says and actor can enrich the character they play by drawing upon all the depth of their own experience.

IANS| Updated: Sep 18, 2014, 20:51 PM IST
An actor must derive from his own experiences, says Shabana Azmi

Mumbai: Known for her realistic portrayal of characters on the screen, seasoned actress Shabana Azmi says and actor can enrich the character they play by drawing upon all the depth of their own experience.

When asked who are the people who have most influenced your thought processes and your over all personality, she said: "My parents Kaifi and Shaukat, my husband Javed, Shyam Benegal, Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kapoor."

"Then there are all the women I work with in the slums from whom I learned resilience... imagine living under the threat of your home being demolished any day and yet being able to function! Also, the women in Mijwan," said the actress who wowed with her performances in ‘Mandi’, ‘Masoom’, ‘Godmother’ and ‘Fire’.

Excerpts:

As you look back what do you feel about your achievements so far?

I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time! But the best is yet to come. Of all the things I do acting is what I enjoy the most. I'm blessed to be in a profession I love.

If I ask you to name 5 incidents that were turning points in your life what would they be?

1. When I joined FTII. 2. ‘Ankur’ 3. ‘Arth’. 4. Watching Anand Patwardhan's documentary ‘Bombay Our City’ 5. When I protested against the killing of theatre activist Safdar Hashmi at the International Film Festival of India in Delhi, where my film John Schlesinger's ‘Madam Sousatzka’ was premiering.

Who are the people who have most influenced your thought processes and your over all personality?

My parents Kaifi and Shaukat, my husband Javed, Shyam Benegal, Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kapoor. Then there are all the women I work with in the slums from whom I learned resilience... imagine living under the threat of your home being demolished any day and yet being able to function! Also, the women in Mijwan.

How do you allocate so many varied roles to yourself in life?

For an actor, life must be your resource-base because you can enrich the character you play by drawing upon all the depth of your own experience. In the process of becoming a star you get isolated from life because you are so surrounded by a concentric circle of people around you that you start living almost in a bubble.

How do you stay do grounded in spite of all the adulation?

Kevin Spacey told me it's a choice he has made to travel by tube, buy his groceries etc. Can you imagine what would happen in India if Shah Rukh Khan decided to do that? I wanted to travel by metro to my play while I'm in London. But I was advised against it.