Panaji: Shyam Benegal shared a great professional relationship with Smita Patil and the veteran filmmaker says the actress was a chameleon and could easily transform into any character required.
The director-actress duo has collaborated on films like "Mandi", "Bhumika", "Manthan", "Nishant" and Benegal said the reason he was drawn to Smita was because the camera loved her.
"She was a chameleon. She could be a part of the story without your thinking about it. She was instinctive, she could do the scenes instinctively. The camera loved her. The camera looked at her, it picked her out of everyone else. That was the most important thing. That was the thing about Smita," Benegal said on the sidelines of IFFI.
The fimmaker's other frequent collaborator was another acting great -- Shabana Azmi. Benegal says when the actress first walked into his office for a role in the film, he was so struck by her face that without even looking at her portfolio, he took her on board his next two films.
"I remember the first time Shabana came to office, I just looked at her as she is my Laskshmi for 'Ankur'. She asked me if she has to show her portfolio but I said there was no need of it."
Besides "Ankur", Shabana and Benegal have worked together in "Hari-Bhari", "Antarnaad", "Susman", "Mandi", "Junoon", and "Nishant".