Shabana's 'sweet, normal' kiss with Boman
Shabana Azmi has done her first kiss in Reema Kagti's 'Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd' and says her children - Farhan and Zoya Akhtar - are planning to exploit the scene fully.
'You know my kids have put the kiss in the trailer. Zoya and Farhan say they're going to exploit me commercially. Thank you so much,' Shabana told IANS.
Shabana's boisterous laughter controls your thoughts, 'What's a kiss with Boman? I've kissed Nandita Das in 'Fire'. Watching me do a normal kiss, you'll heave a sigh of relief.
'It's a very innocent sweet, and non-controversial kiss... I had a ball doing 'Honeymoon Travels...' My children are involved with it. I've a very small part.'
About her unusual pairing with Boman Irani, Shabana says, 'Boman plays this Christian Goan guy. I play this Muslim woman. He plays a brash man. My character is more genteel.'
Shabana says she likes her look in the movie.
'I love my look in this film. I keep telling the clothes designer Arjun Bhasin that after this film he won't be getting any more assignments. All of us are so atrociously dressed by design. For Arjun's sake, I hope the film industry gets the point, or this is the end of his career.
'Jokes aside, it's a great feeling to dress according to character. But when my mother saw these clothes she freaked out. 'Please Shabana, it hurts!' she told me. Arrey, she can dress any way she wants for a part. Why not me?'
It was a great pleasure for Shabana to play this nondescript character, who emerges as a person in her own right.
'This Goan guy, who's her husband, wants to make her happy. He keeps reciting 'sher' in wrong Urdu. Such a sweet tender relationship... The kiss comes in when he reaches his ancestral house to see it being dismantled. That's when I move towards him. He kisses me right in the middle of the street.
'Will my audience be shocked? I think not! I think Boman was far more terrified than I was.'
Shabana is all praise for her director.
'Because she has been an efficient assistant director, she has this quality of getting whatever she wants by hook or by crook. Other first-time directors are ready to commit suicide if they can't get the shot they want. Not Kagti. She always had an alternative plan.'
Shabana recalls that one shot with Boman which was canned after a long delay.
'There's always that one shot in every film which remains a problem till the end. It was a simple scene on a beach featuring Boman and me. The first time it couldn't be done because I had to go to the US for an award. I stayed back for the scene. It didn't happen.
'Then I gave up Holi in my house -- you know how important Holi is to me -- to do that scene. Again, it didn't happen. When we finally did it, it had to be re-done.'
Doing an ensemble piece was a total pleasure for Shabana.
'I've done two of them back-to-back. The first one was 'The Lions Of Punjab' (earlier called 'The Contest') directed by Manish Acharya. The one thing that an ensemble cast teaches you is endless patience. You are an extra in every scene. If you get bored of being an extra, you harm the film.
'Fortunately, Goa, where we shot the film, didn't give any of us a chance to get bored. We all did such fun... playing antakshari, dumb charades...'
Shabana describes her co-star Boman as an endlessly curious man.
'He's such a movie buff. He knows every detail of every film. I'd just sit back and wonder what sort of a Parsi is this who knows everything about Hindi films. He speaks non-stop. He'd pretend all the time that I was scolding him. But Boman and I had a ball.
'All the young girls in the unit wanted to be around Boman, and the boys hovered around me. So we were both deeply flattered.'
Shabana loved the entire cast.
'Particularly Sandhya Mridul who has the most delicious sense of humour. I just adored being around her. And then Raima Sen ... she is one of her own kind. And I'm so proud of my child Zoya. I always wondered how she'd be as a director.
'Watching her handle the unit of 'Honeymoon Travels...' as a producer, I could see her capabilities. My god, this girl is absolutely amazing.'