We were recently asked by a viewer to cover ‘Theatre’ on Zee Companion, a space which Nana Patekar really emphasised played a pivotal role in making him the actor he is today. We were delighted to be joined by the legendary Bollywood actress Shabana Azmi who has starred in countless films such as Amar, Akbar and Anthony, Mandi, Masoom,the more recent Bollywood film Honeymoon Travels and Gurinder Chadda’s It’s a Wonderful Afterlife.

Shabana is currently in the UK to participate in the play Happy Birthday Sunita – a family comedy drama written by Harvey Virdi and created by Pravesh Kumar and Harvey Virdi.Shabana Azmi will head the cast and play Tejpal, the matriarch of the Johal house.

Ameet Chana plays Tejpal’s son Nav. Ameet has numerous stage, TV and film credits to his name including Adi Ferreira in Eastenders (BBC) and  Bend It Like Beckham.

 Playing the part of Nav’s high maintenance wife Harleen is Goldy Notay who starred alongside Sarah Jessica Parker in the second installment of Sex in The City. Goldy also played Shabana’s daughter in Gurinder Chadha’s It’s A Wonderful Afterlife.

 It was a real pleasure to have all three on the show and talk about how they were finding working with each other. It was clear that all three were dedicated actors and all simultaneously agreed that acting was not an easy field to pursue. It required a lot of hard work, a lifetime of dedication and most importantly “thick skin.”

The chemistry between all three was visible and Shabanaji was a pleasure to speak to. She spoke to the viewers who asked her about an array of issues including her time in politics as well as her role in films.

She was incredibly humble and accepted that being an actor or actress may not be everyone’s cup of tea and she did say “don’t do it” in jest. However there is no denying that theatre has played a major part in making Shabana ji the versatile, soft-spoken and highly talented actress that she is today.