Interview: Seema Azmi

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From Deepa Mehta to Shimit Amin and now to a project supported by Warner Bros., Seema Azmi has seen it all in the span of just a few years. She’s confident, dedicated and absolutely inspired to take on Indian cinema one movie at a time. I caught up with the immensely talented newcomer to talk about acting, her inspirations and her new project Saas Bahu Aur Sensex which has just hit cinemas worldwide!

Firstly Seema an obvious but crucial question, was the film industry always on your agenda or was it a work of fate?

As you know, I am from NSD and it was always only theatre. Films were not my agenda. In fact I’m still doing theatre. Presently it is ‘Wedding Album’ written by Girish Karnad and directed by Lillette Dubey. But it was on my mind to work in films. And the first opportunity was with Deepa Mehta for Water.

You have been through professional training for your craft. How do you think this has added to your work and do you think it is essential?

I think the training is very important. I’ve done close to 50 plays so far and the discipline, and craft that I’ve learned has been invaluable. The training gives you confidence to do any kind of role in any medium.

For someone whose been in movies for a short time you have a very impressive filmography. Ranging from Deepa Mehta to Yash Raj Films and now a project backed up by Warner Bros. titled Saas Bahu Aur Sensex. Your roles in all these movies have varied greatly as well, so tell us what is it that you look for when selecting a character?

When I look at a role I look at the character, director and banner as all the factors are important.

Was it an intentional decision to have selected such versatile characters in such a short span of time?

So far, it has not been my choice. The roles have been offered to me and luckily they have been interesting too.

Co-incidentally all your three films are quite women orientated. What are you thoughts on that and was this something you intentionally wanted to do?

I am quite surprised as it was not intentional. But I am happy that the films were women oriented as it give me an opportunity to perform. It is also very positive that films are being made on women oriented subjects. It is good for the actors as well as society.

Saas Bahu Aur Sensex hit screens worldwide on September 19th and the promos created quite a buzz. Would you care to give us an insight on what to expect from the movie and your role in particular?

I hope the public are entertained and enjoy the film. As for my role considering it is very different from the one I played in Chak De. I hope that it is noticed and liked. My role in the film is that of a simple, South Indian girl recently married to a very MTV kind of guy. She is very happy to have married him, whilst he is not too happy with her. He starts getting worried when his wife starts ignoring him because she gets involved in the stock market. It has a lot of humour and life. It was interesting for me to learn and use South Indian mannerisms and the idiom. The way the director Shona played the scenes was very imaginative and creative and fun at the
same time.

You’ve worked in plays, television shows and movies. Which is your favourite? Which is the toughest and why?

Theatre is the toughest as one can’t afford to make a mistake whilst TV shows and movies offer a different kind of challenge. And that of keeping the character’s continuity as the scenes are shot not in sequence. Theatre is my favorite though as it has given me everything.

Which of your roles in any one of these areas of acting do you feel closest to and why?

I still haven’t got the kind of role I want to do.

Also which of the roles you have played has been the most enjoyable experience and how so?

I enjoyed the Chak De experience the most because though the character was small. Working with Shahrukh Khan taught me a lot. Not only is he a great actor but also a very nice human being.

When you first started off in the industry were there any goals you had set for yourself and if so what were they?

The only goal I had set for myself was to be remembered as a good actor, someone like Smitha Patil or Shabana Azmi.

Do you think you’re getting the right offers to attain your goals? Is there any particular character you’ve seen that you would have loved to have gotten the chance to play?

I think I am starting to get the kind of roles I want. As for the dream role, hmm…. I might not get it…. but Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

We all know the Bollywood scene is always filled with parties and get-togethers. Are you a social person or do you stay away from the glitz and glamour of the industry?

I am a shy person by nature, but I do enjoy the occasional party when I have a few close friends with me.

And now for the part of the interview I call “Prathna Pooche”.


1. Three of your favorite actors.
Robert De Niro, Naseerudin Shah, Aamir Khan, not necessarily in this order.

2. Three of your favorite actresses
Julia Roberts, Nutan and Smitha Patil.

3. Three all time favorite movies.
Singing In the Rain, Saudagar [with Amitabh Bachan] and Rang De Basanti.

4. Three makers you would like to work with.
Mani Ratnam, Aditya Chopra and all new talented directors.

5. Three actors you would like to work with.
Aamir Khan, Naseerudin Shah and Shabhana Azmi.

Well that was the exclusive interview with Seema Azmi. Be sure to check out her newly release movie Saas Bahu Aur Sensex at a cinema near you now! Stay tuned to BollySpice as we continue bringing you up-close with more of your favorite artists! Be sure to check out Seema Azmi’s newly released movie Saas Bahu Aur Sensex at a cinema near you now! Stay tuned to BollySpice as we continue bringing you up-close with more of your favorite artists!

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