Celebrity Interview: Shabana Azmi ...

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By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

Mumbai, April 3 (IANS) Versatile actress Shabana Azmi has teamed up with Boman Irani for the first time for a comedy titled "Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd" and says it is exciting to work with such a talented co-star.

"It's a new film with a new director, Reema Kagti," said Shabana of the Farhan Akhtar-produced film. The film's story is about eight different couples who are on honeymoon in Goa.

"The exciting part of it is that I am with Boman Irani. It's interesting to be paired with a new co-star specially one who knows his craft so well," Shabana told IANS in an interview.

There was a time when Shabana was paired either with Om Puri or Naseeruddin Shah.

"But I am dying to work Naseeruddin Shah again. It's been ages since we worked together. We need to do some good work together."

At the moment, being paired with the talented actor Boman, going through rehearsals to prepare for the shooting in Goa and facing up to the challenge of doing a comedy have Shabana all charged.

"It is very important for independent filmmakers like Reema to find the right resources. I have been screaming myself hoarse that it's very important for big film companies to support small endeavours.

"That's why I admire Subhash Ghai. He has put money into projects like 'Joggers Park' and 'Iqbal'. That's because he still has the sensibilities of the Pune Film Institute within him."

Reema is the latest and youngest of many female filmmakers whom Shabana has worked with.

Shabana regrets not doing Deepa Mehta's "Water".

"After 'Fire' I missed out on Deepa Mehta's 'Water'. But I am so glad Deepa finally made the film. I believe Seema Biswas is wonderful in the role I was supposed to do. I remember when Deepa wrote to tell me I can't be in it, I was disappointed. But I pretended to be classy and nonchalant about it.

"I met Nandita Das recently. (She was also supposed to be in 'Water'). Both of us are so glad the film was made."