Shabana puts on 25 kg for Gurinder Chaddha's movie

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, April 25 (IANS) She had shaved her head for Deepa Mehta's "Water" though she wasn't in the final film that released, and had put on a lot of weight to look like a madame in a brothel for Shyam Benegal's "Mandi". Now veteran actress Shabana Azmi has once again put on 25 kg for Gurinder Chaddha's "It's A Wonderful Afterlife".

"Yes, you've heard right. I have put on 25 kg and I'm waddling around unrecognisable to all except those who know who I am," Shabana told IANS over phone from London.

Hugely overweight, Shabana is said to be having the time of her life playing a hysterical Punjabi woman in the movie.

In fact, those who saw Shabana at the Filmfare Awards were wondering what on earth was wrong with her. But Shabana had begun preparing for her part two months ago, tucking into those sinful calorie-enhancing goodies with a relish that only the committed actor in her could enjoy.

This is the look that she must hold in place for the next month-and-a-half. For Shabana, preparation is all.

The experience of working with Gurinder Chaddha is enriching for Shabana.

"Gurinder is in control without being bossy, which is a remarkable quality in a director," she said.

Javed Akhtar has also joined Shabana in London.

"He's here for the London Book Fair. My sister-in-law Tanvi and two of my close friends are coming this weekend. So I'm having a ball," she said.

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