Shabana Azmi

  1. Seema Biswsas, Water, India, 2005. The Varanasi shooting of the end of director Deepa Mehta’s “elemental trilogy” – Fire, 1996, Earth, 1998 –  was ruined by Hindu fundamentalist groups supported by the state government in Uttar Pradesh.  When production  resumed – four years later in Sri Lanka – Azmi’s role of Shakuntala was re-cast. She probably didn’t notice. Despite her a desi girl image, she was a liberated lady with a whirlwind of affairs.
  2. Shohreh Aghdashioo, X-Men: The Last Stand, 2005.   The Marvel franchise’s new director, Brett Ratner, checked Bollywood’s Queen Mother Shabana Azmil and  (her niece) Tabu   for Dr Kavita Rao before giving the role to the Iranian Aghdashioo.  She scored 65 (mainly TV) credits during 1976-2020, including 24, House of Saddam, The Simpsons, The Mob Doctor, Grimm and playing Farah Madani opposite Marvel’sTV Punisher Jon Bernthal, 2017-2019.
  3. Zarina Wahab, My Name Is Khan, India, 2009.   Shooting was delayed due to  Shah Rukh Khan’s shoulder injury. When he ws fit, Azmi was booked elsewhere and so Wahab became his mother in what The Times of India called “an expansive canvas: 9/11, post 9/11, racial abuse, draconian homeland security laws, a hysterical US jurisprudence, hurricane Katrina.”  Not to mention a love story and songs…  Azmi, who made a dozen movies in 1977, soon became Bollywood royalty, famous for recommending girls and guys for films… and lesser roles for her rivals!  

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  2