New Delhi | Veteran actress Shabana Azmi has revealed that she was initially unsure about being a part of her upcoming film Chalk N Duster. The 65-year-old actress, who is sharing screen space with Juhi Chawla for the first time in the education drama, said her co-star encouraged her to take up the project. I was pretty unsure about the film because the makers of the movie are not familiar to me. I got a call from Juhi Chawla and she said she wanted to meet me. We met and she convinced me to take up the project, Shabana told reporters here. In the film, directed by Jayant Gilatar, Shabana plays a senior mathematics teacher of a Mumbai-based high school.
My role is very different. I play a middle class school teacher. So, I had to look very different from the way I am in real life. I had shopped on my own for my look. Chalk N Duster, releasing on January 15, highlights the problem of teachers and students where teaching way in the education system is changing day by day. It’s a very simple and sweet film. It’s similar to ‘Dum Laga ke Haisha’ because ‘Chalk N Duster’ is a feel good film. You will feel elated at the end of the film. It does not get the box-office coffers rolling definitely but by word of mouth it will drag the audience to theatres.
There is no reason to dislike the film, she said. A FTII graduate, Shabana started her career with Shyam Benegal’s non-commercial film Ankur followed by Arth, Khandhar, Paar and Mandi. After being a part of the industry for more than four decades, Shabana said now she chooses her role with total freedom. I have never been such free. I had just finished ‘Jazbaa’ . This year, I have ‘Chalk N Duster’, ‘Neerja’ and BBC’s miniseries ‘Capital’. I am also doing theatres. I am doing everything. At this point, I can do film for any reason whether it’s a big role or a small role, it absolutely makes no difference.