Rekha behind Shabana’s Umrao Jaan role

MUMBAI: Everyone knows Shabana Azmi is playing mother Shaukat Azmi’s role in JP Dutta’s Umrao Jaan. What’s not so well known is that it was old friend Rekha who suggested that she step into the formidable Shaukat Azmi’s shoes.

Says Shabana: “Rekha had played my mother’s daughter in Muzaffar Ali’s Umrao Jaan. It was she who insisted that I do my mother’s role in JP’s version of the same story. That’s how I decided to approach JP for the role.”

Rekha and Shabana go back a long way. They did a number of films together in the 1970s. Some years ago, Rekha chickened out of Fire. And Shabana got a chance to do one of her best roles. Rekha has a special name for Shabana... it’s Munni!