Saba Azad has managed to seal her position as a talented actress, who can breezily oscillate between roles in both films and theater. She’s also a singer and is part of funk/nu disco band, Madboy/Mink with Imaad Shah. She will soon be seen in Naseeruddin Shah’s short film, Girl Woman Girl Woman. The short also stars Ratna Pathak Shah and Vivaan Shah. Ahead of its release, she spoke exclusively to about the kinds of roles that excite her and how she hasn’t been able to dig into her full potential yet. Excerpts:
Speaking of the short film, Saba said, ‘It’s an unusual story. It’s an inclusive love story. What drew me to the script is a no-brainer. It was like working in a family. I’ve been directed by Naseeruddin Shah on stage, but this is the first time that has directed me in a short film, and it’s been an absolute delight. I believe, when you are in the presence of greatness, you soak it all up, like a sponge. It’s a great learning process.”
As an actor, Saba wants to take up roles where she can apply herself. Delving into it, she shared, “The profession is all about what work comes to you. As an actress, we are not creating any work opportunities, unlike a director or a writer. In the beginning of your career, it’s not so much about choosing as it is about what comes your way. I don’t think I’ve done work that has allowed me to apply myself too much as yet. Rocket Boys came close. Yes, the character was from another era, but it didn’t need me to dig into my acting abilities too much.”
Saba also said that short films are great for those who are talented but haven’t got mainstream success. “I completely adore show films as a format. It gives you the feel of the film, but it doesn’t take as much of your time. It takes just about time for you to invest in the characters. India has started warming up to short films, and I absolutely love the kind of work that is happening here. It’s also amazing for those who may not be mainstream actors, but are really talented,” she said.
Saba, who loves playback, has also lent her voice to a song in the short film. Not long back, She had also sang the title track Sab Farzi for Prime Video’s web series Farzi. “Acting and music lend to each other. I started as a musician when I was four. When I was performing on stage, I was already in the choir of the theatre group. I was also training as a dancer and then everything merged into one cohesive unit. I believe, when I am on stage, I am using theatre, to create a character. I am also using dance. These are tools that lend to each other beautifully,” she added.
Speaking of filmmakers she would love to work with, Saba shared, “I’d love to work with Vishal bharadwaj. He’s amazing. I love how his mind works. I would love to work with Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap and many more. There are some really good regional work happening. I speak Bengali so I would like to explore that as well. I would also like to do Punjabi films.”