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Actors don’t want to be curtailed by their ethnicity: Shabana Azmi

  Celebrated Indian actor Shabana Azmi, who will be seen in filmmaker Steven Speilberg-backed web series ‘Halo’, says artistes don't want to be curtailed by their ethnicity and the trend of colour-blind casting is a welcome step in this direction.
The five-time National award-winner, who has acted in international projects like John Schlesinger's ‘Madame Sousatzka’, Roland Joffe's ‘City of Joy’ and ‘Son of the Pink Panther’ among others, spoke about the struggles that Asian actors foraying into the West faced and how it took her almost 34 years to get a role that had nothing to do with her ethnicity.
Giving the example of English actor-director Lawerence Olivier, Azmi said if he could play the titular role in 1965 movie ‘Othello’, then why should it be different for actors from other ethnicities.
"Asian actors have been saying (this) now for more than 13 years and so why presume that the mainstream is always the Caucasian. What is it that we mean, when we say colour-blind casting? It is precisely this. If Lawrence Olivier can play Othello then why can't an Indian or Chinese person do it?” Azmi told PTI in a Zoom interview from the US.
Though colour-blind casting is not possible in every film, the actor is happy that the producers of ‘Halo’ roped her in.