Recently, Aditya Seal was seen in Nikkhil Advani’s magnum opus, The Empire. One of the grandest shows ever made in India, The Empire boasts an ensemble cast consisting of actors like Shabana Azmi, Kunal Kapoor, Aditya, Drashti Dhami, Dino Morea and Sahher Bambba. The show has been appreciated for its grandeur and achieved popularity nationwide.
The show gave Aditya a chance to see his name alongside a legend like Shabana Azmi. Mention that to him and he says, “Sadly I didn’t have any scenes with her but just to be around somebody who you have seen for so long, who is considered a legend, and get to know her as a person is surreal. I said this a while ago that people like her are like a flowing river. They are not there to spoon feed you but there is so much that you can take away from them. You just need to have a big bucket and keep taking water from it. They keep parting wisdom and knowledge without even knowing that they are doing it and it’s just up to you to absorb it.”
However, what Aditya was told about Azmi had him worried. “When I got to know that Shabana ji is going to be a part of the show, my director had told me that she is such a method actor that if she is supposed to dislike you on screen, she will keep her distance from you off screen as well, so that it translates better on screen. And if she likes you on screen, she will like you off screen as well. That got me worried thinking that I have idolised her for so long, so if she dislikes me that will be heart-breaking,” he confides.
But meeting her personally broke any such worries for the actor. “When I met her during one of the press events, my mind was blown. She is that person who is much above the pedestal that you would put her on. I had the image that I would have to be all quiet, nice and gentle around her, but she was all chirpy, talking and sharing her past experiences with us and that was so beautiful. She is such a legend and it feels like she is made from a different metal. I just fell in love with her,” he gushes.
Aditya is also mesmerised by Azmi’s voice and language. “In the middle of conversations, she dropped some Urdu words and that made me turn to my director saying ‘Wow’. You just want her to keep talking and for you to keep listening. She commands that reaction,” he concludes.
Image source: SpotboyE archives, Instagram/adityaseal