Shabana Azmi reveals how Farhan Akhtar, Zoya reacted to Fire: ‘Younger generation thinks completely differently’

Shabana Azmi has opened up about her family's reaction to her movie Fire and shared how her kids Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar were quite open to her playing a homosexual on-screen.

Updated on May 31, 2024  |  06:08 PM IST |  72.2K
Shabana Azmi reveals how Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar reacted to her film Fire (Instagram/@azmishabana18)
Shabana Azmi reveals how Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar reacted to her film Fire (Instagram/@azmishabana18)

In 1996, Deepa Mehta arrived with a movie that showed Bollywood one of the biggest protests of all time. People took to the streets, burned posters, and issued threats as soon as Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das starrer Fire was announced. The movie was revolutionary and was considered way ahead of its time. Azmi has now spoken about how her family reacted to the movie’s plot.

For the unversed, Fire explored the themes of homosexual relationships and chronicled the life filled with vulnerable emotions of two women in love. 

Shabana Azmi reveals the reaction of her family to Fire

Recently while talking to Zoom, Shabana shared that she had some reservations about signing the movie but later after talking to her family, it wasn’t a tough ride. She recalled Shekhar Kapur telling her that there was an interesting script that would come her way and that she should accept it.

Shabana Azmi revealed when she read it, “I had some apprehensions because I was working in the slums and the people tend to be very conservative. So, I felt if I did this film, it would make it more difficult for the women to follow me because people would say ki yeh kya hai and all that.”

When she told her husband Javed about it, he asked her, ‘Will you be able to defend the film when it will be criticized?’ She responded with a yes and went on to ask the same thing to her step-daughter Zoya Akhtar.


ALSO READ: Shabana Azmi recalls ‘mean’ Shashi Kapoor lashed out and called her ‘stupid’ after she refused to do intimate scenes

Shabana recalled, “Imagine how small she was at that time, I told her… I don’t know if I should do it. She was like, ‘Do you like the script?’ I said ‘Yes.’ So, she said, ‘What other consideration can there be?’ I said, ‘Well you know, it’s same sex film.’ She said ‘So?’ And I looked at her and I thought Oh my god, the younger generation thinks completely differently.”

Did you know Farhan Akhtar convinced Fire makers to change the climax?

Shabana revealed that in the original script, her character Radha was supposed to die in the fire but it was Farhan Akhtar who was even younger than Zoya who told her, ‘No, you can’t succumb to the fire, because that would lose the very purpose of what you are saying. So she cannot die.’ Azmi told this to Deepa and she agreed to amend the climax.


Shabana expressed, “Both my children had a contribution in it (Fire) while neither of them had started working in films at that time.”

Why did Shabana Azmi never collaborate with Zoya Akhtar or Farhan Akhtar?

The Neerja actress revealed that people often ask her when she is going to work with her kids. Reacting to this, Shabana said, “It’s easy to convince Steven Spielberg to work with me rather than my own children, and look at what happened, Steven Spielberg offered me Halo and I am working in it and I have just finished the second season. On the other hand, my kids keep saying, ‘Han han wait, we need to see, we need to have a role etc.”

However, Shabana would love to work with her kids because according to her both of them are excellent directors. On the work front, she was last seen in Ghoomer and will be soon seen in Bun Tikki alongside Zeenat Aman and Abhay Deol.


ALSO READ: Javed Akhtar says his marriage with Shabana Azmi has lasted successfully because they ‘don’t meet often’

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About The Author

Aditya Sagar is an Entertainment Journalist who holds a true-blue Bollywood heart and has his ears tuned to the


Credits: Zoom

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