'It's easy to undermine his abilities because he is never into promoting his own talent.'
'I find him to be a very special director.'
Shabana Azmi has a new best friend, and it's all because of Karan Johar!
"Jaya Bachchan and I have known one another for ages, but somehow, we never got around to being friends," Shabana tells Subhash K Jha.
"Whenever we would meet socially, and that was quite often, we were cordial. But that was it."
Her equation with Jaya Bachchan changed drastically on the sets of Karan Johar's Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani where the two erstwhile gold medalists at the FTII play grandmothers to Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh.
"On screen, we are supposed to be fighting constantly. Once the camera was switched off, we gradually became friends, then very close friends," reveals Shabana.
Shabana confesses she has always been a Jaya Bachchan fan.
"I can't tell you the number of times I've seen Abhimaan and Mili. Jaya has been a huge inspiration in my career, but I never knew she was so much fun. Jaya is the life and breath on the sets of Karan's film."
Shabana credits Karan Johar for her new friendship.
"On his set, the atmosphere is so happy and relaxed. Every actor is in a good mood. Karan makes every actor feel special. There is no sense of competitiveness between anyone," she says.
Describing him as super-gregarious, Shabana says, "Karan is a people's person. He loves meeting new people, finding out about their lives. I am also very inquisitive. I ask so many questions, just like Karan does."
How does Shabana find Karan Johar as a film-maker?
"You know, it's easy to undermine his abilities because he is never into promoting his own talent. I am working with him for the first time. I find him to be a very special director. He knows exactly what he wants each actor to do. Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani is shaping into a very special film."