'It is only recently that a lot of warmth has slid into our relationship.'
"There is much vigour, vitality and freshness in his performances even now," Shabana Azmi tells Subhash K Jha about Naseeruddin Shah who turned 72 on July 20.
"Naseer is my favourite actor and to watch him on stage is an experience. He owns the space like few I know and is so much in command that the audience feels as if they are watching him in his drawing room," she adds.
"I'm aching to do another film with him soon. There was a time we did so many films together that he was spending more time with me than with his wife Ratna and I was spending more time with him than with my husband Javed!" she exclaims.
Shabana admits Naseer was not a friend until recently.
"We never became friends in the sense of visiting each other's homes, etc. He had great regard for my mother Shaukat Kaifi as an actor and has a special bond with my brother Baba Azmi. It is only recently that a lot of warmth has slid into our relationship," Shabana reveals.
"Perhaps it's the factor of age," she adds, "but I'm very happy for it. I wish him a very happy birthday and long healthy years."
"Film-makers out there, please cast us together soon!"