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Aisan Daulat Begum is an interesting character: Shabana

Aisan Daulat Begum is an interesting character: Shabana

Mumbai: Veteran actor Shabana Azmi said she decided to come on board for the upcoming web series 'The Empire' as it gave her a chance to play a historical character and a kingmaker in Aisan Daulat Begum, Babur's grandmother and counselor in his early years.

Based on Alex Rutherford's popular fictional account of the history, 'Empire of the Moghul', the multi-starrer show, which has been mounted on a big scale, also features Kunal Kapoor, Drashti Dhami, Aditya Seal and Dino Morea in key roles.

Azmi said while she loved to go back in time through her character, she had to be careful with how she wanted the part to come across in the Mitakshara Kumar-directed series.

"I always wanted to play a historical character. Aisan Daulat Begum is such an interesting character. You usually see a man being a kingmaker but in this case, the woman is. That excited me about the part. I am in love with the Urdu language and I got the opportunity to talk in that language," she said.

The 70-year-old actor, a powerhouse performer whose filmography boasts of films like 'Ankur', 'Godmother', 'Makdee' and 'Neerja', credited Kumar for her attention to detail, which helped Azmi to navigate the nuances of her accent and dialogues.

"The basic challenge was that I should learn the dialogue and yet it should not sound like I am pontificating. There is a tendency that when you play this kind of character, you suddenly put on a 'Mughal-E-Azam' voice and you think that is the way it should be," shared Azmi.

She added, "The accent and dialogue should be said in a way that you can show the style, but you do not lose the emotion in the effort to say the dialogue. That was important for me."

The show is created by Nikkhil Advani and produced by his sister Monisha Advani and Madhu Bhojwani under 'Emmay Entertainment'. It will start streaming on 'Disney+ Hotstar' on August 27.

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