Shabana Azmi is returning with yet another Hollywood project and this time, she is starring in a series. The acclaimed actress will be seen playing the role of Admiral Margaret Parangosky, Director of ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) in Halo, a series based on the popular video game of the same name. A badass in the show, Shabana stars alongside Pablo Schreiber, Natascha McElhone, Bokeem Woodbine, Olive Grey, Yerin Ha, Bentley Kalu, Kate Kennedy, Charlie Murphy and Danny Sapani.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg is one of the producers of the project. The Schindler’s List director’s name has been long associated with the project. So, during a recent round table, when News18 asked Shabana if Steven had any inputs or feedback for her with regard to her character, the actress revealed, “He is so, so laid back and so completely innocuous when he comes (onsets). He leaves it entirely to the director. It is really refreshing to see what a quiet figure he can be. The aura is palpable. He walks into a room and there is an aura that he tries very hard to play down and doesn’t give any instructions whatsoever. That is left to the director." She added that she is yet to hear any sort of reaction from him.
Shabana plays a crucial role in the series. As Admiral Margaret Parangosky, Shabana commands the scene from the first episode. The sight is refreshing considering that Indian actors have long been offered stereotypical and much smaller roles. With more Indian actors getting opportunities in the West, we asked Shabana if the tables would ever turn, if Hollywood stars would seriously consider roles in Indian or Asian projects.
“That would be the ideal scenario because as the world shrinks and becomes a global village then all these barriers must fall. Apart from the morality of it, it also makes perfect economic sense because where are the audiences? Now, India is a country that makes the largest number of films in the world, twice the number of films that Hollywood does. But of course there are constraints of language and factors like that. But I really, really hope that it is not always just the West influencing the East but it is two-way progress because I think that is healthy. And since we are constantly talking about a more inclusive society, the film is as good a place to try to do that as anywhere else," the actress explained.
Halo will be available to stream on Voot Select from March 24 onwards.