Shabana Azmi Questions Need For Costly Entourages, Cites Example Of Smita Patil, Shatrughan Sinha

Veteran actress, Shabana Azmi shared her views on the ongoing debate on expensive entourage costs and the contrast between her early days in Bollywood and the present situation.


By Saakshi Gupta Last Updated:


Shabana Azmi Questions Need For Costly Entourages, Cites Example Of Smita Patil, Shatrughan Sinha

Shabana Azmi has been one of the most talented actress in of the '70s and '80s. Beginning her career in 70s, the actress has starred in several globally acclaimed projects with unconventional or progressive roles. The actress has been working for over five decades and has seen Bollywood change. In a recent interview with the Hindustan Times, Shabana opened up about her views on the ongoing debate over the high entourage cost of actors. 

Shabana is astonished over the crazy costs that the producers cover for actors 

Given the recent string of flops in Bollywood and major losses to production houses, a new debate on high entourage costs and hefty fees of actors has been brewing in Bollywood. Shabana Azmi expressed her surprise at the different costs of actors that producers cover. In addition, the Neerja actress recalled a few incidents from her early career days where she even used to get her clothes while filming for low budget films. She was quoted as saying: 

“I only had a three-member team—a hairdresser, a makeup artist, and a driver. In low budget films, we had nobody. At the most the unit makeup man and hairdresser. I used my own clothes, used the unit’s hair and make-up person and always stayed in the same hotel as the unit.”

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Shabana shares how she used to travel by bus, and actors paid for schedules to cover fund shortage

Shabana Azmi shared an anecdote from the 1983 film, Mandi co-starring Smita Patil. The RARKPK actress shared that she rode in a bus with the rest of the cast instead of using their separate cars for the shoot. Moreover, actors like Shatrughan Sinha paid for schedules that were supposed to get canceled. In her words, 

“I remember (late actor) Smita Patil and I had been given separate cars for the shooting of Mandi. In two days, we gave them up and travelled in the bus with all the actors because they were having so much fun while singing and playing silly games! A couple of times, (late actor) Sanjeev Kumar and Shatrughan Sinha paid for the schedule, which was going to be cancelled because of funds shortage.”


The entourage cost debate in Bollywood 

The massive losses suffered by production houses and cinema owners in the last few years due to big-budget in flops have led to introspection in the industry. Several actors and filmmakers like Farah Khan, Anurag Kashyap, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui slammed the high fees taken by actors, their expensive entourage costs, and extra expenses that got into arranging vanity vans and fulfilling other demands. For instance, Anurag was shocked that an actor's chef charged Rs 2 lakhs daily.

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Shabana Azmi's professional journey so far

Shabana Azmi debuted with Shyam Benegal's feature film, Ankur, in 1974. She featured in several classic films like Arth, Masoom, Mandi, The Touch, Fire, and The Chess Players. She was recently seen in Karan Johar's directorial, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, co-starring Dharmendra, Alia Bhatt, and Ranveer Singh.


What do you think about Shabana Azmi's reaction to high entourage costs in modern Bollywood? Let us know.

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