In the recent past, we’ve seen several established and talented film actors enter the digital space and feature in web-series. The latest to join that lot is actress Shabana Azmi, who is currently shooting in Karjat for a Hotstar web-series called The Moghuls produced by Nikhil Advani.
“This is the first web series that I am doing. The medium has a tremendous reach,” she says, adding, “The Moghuls is an adaptation of Alex Rutherford's historical book that deals with Mughal history all the way from Babar to Aurangzeb.”
What fascinated her about this particular version of Mughal history is the importance and attention given to female figures, a lot otherwise ignored by historians.
“I mean, everyone knows about Mumtaz Mahal only because Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal for her. But what was she really like? In The Moghuls I play Babar’s grandmother Esan Daulat. Not much is known about her, but she was the real power behind the throne. When Babar was 12, it was she who made sure that he was crowned emperor.”
Shabana is also enjoying the freedom offered by the web. “One can tell a story as elaborately as one wants. Though Esan Daulat is little-known outside the domain of history books, my character is developed at length. I am shooting for 40 days for The Moghuls,” she says.