Naureen is what makes Azhar unusual: Prachi Desai

Emraan-Prachi 1


Prachi Desai as Naureen,  first wife of cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin played by Emran Hashmi in the movie ‘Azhar’.  A Mind Blowing Films release ‘Azhar’ hits the screens on May 13.

By Neeru Saluja

Actress Prachi Desai knows how to make the audience take notice of her. Be it the small screen or the big screen, she has charmed her fans every time. Carrying her next-to-door girl looks, she is now set to play the role of Naureen, the first wife of former cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin in the upcoming biopic ‘Azhar’.

Thanks to Mind Blowing Films who are releasing the film across Australia on May 13, we engaged into a meaningful conversation with the level-headed actress. She opened up about her character in Azhar, her role in the film, the challenges she faced and why she will never go back to television.

Prachi you are playing the role of Naureen, Azhar’s first wife who was never seen in the limelight. How would you define her character?  

Naureen has been the most interesting character I have ever played.  She plays the most pivotal role. She was never in the limelight. People don’t know about her. They were married for nine years. You will see their journey, their silent love story ”“ it was an arranged marriage and she was only sixteen. She was always there for Azhar.

As no one knew who she was, was it challenging to get under the skin of the character?

There was no information available about Naureen. She was a very private person. Without any research material, it was challenging. In the beginning it was extremely difficult as I was relying on the director and Azhar. That was not enough to realise the full potential of the character. I had to stick to the script. When I met her I came to know the real Naureen and that’s what you will see I the film. Naureen is what makes this film unusual.

Azhar also has actors Emraan Hashmi and Nargis Fakhri in the lead roles.  How was it working with Emraan Hashmi for the second time?

It’s always been great working with Emraan. We complement each other and have lots of similarities. We were ourselves on the sets. He has an excellent sense of humour. We had lots of fun with Nargis and Lara Dutta also, Tony our director had to remind us that it’s not a picnic!

You started your career with the film  Rock On. Now  Rock On 2  is in it’s making. How was it connecting with the rocking band once again?

Rock On was my debut film just like it was for Farhan. The film was ahead of it’s times. In today’s genre you would not find many films based on rock music in India. I got to explore something different. We got to shoot Rock On 2 in Shillong. It was great being away from Mumbai and shooting in the lap of nature. The cast of the film has been in touch with each other over the years so it was effortless to connect once again. You will see our bond of friendship evolve in the sequel for the film.

You became a household name with the television serial ‘Kasam Se’. Do you miss television and will you ever go back?

Nooooo. I was too young when I entered television. I was barely seventeen and I did it for a year and a half. It was a great experience and I’m grateful till now as people still connect with my character Bani from my first show. It shows how the character impacted everyone’s lives. I don’t miss television because the working hours are too long and it’s tough. It was a huge responsibility for a seventeen year old girl.

These days actors are exploring different things on television such as fictional soaps, reality shows and talent hunts. I made a deliberate shift from daily soaps. And to be honest, no has offered me anything on television. Like the west, you can’t enjoy both mediums at the same time. There is a vast difference between both, and you have to choose either of them.

What has the film Azhar taught you and what would cricket lovers see in this film?  

Through this film, I have known so much about Azhar, the style icon he was and what was written about him. Azhar  has been a revelation of sorts. We are very quick in making assumptions on various people, incidents and issues. Azhar has had a controversial life but has never commented. This film will give a human side to his life. People who don’t even follow cricket should watch this film. The film will be an eye opener ”“ they will come to know what happens in the locker room.



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