Azmi who started her acting career with eminent theatre director Arvind Gaur, had joined Asmita Theatre group, Delhi in 1996. She then joined National School of Drama, Delhi and completed her training in 2001. She was selected for NSD Repertory Company headed by theatre director Suresh Sharma. She had major plays with Arvind Gaur and Girish karnad’s Rakt Kalyan (Taledanda), Dario’s Operation Three Star (an adaptation of Dario Fo’s play Accidental Death of an Anarchist), Mahesh Dattani’s Final Solutions, Ashok Lal’s Ek Mamooli Aadmi, Swadesh Deepak’s Court Martial. Her co -actors in the Asmita Theatre Group were Deepak Dobriyal, Piyush Mishra, Manu Rish, Rajesh Bagota, Poonam, Girdhani, Waseem Khan and Hasim Haider. But all these are past stories now.
Azmi is now on her ascent and will surely reach the pinnacle of her success. Hard work and talent are the secrets of her success. Her first film Chak De India in 2007 with Shahrukh Khan was a big hit. Rani’s unforgettable memory will keep illuminating in the hearts of the audience. The role of the Jharkhand girl, Rani Dispotta was played so well by her in that film. Rani moved from a jungle village to Ranchi and learned the great art of surviving in the midst of urban classmates. Azmi was excellent in playing the difficult role. She took it a challenge for an artist.
After this role, she returned as a narrator in the new TV show 'Upanishad Ganga' which is made of various stories representing Indian Culture and heritage. According to her, the audience is guided in through the story. She had been selected for the film before she started Chak De. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi called her for an audition for Sutradhar for Upanishad Ganga. Her versatility was more apparent in her second movie, Saas Bahu Aur Sensex in 2008. She has worked in this film with the co-actors such as Ankur khanna, Farooq Sheikh, Kartik Ramachandran, Lillete Dubey, Mukta Barye, Tanushree Datta, Karishma Chandna, Sumer Arora and Shreya Sharma. Azmi’s tele- film Dand, based on Hindi writer Abdul Bismillah’s story was premiered in telefilm Samaroh at Prasar Bharti, Doordarshan Kendra, New Delhi. She came to Bombay anyway and worked in Deepa Mehta’s Water.
‘Threat Detected’, ‘Bumper Draw’, and an English film ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ – are the other projects that opened scope for Azmi to accept glamorous roles. Being a great artist, she could not shy away from it. Once for ‘Chak De’ she took strenuous training for hockey. Her other acclaimed plays include ‘ Deewar Mei Ek Khidki Rahati Thi ’ Dir Mohan Maharishi, ‘ Shila Shringar ’ Dir Robin Das, ‘ Cherry Orchard ’ Dir Tripurari Sharma, ‘ Ghasiram Kotwal ’ Dir Rajender Nath, ‘ Antral ’ Dir Ranjit Kapoor, ‘Janneman’ Dir Waman Kendare, ‘Rakta Kalyan’, ‘Final Solution’ Dir Arvind Gaur, ‘Macbeth’ Dir John Russell Brown, ‘Wedding Album’ and Dir Lillete Dubey etc.
Now she is on her directorial ventures: Gadhe Ki Baarat, Dear Diary, and The Silent Front. Very recently, the internationally acclaimed writer and director and Sahitya Akademi award winner Mahesh Dattani offered his play ‘Sara’ in the capable hands of Azmi who is now staging it at Varanasi, creating ripples in the theatrical world. As single actress drama, Sara is getting thundering response in various parts of India. The obstructions, for which ‘Sara’ could not be staged for all these two years, are now deftly tackled by Azmi and Mahesh Dattani. She is now trying her best to popularize the drama. She has also performed in various theatre festivals all over India including ‘National Theatre Festival’, Nandikar, IPTA Theatre Festival, Prithvi Theatre Festival and overseas like Muscat, Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, Pakistan and London.
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