Each actor has a different way of working. While some are impromptu in front of the camera, others take their time to prepare for a role.

Shabana Azmi, however, has a different viewpoint. She believes that actors should draw inspiration from the life they lead.

"An actor's life should be his or her resource base. The bandwidth required to inhabit the world of varied characters demands an actor to be on a constant journey to self-discovery. Actors should observe life and empathise with people," says the senior actor.

However, in the process of becoming a "star," Azmi feels one loses "contact with reality". "You must fight that. Kevin Spacey told me that he still takes the tube once in a while in New York (USA) just to prevent himself from becoming ossified," says Azmi.

Although the Neerja (2016) actor has won several awards time and again for her performances on screen, she still feels "good" to have her work appreciated.

Just like Manoj Bajpayee, Kay Kay Menon, Supriya Pathak and Pankaj Kapur, Azmi too is tagged as a 'parallel' actor. Citing a couple of examples, she says that the lines between parallel and commercial cinema are "diminishing" now.

"Rahul Dholakia, the director of Parzania (2005) is making a film with Shah Rukh Khan and his production company. Vikramaditya Motwane helmed Lootera (2013) with Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha, etc. This is the way it ought to be," she says.