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Entertainment Hollywood 31 Aug 2016 Harry Potter has bee ...

Harry Potter has been my biggest blessing: Afshan Azad

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NEHA JHA
Published Aug 31, 2016, 12:16 am IST
Updated Aug 31, 2016, 12:41 am IST
Years after the Harry Potter series ended, actress and model Afshan Azad is still remembered as Padma Patil, her character in the movies
Afshan Azad
 Afshan Azad

The name Padma Patil will certainly ring a bell for Harry Potter fans. Afshan Azad, the English model-actress of Bangladeshi descent who played the character of Padma Patil in the film series, will soon be seen at Hyderabad Comic Con, on   September 24 and 25, this year. The young actress will be taking part in sessions and signings.

Says the actress, “It’s such an honour for people to still appreciate and recognise me as Padma. Being a part of something so magical and successful has been the biggest blessing in my life. Harry Potter fans are the best fans, they’re so loyal and always supportive of everything we do.”

 

Afshan fondly reminisces about her time on the movie sets. “The whole experience was so memorable. The Yule Ball scene in Goblet of Fire had an incredible set and everyone was dressed up. Off the set too, I am in touch with most of the cast. Everyone is so busy these days, but thanks to social media, I check up on them now and again, and when everyone is in the same country, we always try to make time to visit one another.”

The actress has not been seen on the silver screen since the series ended and admits, “For the past few years, I have been spending time with my family and friends. I’ve been travelling; eating a lot of food and generally loving life back at home in Manchester.”

So has she read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child or attended the play? Says Afshan, “I’ve got the book, however, I haven’t had the time to read it yet. Hopefully, I’ll be going to see the play soon!”

Asked if she ever felt discriminated against in Hollywood, the actress says honestly, “After filming Potter, auditioning wasn’t so easy, being a Muslim Asian girl. Roles weren’t always readily available and it was disheartening to see how devalued Asian people were within the media. It was also one of the reasons why I moved away from acting. However, I am now seeing a huge rise in Asians within the media. I just hope it stays like this always.”

Afshan is looking forward to her Hyderabad visit next month. “It’s been a lifelong dream to visit India! I am super excited to be visiting Hyderabad and being a part of this year’s Comic Con. I don’t have anything planned as yet, but I really want to experience Indian culture and food, so hopefully, someone out there can show me the best places.”

So which character would she cosplay at Comic Con, Hyderabad? Afshan laughs, “There are so many cool characters, I just can’t choose. Can I be Khaleesi from Game of Thrones? She’s hot and I just want an excuse to wear her gowns!”

As for her future plans, the model-actress says, “I’d love to go into presenting and being in front of the camera in a different way, let’s see what the future brings!”

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