It is a huge feat for any actor to be cast in a Hollywood film. But when the film is a globally loved franchise like Harry Potter, the excitement is palpable. As a result when Shefali Chowdhury and Afshan Azad made their debut as the Patil sisters in Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire, not just the actors but the film’s Indian fans too were over the moon.
Shefali Chowdhury and Afshan Azad were perfectly and prominently introduced in the Harry Potter franchise during the Yule Ball in The Goblet of Fire. While one of the Patil sisters was Triwizard Champion Harry Potter’s (played by Daniel Radcliffe) dance partner, the other was Harry’s best friend, Ron Weasley’s (played by Rupert Grint) partner.
Over the years several fans and aspiring actors have wondered how Shefali Chowdhury and Afshan Azad would have made it to the Harry Potter franchise. Well, the girls had opened up about the same in an interview to BBC way back in 2005.
Shefali Chowdhary revealed that she was already a fan of the series when she got to know that the makers are looking for actors from India. “It all came about when the casting agents were going round some schools in my area looking for some people to go to the auditions. I had just got out of an exam and I thought that I had done really badly in the exam, and I was in a bad mood and my teacher was waving my name at me on a sheet of paper with all these other girls. She said someone came looking for two twins for the Harry Potter books to be in the film – are you interested? And I was like yeah! I went to the first audition and I thought OK there’s a lot of girls here, I don’t know if I’ve got a chance, but there’s nothing to lose, so I just went for it. Then I got a call about a week later, maybe more, saying that I was through to the next round, so I was OK I’ve got a chance now. I was really getting excited, and they just kept calling back after each audition until me and Afshan auditioned together with Mike Newell the director, then we got a call back saying that we both had got it – that was it really.”
Opening up about her side of the story, Afshan Azad said, “In the morning (at school) we have notices and we had a notice that our form tutors just reads out. And I remember just sitting there and my teacher was going through all the activities that were going on today and it was really boring. Then she said that casting agents were coming to our school to look for two Asian twins to take part in the Harry Potter films and everyone just started laughing. I went to an all-girls school and so everyone wanted to take part and we said: ‘Oh let’s go!’ So I and a friend had read the book, and we thought we’re never going to get in but we’re not going to lose anything. So we sent in after school and saw all the girls lining up and they were all looking after themselves, all combing their hair, putting make-up on. I literally thought I didn’t have a chance, so I just went in as myself you know, smiled a bit and out of my group of five I was the only one that got through to the next round. So my friends were like: ‘Oh my God maybe you’ve got a chance’ and I said: ‘No way – this is Harry Potter, a person like me wouldn’t get into Harry Potter!’ But then little did I know that I’d get called back day after day, week after week and, like Shefali said, I got put with Shefali in the last audition with Mike Newell and it all started from there really.”
Shefali Chowdhury and Afshan Azad were a part of 5 Harry Potter films including the 2 part finale. Meanwhile, for the unversed, the Harry Potter series concluded in 2013 and is one of the most loved films all over the world.
Well, that certainly is a huge feat achieved by both the actresses!