Taking method acting to another level, seasoned Indian actress Shabana Azmi chose to travel by Mumbai local train to get first-hand experience of how it feels to be a commuter in a jam-packed compartment on a weekday afternoon. She was preparing for her upcoming movie titled Chalk n Duster in which she plays a school teacher.

Shabana Azmi, along with her entourage traveled from Andheri to Virar to get a feel of the daily grind that the common man in Mumbai has to come across while travelling to their workplace. She wanted to understand the life of a middle-class teacher, who has to endure pain and struggle, on a daily basis.

Not only did Ms Azmi travel in the general coach, she also got in a heart-to-heart chat with a few fellow commuters.

She said it made her aware of what working people, particularly teachers, have to go through. The actress who has appeared in acclaimed award winning films such as Mahesh Bhatt's Arth, Shashi Kapoor's Junoon, Shyam Benegal's Mandi, and Deepa Mehta's Fire among others has always been known for the realistic on-screen portrayal of characters. Ms Azmi is a nationally and internationally recognised actress who enjoys wide appreciation from niche film audience.

Produced on Subhash Singh, Chalk n Duster is written by Ranjeev Varma and directed by Jayant Gilatar. The music is composed by Sandesh Shandilya while the lyrics for the film are penned by Javed Akhtar.

The film Chalk n Duster also features Juhi Chawla, Zarina Wahab, Divya Dutta, Anupam Kher and Jackie Shroff.

The film is about teachers and increasing commercialisation of education systems across the globe. Shabana Azmi will also be seen in Sanjay Gupta directed Jazbaa, which also stars Aishwarya Rai and Irrfan Khan.

Ms Azmi is the daughter of acclaimed poet Kaifi Azmi and theatre artist Shaukat Azmi, who has worked in a number of Indian and internationally produced films. Married to acclaim poet and writer Javed Akhtar, Shabana has been an active participant of social work for children and underprivileged people living in the shanties in Mumbai.