Who is Afshan Azad?
Afshan Azad is a British model and actor, best known for playing ‘Padma Patil’ in the ‘Harry Potter’ film franchise, debuting in ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.’ Afshan was born in Manchester, England, to parents of Bangladeshi descent. She is from a family of conservative Muslims. While she was still in school, some casting agents who were looking for young actors to play a few students in the ‘Harry Potter’ films went to her school. She auditioned and was selected to play ‘Padma Patil,’ an Indian girl in ‘Hogwarts School.’ Prior to her selection, ‘Padma’ was played by Sharon Sandhu. ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ released in 2005, and Afshan later reprised her role in the four ‘Harry Potter’ films that released after that. However, she did not gain a lot of attention and could not land meaty roles in other films. She also completed her studies while she appeared in ‘Harry Potter’ films. She eventually started her own ‘YouTube’ channel, which now has about 31 thousand subscribers. In 2011, she accused her older brother of physically assaulting her. He had apparently assaulted her when he had come to know that Afshan had a Hindu boyfriend. She was dragged by her hair and punched repeatedly in the face.
Childhood & Early Life
Afshan Azad was born on February 12, 1989, in Longsight, Manchester, England, to Abdul and Nilofar Azad. Her parents were South Asians whose ancestors had emigrated to England from Bangladesh. She was raised in a highly conservative Muslim family. She grew up with three brothers.
Following her primary education, she attended the ‘Whalley Range High School’ in Manchester. She was in high school and had never acted, nor had any stage experiences, before she attended her first film audition. A few casting agents arrived in her school to cast for the next ‘Harry Potter’ film, titled ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.’
Many kids appeared in the audition. Not interested in acting whatsoever, Afshan had auditioned just for fun. However, she ended up being selected to play the role of an Indian girl named ‘Padma Patil,’ a role that was previously played by Sharon Sandhu.
However, despite the film being a huge success, she did not aim to become an actor and continued her studies after her high-school education. She was academically good. She joined the ‘Xaverian College’ in Rusholme and studied AS-level chemistry, biology, English, and business studies.
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She made her acting debut playing ‘Padma Patil’ in the fourth film of the ‘Harry Potter’ film franchise, titled ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,’ which was released in 2005. The film series, which was hugely successful, was an adaptation of the famous fantasy book series written by J.K. Rowling.
Afshan’s character appeared as a date for ‘Ron Weasley,’ accompanying him to the ball. She was portrayed as the twin sister of ‘Parvati,’ Harry Potter’s date to the same ball. However, both ‘Harry’ and ‘Ron’ remained uninterested in their dates. ‘Padma’ was shown crushing on ‘Hermione’s date, ‘Viktor Krum.’ The film was a huge commercial and critical success, but due to Afshan’s small role, she did not gain enough attention.
She reprised her role yet again in the next instalment of the series, titled ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,’ which was released in 2007. Her character had matured a bit in the film. In this instalment, she was shown to be part of ‘Dumbledore’s army, along with her sister. She was also shown becoming a prefect for ‘Ravenclaw.’
The film was a huge success, and so were the next three instalments. In the last film of the franchise, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2,’ she was shown teaming up with ‘Harry,’ to take part in the “Battle of Hogwarts.”
All the films from the ‘Harry Potter’ film franchise were huge successes, and almost all the actors associated with the films ended up earning huge name and fame. However, Afshan’s career did not receive the expected head-start.
She currently runs her own ‘YouTube’ channel, named ‘Afshan Azad,’ which currently has more than 31 thousand subscribers. One of her videos, titled ‘Harry Potter Q&A,’ which has attracted more than a million views, happens to be the most-watched video on her channel.
She also models for a few beauty products and fashion houses.
Afshan Azad hails from a highly conservative Muslim family. In 2011, her older brother, Ashraf Azad, attacked her just because she was talking to her Hindu boyfriend. She was repeatedly punched in the face and dragged by her hair. She was also branded a prostitute and was subjected to verbal abuse.
In the court, she requested the judge not to imprison her brother. Meanwhile, her brother pleaded guilty. She was also called a prostitute by her parents. They had even talked about sending her back to Bangladesh and planned to arrange her marriage.
Family & Personal Life
In August 2018, Afshan Azad married Nabil Kazi.
She claimed that she was a huge fan of the ‘Harry Potter’ film franchise even before she had become part of the cast of the film.