The pattern of Indian actors playing stereotypical Asian characters in Hollywood films seems to have changed now, says actor Ali Fazal, adding that they are being offered meatier roles now. “It is slowly opening up, although, we (Indian actors) are still finding our space there (in the West). Now, there doesn’t have to necessarily be a white man in the lead role. That’s the way forward. That’s diversity. It’s cool, if an Indian is playing the lead role in a Hollywood project and we should be proud of this,” says Fazal, who plays the lead role alongside Hollywood actor Judy Dench in British-American biographical film Victoria and Abdul.
However, the actor, who was played a cameo in Hollywood film Fast and Furious 7 (2015), says that he was never typecast in Hollywood. “I would be lying if I say that it (being typecast) doesn’t happen in Hollywood. But I did not face it because I entered with Fast and Furious 7, where I was playing an Arab. I was happy to not have an accent like Russell Peters so that everyone knows that the character is not American. People are not liking that (portrayal) any more and are not finding it funny.”
“I was offered to play an Italian part in an Italian film. Although I could not take it up because I did not have the time, the kind of characters being offered to us are changing,” adds the actor who was last seen in Happy Bhag Jayegi (2016) along side actors Diana Penty and Abhay Deol.
Although Fazal plays an Indian in his Hollywood film Victoria and Abdul, he shares that he had laid down some rules before taking up the role. “I told them that I will make it authentically Indian. I don’t want to name films, but there have been some which have only been geographically Indian, but otherwise are tailor-made for the Oscars,” he quips.
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