Ali Fazal has been part of seven films, a web series, a music video and two international projects, among other projects, in the past five years. His upcoming movie, which he is shooting for in London, UK, stars British actor Judi Dench.
“I like to mix things up,” says the Happy Bhag Jayegi (HBJ), adding that he is also “finally finding his place in Bollywood”. “People have told me that my potential hasn’t been tapped, but it comes down to whether a director trusts me,” he says.
Maintaining an image
Ali believes that Bollywood actors have a certain image. “For instance, Irrfan Khan did serious roles initially, and then starred in Piku (2015). Nawazuddin Siddiqui was seen in films such as Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) and Badlapur (2015), and then is doing a romantic comedy Freaky Ali,” he says.
London. Phone booth daala, Superhit Play - book of mormons, @candiceferre ke saath photo - Mast . M&M's ke saath tourist waali selfie - check!, clean night vision of VT look alike. What copycats ye log. Also one oriental man with shopping bags - check. Heading to ghanta Ghar yaani Big Ben today and river Thames jiska pronounciation kisi maikelaal ki majaal ho sahi bol jaaye?! Never.
The actor, however, is quick to add that he does not “fall into a category”, as he acts in all kinds of films. “This can confuse the audience. I never thought of it earlier. But, I am not interested in being typecast now,” says Ali. He goes on to say that he doesn’t “watch himself on screen”. “I get too critical. If I find too many flaws, I will quit. I ask my close friends to give me feedback,” he says.
Ali has been seen several multi-starrers - Fukrey (2013), Khamoshiyan (2015) and HBJ being some of them. However, he feels that having multiple actors in a movie does not reduce pressure. “You will stand out if you do your part well,” he says.
The road ahead
The actor is excited to work with Dench, and play the role of her lover. The film is based on Shrabani Basu’s book, Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closet Confidant. “I am preparing for the role, but I haven’t read the book as yet. Playing a real-life character is a challenge and a huge responsibility,” he says.
He is also glad that actors in the industry are realising that they can manage Hollywood and Bollywood movies at the same time. “I am glad to be on the wagon that is taking us to the next level,” says Ali, adding, “The market value of Hollywood movies is increasing. We need to pull up our socks.”
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