Born with an innocent face, you believe TV and film actor Ali Asgar when he says he’s God’s child. Ali is best known as popular TV serial Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki’s Kamal Aggarwal. He has also essayed supporting roles in Hindi films such as Partner, Tees Maar Khan and Agneepath.
A part of the entertainment industry for the last 27 years, Ali says his dissatisfaction as an actor has kept him going. “In 1984, I stepped in the world of acting and am amongst the lucky ones who never went out of scene. I am God’s child and he has never kept me away from work,” smiles Ali, who was at Hotel JW Marriott on Friday to talk about his on-air show on TV, Jeannie Aur Juju.
Of late, the actor has been a part of numerous comedies. In 2007, he and Kashif Khan became the first champions of TV comedy reality show, Comedy Circus. Thereafter, Ali partnered with stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma in 2011 and won another reality show, Comedy Circus Ka Taansen on Sony TV. Asked why stand-up comedians aren’t respected much in India, Ali says they are to blame for their fate. “They don’t know how to market themselves. I am not one of those who would sell myself and go anywhere to perform, one has to maintain respect at an individual level,” he offers.
But, he says he now needs a break from reality shows. He tells us the reason, “One day, my son Niyaan and I were having dinner when my son asked if I knew anything other than disguising as a woman. I realised then, that if my own child wasn’t happy with what I was doing, I should start experimenting with my roles.” Calling himself ‘greedy’ for different roles, Ali adds that he feels lucky to have been asked to play Juju, a commercial pilot, in his latest serial. “I actually have a phobia of flying alone and here I am, playing a pilot,” he laughs.
About the rapid changes in the content, which the TV industry is witnessing, Ali isn’t too optimistic. “This change isn’t for the better. When I started out, actors were more satisfied with the amount of money being paid to them. Does anyone know that evergreen actor Dev Anand bought his first car after doing more than 11 films? But today’s breed would demand a vanity van, personal spot boys and more after doing just two episodes. There is only lust for stardom, that’s all,” he observes.
The character that is closest to Ali’s heart is the one he played on TV serial Itihaas, aired on DD National, called Suraj. “It was a very serious role. But serious roles are easy to play while comedy is difficult. Hindi film Bombay to Goa is real comedy.”