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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

In ‘Mirzapur’, I showed just a part of me

Second season of ‘Mirzapur’ on the drawing board

lucknow Updated: Dec 13, 2018 15:27 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Actor Ali Fazal
Actor Ali Fazal
         

From Bollywood to Hollywood, theatre and web-series, actor Ali Fazal has a finger in all pies. The ‘Fukrey’ star recently made waves with the release of his web-series Mirzapur. Having shot the series, a year back, he took a calculated risk for the content that he saw as having a great future.

“A lot people, including well-wishers in the industry, advised me not to do it. It was a big risk that I had taken but all my life, most things have been very risky. Like, sometimes I took up something just for the conviction of script. So, such risks we need to take in life and I am young, so I can experiment,” said the actor during a visit to his hometown, Lucknow.

Despite being confident about the content, he did not expect the hype that Mirzapur has generated. “Kuch zyada hi bhasad machh gayi hai (A lot of noise has been created about it),” he said in the style of his web-series character, Guddu bhaiya.

“Then I could foresee the future of web content because I am working in Hollywood. I am travelling in and out of India a lot and could see the effect of series on the international market. So, I was very sure. I knew it will not be too long before it takes over India. Many out here saw it coming after five years but it happened in no time. ‘Sacred Games’ became the game changer,” said the ‘Fast & Furious 7’ and ‘Victoria & Abdul’ actor.

They shot it in 2017 in Mirzapur, Bhadoi and Varanasi. “In three months, it was like shooting three films but at the end of the day it was all worth the patience. Now, we are excited as the audience is waiting for the second season and the story spectrum has also widened.”

A lot of comparisons were made with the hit series ‘The Sacred Games’. “More than The Sacred Games it got compared with ‘Narcos’ due to the crime, violence and the plots that we explored in ‘Mirzapur’. Interestingly, it was one of the most watched shows in and around Mexico which was very surprising. I thought the script was great and I had to work a lot on it. I have lot of sides to my acting and unless you don’t risk and show it, people will not see it. I showed a part of me and there is a lot inside me waiting to come out.”

He does not see web content impacting cinema. “It will only broaden cinema and make it better. After a highpoint, this web craze will settle down. There will be an audience which will also watch films, TV and even other entertainment media. The canvas will become bigger and at the end of the day all of us will coexist.”

He has two Hindi films coming up. “I am almost done with ‘Prasthanam’ with Baba (Sanjay Dutt). Tigmanshu Dhulia’s ‘Milan Talkies’ is also ready. We are preparing for the second season of Mirzapur. Then, there is a Hollywood film for which I will be travelling a lot but all that will be revealed soon. It’s a biopic something to do with the Iraq war.”

He is also making a directorial debut. “I am shooting my own short film that I am directing. It is a 10 minute web film that I have written and am making now. All I can say is that it’s a fun film and shortly we will talk about it.”

On coming to his hometown as brand ambassador of Smile Train India, he said, “I have come here for the good cause of ‘Muskaan’ campaign and the great thing is that we are able to see the difference. Many times events happen but remain restricted to discussions. Here, I can see changes being made and children born with cleft-lip being operated upon and going back with a smile.” He also unveiled the new campaign ‘Ek Nai Muskaan’.