It’s been an eventful year for actor Ali Fazal. This year saw the actor take baby steps to carve his way in Hollywood, in the company of stalwarts like Judi Dench and Stephen Frears.
Ali also witnessed two extremities, which acting can demand – while he strolled down the royal garden and romanced the Queen in Victoria and Abdul, once he landed in India to shoot for his Bollywood flick Fukrey Returns, he was assigned the task to jump into Delhi’s filthy Yamuna.
“We needed a lot of guts to do that. It was a chaotic scene where 500 people were chasing four of us on that Delhi Bridge. It was a coordinated shoot where we all had to jump together,” recalls Ali about the scene, which also features prominently in the trailer.
In one of his earlier interviews Ali had remarked that in the first film, his character was the most boring part of the film. So has this been rectified in Fukrey Returns?
“Oh, totally. We have done so much in this film that we had no time to even think. I meant boring in the sense that I did not find my character very challenging as an actor. I am total opposite of that and I love comedy. I also have this stigma and perception that I am a very serious and subtle actor and sometimes I am over critical of myself,” he says.
The leap that Ali has taken in his career deserves to be lauded. After a small appearance in Furious 7, he bagged an opportunity to rub shoulders with Judi Dench in Victoria and Abdul. Ali has also managed two more Hollywood films that are scheduled to go on floors next year, one of them is a biopic he is tight lipped about.
“In Mumbai, I have a little respect, everybody knows me and I have a machinery of my own. As far as changing my base [to LA] is concerned, it will never be permanent. I have signed two more Hollywood films and I might be shooting for one in LA but for sure I won’t be moving to LA permanently. Hollywood is a great bonus to my life and career and I am very grateful to the powers that be for choosing me,” adds Ali.
He is also kicked about the buzz that Judi Dench might just be nominated for her 8th Oscar. He was recently in Santa Barbara to felicitate the revered actress for her lifetime achievements along with Jeff Bridges. “It will just be the proudest moment for me. I don’t think Judi’s Oscar is very far away.”
But Ali is equally peeved at the fact that Victoria and Abdul was panned in his home country. “We got a lot of flak for the film and it totally didn’t work for Indian audiences. It was more like — how dare you make a film about a boy who had a relationship with the biggest oppressor of the country?”
Ali was also in the news few days back about his cryptic tweet where in he mentioned about making his career first and then commenting on issues. He clarifies his stand on the same. “There was no cryptic meaning to it. It’s not just to do with one controversy. I remember we shot for Victoria and Abdul in Agra for three days and it was such an embarrassing experience because Bajrang Dal decided to ransack our set. They thought that we were celebrating Queen Victoria. People have become very sensitive out here. I don’t have a voice,” he says.
He also refrains from commenting on the ongoing Padmavati controversy stating that it does not deserve that much attention; after all it’s just a film.
Talking about his love life, the actor candidly admits that he is now in a happy space with Richa Chaddha. “I am very happy. It’s a relief to be able to not go around hiding it. She is a lovely person and we are friends first. I respect her a lot and am a big fan of her work,” signs off Ali.