Free Press Journal

Want to be part of diversity wave in Hollywood: Ali Fazal


“Furious 7” and “Victoria & Abdul” gave Ali Fazal a thrust into the world of international cinema. The actor, who had first starred in American TV series “Bollywood Hero” in 2009, says he wants to be a part of the diversity wave that is now taking Hollywood by storm. “Furious 7” saw him in a bit role, but the British drama “Victoria & Abdul” saw him play the lead one with veteran actor Judi Dench. What next?

 “I can’t talk about what is exactly next, but there are two projects that I am on board for. One is a biopic, a true story again,” Ali said, adding that “Victoria & Abdul” has not just opened up doors for him internationally, but in India too. “It’s weird how that works, but we have always looked up to Hollywood, so one person goes and suddenly they… Anyway,” the actor, stopping abruptly only to add, “I am very hopeful. I am very happy with the decisions I have made.”

“I have given up some big network TV shows very recently because even if it is Hollywood, it has to be the right stuff. As an Indian going there, you’re always scared of getting stereotyped. I have seen that happen before,” he said during a recent chat in Melbourne during a film festival.

He believes the castings are opening up now. “The diversity is happening in Hollywood and I want to be a part of it. It’s a really exciting time for everybody, not just actors,” added Ali, who is optimistic about the kind of content the web series space has brought along.

He will next be seen in a web series, the gritty drama “Mirzapur”. “It’s not Amazon’s answer to (Netflix’s) ‘Sacred Games’… It has to be the answer…The people will decide,” Ali said of the show, which he feels will stand out due to its outstanding cast and gripping story.

His upcoming slate of Bollywood films include the Hindi remake of the Telugu “Prasthaanam” and Tigmanshu Dhulia’s “Milan Talkies” — both set in Uttar Pradesh. Filmmaking is also something that is on Ali’s mind. He is penning a short film, which he calls an ode to his inspiration — the multi-faceted Guru Dutt — and will direct it too.

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