The actor talks about his Hollywood debut, Fast & Furious 7...
Ali Fazal is one among the few lucky actors to grab his ticket to Hollywood. The 28-year old star, who made his Bollywood debut with a minimal appearance in 3 Idiots, will now be seen playing a pivotal role in Fast & Furious 7. Certainly one of the biggest Hollywood break he could have asked for. I got a chance to have an exclusive chat with this young champ, who not only revealed about his experience working in the West but also how he treasures sharing his scenes with the late Paul Walker. Read on to find out more...
You are among the few Bollywood celebs to grab a chance in Hollywood. How did you land a role in Fast & Furious 7?
It happened right before Bobby Jasoos started. I was up in the mountains trekking and I randomly get a call from my agent in America saying record something and send it across. So I sent it and within a week I was put through Fast & Furious 7. It was that sudden. But I am glad I got to shoot with Paul Walker. My scenes are only with him. Talking about my cameo, I can’t really disclose much but I can tell you that I am not playing an Indian and that required a lot of work. (Pauses) Oh! I wish I could tell you more but Universal will sue me! The problem is they have gone too hush-hush on it, mainly after Paul Walker’s death. But I think that’s not really working for them.
Having worked with a legendary director like James Wan, share something more about your experience.
I think professionally these guys were amazing. I have never worked with a team like this before. And like you said, James Wan is himself a legend. He has made The Conjuring, Insidious, Saw and suddenly he is coming up with Fast & Furious. So that was something which was quite an experience. Their action sequences, their technology, the way they think, execute is all so superior that I got to observe, learn and absorb a lot of things. They are brilliant!
Now that you have worked with a Hollywood franchise, how different is Hollywood from Bollywood?
See I don’t want to compare because we have a lot of good content in Bollywood. But the problem lies with the technology and that is something that you can’t really compare. Rather you have to accept the fact that we are 15-20years behind Hollywood, when it comes to technology. Let me give you an instance. In Fast & Furious 7, Paul Walker could only shoot about 60 percent of the film. So what happens to the rest of 40 percent? They can’t just discontinue his role because he is no more, right? So basically, Paul was brought back and I shot my scene without him but with him. They exploited all the gene therapy, graphics and animation to create Paul Walker which is on an all together another level. So it’ll be illogical to draw parallels with Hollywood.
Indian actors who try a hand at Hollywood are usually criticised for their blink-and-miss performance. What do you have to say on that?
Good you asked me this. See I’ll give you a straight example. In my own entry in Bollywood, I played a small role in 3 Idiots. It was my first film but it left an impact. What I am trying to say is Hollywood is a different industry all together. So we Indians go there, do our small part and come back. But the problem arrives when we come back and boast that it’s my film. I am not taking names but I am just saying; now that is wrong. I am accepting that I am doing a cameo and I am excited because I know what I did and I had the best time working with such a great team.
Do you plan to settle in Hollywood like how we have Frieda Pinto and Dev Patel?
No not really. I am open to it but Bollywood will always remain the first love of my life. I am here to stay and I am not going anywhere.
Any more Hollywood films aligned after Fast & Furious 7?
No. I haven’t signed any other film in Hollywood. I currently have two films in Bollywood; one with Pooja Bhatt and the other with Mahesh Bhatt.
Lastly, your favorite Hollywood stars?
Christain Bale, Al Pacino and Marlon Brando.
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