Though single at the moment, the Khamoshiyan actor is a die-hard romantic. In an interview, he open up about his Valentine's Day plans, his equation with Sapna Pabbi and the fact that he is overly critical of his own work!
Most of his performances are restrained and measured but in person, Ali Fazal talks nineteen to the dozen. An entertainer, there’s never a dull moment with the youngster. His last few outings may not have got him his due, but the actor is gung-ho about Khamoshiyan, which released yesterday and has him in the lead role. He talks about his film choices, being a part of the Hollywood film Fast And Furious 7 and more..
You play the lead role in Khamoshiyan, but Gurmeet Choudhary’s making his debut in it. Do you remember your own debut?
I do. And it was a couple of years ago. And I wish I had attended acting school. This is my learning process. I constantly pick Gurmeet’s (Choudhary) and Sapna’s (Pabbi) brains. I am the cheat here. For me, my co-actors are more important than me. I am more excited about them than they are about themselves. I have found a great friend in my co-star Sapna Pabbi. Our body language is different from the conventional lead pair.
Tell us about the character you play?
I play Kabeer, a writer. He is a lonely character and a bit of a drunk but something saves him. He is stuck in the wrong motel and a mysterious girl is there. The characters I played so far, be it in Fukrey or Bobby Jasoos were light-hearted, subtle and those of a good boy. So much so, I don’t think the Bhatts wanted me!
How closely do you associate with your films?
For me, the film ends on the morning of the release. I haven’t seen any of my films — I only see a glimpse of it at the premiere. Khamoshiyan I watched a lot, because it was dubbed. After a point, it became irritating watching myself.
You haven’t seen 3 Idiots?
No, I haven’t. But now I will watch it as enough time has passed and because I am barely there in the film.
Why don’t you watch your films?
Because I am very critical about myself. I was hailed for Fukrey, it was a big hit. However, I think it was my shittiest performance. I remember telling director Mrighdeep Lamba to cut all my dialogues and make me a mute, I would have had a better impact that way than what we did... though it worked for the film.
What do you look for in a role?
At the basic level, I should not get bored! The script matters, not just your role and screen time.
Recently, you were linked to your co-star Sapna...
(Laughs) That was because of a gig we did as part of the promotions. As I said, we are friends.
Are you seeing someone?
I wish I was. I am a romantic at heart, I love being in love. But I guess I have kind of kept it all for the film. I have been working the whole year, and no regrets. But this Valentine’s Day, I will be alone.
Which actor do you admire?
Sanjay Dutt, he is my all-time favourite. My heart goes out to him. I wrote him a letter the first time he went to jail, I don’t know if he got it or not. He’s my superstar. Salman Khan is Bhai, he is sweet. Shah Rukh Khan is the producer of my film Always Kabhi Kabhi. He is one of the most honest people in the industry.
Tell us about your role in Fast and Furious 7?
I can’t tell you about the role except that I don’t play an Indian, I have a heavy accent and wear atrangi clothes. I remember the first day of my shoot was the first day of the movie. It was Paul Walker’s birthday. I was excited because Kurt Russell was there. A lot of actors are making special appearances — Tony Jaa, Jason Statham, etc. Jason is the main villain and the only guy I didn’t meet. The last we shot for the film was in Abu Dhabi after Paul’s death. He had shot 60 per cent but you will see him in the remaining 40 per cent too. We were taken to this VFX room, like The Matrix, there was one chair, LED globes, 17 cameras, animation graphics etc, and a Paul puppet.
What’s your Indo-American film For Here Or To Go about?
It’s about an Indian techie in the Silicon Valley and how during the green card scam, several people were asked to go back home. He waited for long to be called back and when he got the green card, he refused to go and became a big entrepreneur in India.
If offered a big Bollywood film and a Hollywood project at the same time, which one would you pick?
I wouldn’t know my natural reaction at that time. I know the Homeland people had approached me and were asking for dates that I had allotted for Khamoshiyan. So there was no question of doing that.
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