Age __ 30
Plays __ Abdul Karim in Stephen Frears’ basedon-fact period drama Victoria & Abdul. Karim was an Indian clerk who befriended Queen Victoria (Judi Dench — again) and controversially became her teacher, or ‘Munshi’. “It was his confidence and innocence that really attracted me,” says Fazal.
Backstory __ “I broke my arm during a basketball match at boarding school and thought my life was over. Then a friend said, ‘Your English isn’t bad. They’re putting on The Tempest and there’s a cute girl playing Miranda. Why don’t you try out?’ That was the beginning of this disease.”
Early Roles __ “I started in Bollywood with a cameo in a movie called 3 Idiots , which was a hit. I did have a stint on Fast & Furious [as Safar in Furious 7], but it was a come-and-go thing.”
The Big Break __ “It was brave of them to come to India to [cast] someone. But it was a long, traumatising process. I mean, I love him to death now — he’s my guru — but during my audition Stephen Frears had the Delhi belly. He was sprawled across this couch barely looking at me [laughs]. But I got the part a few weeks later.”
Hobbies __ “I still love playing basketball, but I also like to keep up with current affairs and political stuff — considering what’s happening in the world today and especially in my country.”
acting heroes __ “I grew up with Brando. He’s someone I almost think I might have hallucinated.”
Next up __ “There’s something I might be doing with Amazon, but I’m not allowed to say much on that, and I have two films lined up in India. As for Fast & Furious, you never know. I might return...”