Em­pire show­cases to­mor­row’s stars to­day

Empire (UK) - - PRE.VIEW - words DAN JOLIN por­trait VIBHOR YA­DAV

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 [2009], 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...”

Ali Fazal, pho­tographed ex­clu­sively for at the Min­istry Of New in Mum­bai, In­dia, on 3 July 2017.

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