Q&A WITH ALI FAZAL
Kenneth Branagh will soon be directing Ali Fazal in an adaptation of Death on the Nile, but the artist is still waiting for someone back home to give him his big chance
Q. After Victoria & Abdul, you took your time to sign your next international film…
V&A pushed me out of my comfort zone. I seek directors who can do that. I find directors in the West still take more risks. I am a big fan of Agatha Christie and Sir Kenneth Branagh. He’s a theatre guy who knows his Shakespeare. It’s not a typecast and that was my biggest buy. It’s a lead part.
Q. Do you feel Bollywood is utilising your talent well?
No. Anybody can cakewalk through movies like Fukrey. Yes, they are great films to be a part of, but I still haven’t found a director in India who’d take a chance on me. There’s a perception that Ali Fazal toh subtle acting karta hai, woh arty aur Angrezi type lagta hai. I am not those things. Somebody in Excel, though, did take that risk with Mirzapur.
Q. If you could bring back one thing from Hollywood, what would it be?
We need to pull our heads out of the ground and see what’s happening. Politics and art go hand in hand. Artists have always spoken up. It’s our responsibility as actors to not get mowed down by the higher powers. #MeToo became what it became in the West because artists took it upon themselves.
Q. You feel artists should take a stance?
What’s the point in being politically correct all the time? It’s our movies which are being watched by millions of people who are directly affected by the economy. I don’t think we should be scared. Yes, there can be repercussions and backlashes, but we are a strong bunch. ■
—with Suhani Singh