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

India Today - - CONTENTS -

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

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