The young Ali Fazal is rapidly acquiring an international stature in Great Britain where he co-starred with, ahem, Dame Judi Dench in the well-received pseudo-historical Victoria & Abdul in 2017. Ali, who will next be seen in the Sanjay Dutt project Prasthanam, is now a pivotal part of the new Agatha Christie adaptation Death On The Nile. “I don’t know how these wonderful things are happening to me and my career. But they are. I leave for shooting in a few days. After that I will be in England for the next 75 days,” says Ali excitedly and tad nervously.
He can’t believe he will be working with some of the most distinguished names in the British and American film industry. “The director Kenneth Branagh is a legend. His Shakespearean adaptations are a testimony to his greatness. And now he’s directing an Agatha Christie adaptation. My mother and I have been Agatha Christie aficionados for as long as I can remember.”
Ali is dazzled by the array of his co-stars in the film. “There is the very happening Armie Hammer, Gal Gadot and Latitia Wright. And now I just heard the amazing Annette Bening has joined the cast. I can see myself having a blast. There’s so much to learn from these actors and technicians. I feel blessed.”
The best part of doing A Death On The Nile for Ali is his character’s colour blindness. “I’m not playing an Indian character. That for me is a big victory. To be an Indian actor and not being pigeon-holed….wow!”
Back home Ali has the Sanjay Dutt starrer Prasthanam and the web series Mirzapur’s second season on hand. “Prasthanam gave me a chance to work with Sanjay Dutt and Manisha Koirala, actors I’ve grown up watching and admiring. As for the second season of Mirzapur, I’ve already completed my work. But there’s time yet before it streams. Mirzapur got me a lot of attention.”
Ali has also quietly finished work on another OTT film. “It’s called House Arrest and it’s a dark comedy about a man who refuses to step out of his home for nine months. It’s not a thriller and it’s not a comedy in the normal sense. It’s hard to define. Shashanka Ghosh is the director, and I am curious to see how audiences react to it.”
As Ali prepares to fly out to London, he mulls over his lengthy separation from girlfriend Richa Chadda. “After a long time I met her at the screening of her film Article 375. She is busy with her career. I with mine. We don’t get to spend as much time together as we’d like.”