He was the perfect fit for Aamir Khan‘s 3 Idiots. However, when it came to making a transition to Shah Rukh Khan‘s Always Kabhi Kabhi, Ali Fazal had to really struggle and in the process lose it all. For the uninitiated, Ali is the same boy who played the memorable part of Joy Lobo in Hirani’s masterpiece.
“In Aamir’s film, Ali had a minor though important role to play. It’s his suicide that resulted in Aamir’s first serious confrontation with Boman Irani. Post 3 Idiots, Ali was recognised but no one ever looked at him as a hero material. This is the same time when auditions were taking place for Always Kabhi Kabhi. Someone referred Ali to director Roshan Abbas who was hosting the auditions”, says a unit member from Shah Rukh’s production team.
What followed next was a complete disaster as Ali walked in while carrying the same persona as that of Joy Lobo. It was apparent that he was still not out of his earlier mould and was severely under-prepared for the role of a leading man that he had to play in Always Kabhi Kabhi.
“Naturally, Roshan rejected Ali in a single go”, informs the source, “There was no way that he could have even continued with Ali. For his film Roshan wanted a boy who had to play the part of a school teenager. On the other hand, Joy was continuing with his rock star looks with flying locks, stubble and the works.”
He was pronto sent back but Roshan’s female assistants persisted with him to give Ali another chance. Resultantly, the first time director relented and summoned him again, only to brief him about the part and what he expected from him in their first formal audition.
“Though Ali did listen to him patiently, his body language didn’t seem promising enough for Roshan to wait longer. He continued his auditions with other youngsters and forgot all about Ali”, the source adds.
There was a miracle in store though with Ali going through a complete transformation two months down the line.
“The first thing that I noticed was that he had got rid of his stubble and locks. Thank goodness for that as we could at least talk now”, laughs Roshan when asked about the incident, “He had also lost 10 kgs and now looked like a dream. Of course he cleared his auditions after giving a good account of himself in both the looks as well as acting department.”
One wonders whether building muscles would be next in agenda for Ali after he moves from Aamir and Shah Rukh to Salman.