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Last Updated 06.04.2020 | 8:52 PM IST
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“I thoroughly enjoyed reading script of London Paris New York” – Ali Zafar

Ali Zafar
No matter how big or small budget your movies are, it's the track record that counts. For starters, Ali Zafar has a 100% success rate at the box office. But I honestly feel it was his first movie that catapulted him in the big league of acting in Bollywood. Anyone less talented might be charged with veering towards overexposure, but Zafar has the ability to move seamlessly between genres, and there is the sense that, at 30 years old, he is seizing all opportunities, relishing the realisation that this hard-won success is his to enjoy. We met near the pool side facing the beautiful beach on a breezy and sunny weekend, almost late lunch time. I found Ali at a distance in his shorts and a white tee having his sun bath. Ali Zafar had an exuberant charm. He turns and looks at me, awkwardly gets up and rests his back on the white beachside chair as if that were the most natural and only way to say hello. There is a restless energy about him; he will chatter away, but then consider some answers carefully. Ali finds his way into roles by methodically reading and re-reading the script "until it just sort of settles into me, and it's almost like putting on a new skin every day," he says. This approach was challenged when he read London Paris New York and when I sat with him for a detailed chat on the movie, his singing, his future plans and why he always listens to his intuition. Much more in this exclusive Part 1 of a two part special with Ali Zafar.


"I am an artist at work and I am the happiest when I am working"
The acclaim and the recognition I've got in the Indian Film Industry is unbelievable but somehow nothing has gone over my head nor am I on cloud nine. It's just a mere perception I guess. I look at it this way - I've worked extremely hard since the age of eighteen as a portrait painter in a Hotel lobby. I didn't have enough money to make my own music album but over the years I saved some for the rainy day and after three years I made my first music video. It's been a long journey. My first album 'Huqa Paani' was released in 2004 and then 'Sajania' came. So it's been a fulfilling journey so far. My thought process doesn't allow me to measure success in terms of fame, fortune or money. I am an artist at work and I am the happiest when I am working. When you are appreciated for good work, that feeling is good.


"London Paris New York was a script that I thoroughly enjoyed reading"
It works both ways. Sometimes I choose the scripts and sometimes the scripts choose me. Scripts are the most important thing. Everything else falls in place. The production house does matter a lot. Today also, a lot of people know me by Mere Brother Ki Dulhan but the fact is people talk about my role in Tere Bin Laden too. So it works both ways as I said. London Paris New York was a script that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and I completely went into it.


Ali Zafar

Ali Zafar
No matter how big or small budget your movies are, it's the track record that counts. For starters, Ali Zafar has a 100% success rate at the box office. But I honestly feel it was his first movie that catapulted him in the big league of acting in Bollywood. Anyone less talented might be charged with veering towards overexposure, but Zafar has the ability to move seamlessly between genres, and there is the sense that, at 30 years old, he is seizing all opportunities, relishing the realisation that this hard-won success is his to enjoy. We met near the pool side facing the beautiful beach on a breezy and sunny weekend, almost late lunch time. I found Ali at a distance in his shorts and a white tee having his sun bath. Ali Zafar had an exuberant charm. He turns and looks at me, awkwardly gets up and rests his back on the white beachside chair as if that were the most natural and only way to say hello. There is a restless energy about him; he will chatter away, but then consider some answers carefully. Ali finds his way into roles by methodically reading and re-reading the script "until it just sort of settles into me, and it's almost like putting on a new skin every day," he says. This approach was challenged when he read London Paris New York and when I sat with him for a detailed chat on the movie, his singing, his future plans and why he always listens to his intuition. Much more in this exclusive Part 1 of a two part special with Ali Zafar.


"I am an artist at work and I am the happiest when I am working"
The acclaim and the recognition I've got in the Indian Film Industry is unbelievable but somehow nothing has gone over my head nor am I on cloud nine. It's just a mere perception I guess. I look at it this way - I've worked extremely hard since the age of eighteen as a portrait painter in a Hotel lobby. I didn't have enough money to make my own music album but over the years I saved some for the rainy day and after three years I made my first music video. It's been a long journey. My first album 'Huqa Paani' was released in 2004 and then 'Sajania' came. So it's been a fulfilling journey so far. My thought process doesn't allow me to measure success in terms of fame, fortune or money. I am an artist at work and I am the happiest when I am working. When you are appreciated for good work, that feeling is good.


"London Paris New York was a script that I thoroughly enjoyed reading"
It works both ways. Sometimes I choose the scripts and sometimes the scripts choose me. Scripts are the most important thing. Everything else falls in place. The production house does matter a lot. Today also, a lot of people know me by Mere Brother Ki Dulhan but the fact is people talk about my role in Tere Bin Laden too. So it works both ways as I said. London Paris New York was a script that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and I completely went into it.


Ali Zafar

"Aditi is serene and totally chilled out girl and she acts great too"
Aditi looks great, she acts great and she adds that freshness of 'not having seen her more on celluloid' and gives the audiences something new and something that they can't predict out of her. She is serene and totally chilled out. We kept singing songs on and off the sets.


"Indian movies are semi-musical I feel"
In international musicals or Broadway musicals as we call it, the actors sing themselves. That's what I've done in London Paris New York. I have composed and sung all the songs and that's why it'll look real. Indian movies are semi-musical I feel. In London Paris New York, songs crop up like characters. It's more realistic in its approach.


"I like New York for its buzz and energy"
I like New York for its buzz and energy and London comes the close second. But my look in the Paris section is pretty interesting. I play a guy called Nikhil who goes to London to study filmmaking. But as a character he thinks by keeping the French beard one tends to be a bit articulate in one's approach. Nikhil feels like that. I do sometimes keep the French beard (laughs).


"I do know the commerce of the industry and making money is important. But it's vital to make a good movie too"
I'd rather live by the day and enjoy the process and the journey than worry about what's my future in Bollywood. But I think you need to listen to your instincts. I know what's right and what's wrong. I go with my gut sometimes. I do know the commerce of the industry and making money is important. But it's vital to make a good movie too. I've come here for that. In the future, I do plan to work a lot here and carve a niche for myself. I think each one of us is here to do just that. I would want to work with good people too.


Watch this space for Part 2 of interview with Ali Zafar


Watch Promo: London Paris New York

More Pages: London Paris New York Box Office Collection , London Paris New York Movie Review

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