Ali Zafar is fast becoming Bollywood's hottest property and many are questioning and comparing him to the likes of Ajay Devgn and Aamir Khan in versatility. While the nation may be celebrating its award functions and talking about the Khans, here's a smart-alec who has talent that's diverse and beneficial. But does that mean it's time for a change? Come to think of it, yes. He may not yet be the newly appointed leading man in the B-town but he surely is in London Paris New York, a movie that he is sure will put his acting skills to test. In person he doesn't act. Then you ponder - 'But that's how he was onscreen'. In between our talk, Ali sports a huge not-too-fake-white smile and I suddenly understand why every woman I know (and teenage girls galore) are doolally for Zafar. Besides his acting talent, he is handsome but not threateningly so, boyish but not immature, and earnestly, unashamedly in touch with his feminine side. Yes, two teenage girls come from nowhere and want to click pictures with Ali Zafar and I had to do the honours.
Presenting you - Part 2 special on Ali Zafar's quest in Bollywood and his search for a better platform for actors and writers in Pakistan.
"Pakistan's stage humour is so fascinating"
Pakistan's stage humour is so fascinating that many people out here in India love it. People have seen so many plays from Pakistan on VHS tapes in the 1980s and 1990s. I don't intentionally try to bring out the humour but it naturally comes out. I do improvise on my comedy.
"When a society goes through tough times, like what we've done in Pakistan, then creativity naturally comes to the fore"
I do tend to write a script for a Bollywood movie but right now I rather focus my time on acting. Writing takes a lot of your time. But I feel that writers out in Pakistan should try a hand out here in Bollywood. There is a lack of infrastructure in Pakistan and thus the talent doesn't get recognition. When a society goes through tough times, like what we've done in Pakistan, then creativity naturally comes to the fore. Even the music reflects the sounds and lyrics of the society and politics.
"It'll take a few years for Pakistan to reach where it needs to in the entertainment sector"
There was a song that came out in Pakistan called 'Aaloo Ande'. It was a huge hit and it was based on Pakistani politics. There are great actors and actresses out there who need a base and that platform to showcase their work but it's not possible out there because it's not organised. Out here, everything is structured and so it makes sense to come here and show what you've got. It'll take a few years for Pakistan to reach where it needs to in the entertainment sector.
"Shrishti and Goldie are caring and treated me and my family like their own"
Shrishti Arya is extremely calm, kind and sweet to work with. She is caring and treated me and my family like her own. That is what makes all the difference. Even Goldie Behl. If I don't feel the right vibe of the people I don't sign the movie, no matter how big the producer is. It's not that it's going to be good for me. I think it's going to be bad for them. How can you work with someone with whom you don't get along? There should be much more than a professional relationship you share with your producers. I like to treat them as close friends, friends forever.
"Recently I loved watching Delhi Belly for its humour and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara"
Recently, I loved watching Delhi Belly for its humour and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara for its story. Then I liked A Wednesday, some scenes of Agneepath but not the entire movie. I am a big fan of the earlier one starring Mr. Bachchan. I've adored Munnabhai series and 3 Idiots. I've liked movies that give out a strong or a mellow message. It's good if the movies bring out that understanding amongst the youth and the elderly but it's not compulsory that it should give out a message. We don't make movies for that. We make movies for entertainment but somehow during writing and filming we do come across moments that touch the nationwide audience.
"I am playing Farooq Shaikh's role in the remake of Chashme Baddoor"
My next movie is Chashme Baddoor with David Dhawan. I loved the original one because of its simplicity. I am playing Farooq Shaikh's role and yes, I may be playing a shy guy for a change (laughs). He was simply superb in the original. I'd love to meet him someday. It's one of Sai Paranjpe's best directions.
Watch Promo: London Paris New York