This hot Pakistani singer, composer, songwriter, painter and model hit Indian theatres with a bang in the film Tere Bin Laden a couple of years ago. Ali Zafar was nominated for several Best Debut Awards and has recently starred in the romantic film London Paris New York with Aditi Rao Hydari. Ali is going to be starring in the remake of Chashme Buddoor. Sailesh Ghelani caught up with this man of few words for a brief chat about his newfound stardom in India and his ‘family ties’ with actor Aamir Khan.
In my first interview with you when I worked at Filmfare magazine after Tere Bin Laden you had said, “I don’t want to take up just any movie. I want to be very sure.” What factors made you sure about London Paris New York?
I found it interesting and challenging to be a part of a story with just two people. I found the way it was written unique. It was experimental and I like going into an offbeat kind of a zone once in a while.
Aditi Rao Hydari (read her interview here) got to play three different types of characters in the film. How did your character Nikhil have to change in the three settings (apart from the French beard!) and what stayed the same about him?
I think his core remained the same, which was of a good-natured guy with some troubles.
Which avatar of Aditi’s did you like the most from the film?
The New York one.
Okay, so my reviewer said LPNY was ‘short, sweet and charming’. But when I watched the film I found an element of darkness in it. Did you?
Yes. Paris was meant to be particularly dark.
If she was such a ‘cock tease’ then why did your character run after her at the end?
Because he had a heart too.
You’ve acted brilliantly in LPNY by the way, and you’ve done the music too, and you paint and you sing. Not many Indian actors can do all that. Do you think they’ll be jealous?
Jealousy is an unnecessary emotion mostly. Avoidable.
There were reports that you refused to shoot lovemaking scenes in the film inspite of director Anu Menon’s requests. Hmmm… usually it’s the female actors that have a problem with this. Don’t you think, being an actor, you’re required to do scenes like this when relevant?
Yes, but one is a lot more than just an actor.
What’s your favourite Hindi film?
Three Idiots and the Munna Bhai series.
Your wife Ayesha is distantly related to Aamir Khan. What sort of advice or comments or discussions have you had with him, if any?
None as such. Met him just once recently on a flight and said hello. He said he had heard great things about Tere Bin Laden and we should catch up sometime. He was very nice.
I read somewhere that Imran Khan ‘doesn’t see eye-to-eye’ with you. Such rumours come with the territory but is there any truth to this one? If he feels that way, your response would be…
He’s a gem of a person and that day will never come, hopefully.
Creation is magical. You created music with Aditi (sang two tracks with her) and that must be so fulfilling. It’s one thing to just act but how does it make you feel when you’re so involved in your project? Does it go to your head sometimes that you’re so ‘great’!
You are just a source and a channel through which nature manifests its greatness.
What question would you ask Aditi Rao Hydari if you had to interview her?
(Read Aditi’s response in the comments section below)
What have you been upto in Mauritius?
The Chashme Buddoor remake. My next film.
Read more interviews here.