Ali Fazal

  • Actor

Oct 15, 1986  in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

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A theater enthusiast since school days, Ali Fazal is an Indian actor who made his acting debut with the 2008 romantic comedy The Other End of the Line, where he had a minor role. After making a special appearance in the movie, he made his Bollywood debut in the Rajkumar Hirani-directed 3 Idiots in 2009, where he played the role of Joy Lobo. However, the actor is best remembered for his performance in the coming-of-age comedy movie Fukrey.

Early Life
Hailing from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, Ali was born in a middle-class family on the 15 October, 1986. Ali spent most of his childhood with his maternal grandparents since his parents were separated while he was still a kid. His parents were legally divorced when Ali turned 18. He studied at The Doon School in Dehra Dun, where he played basketball for his school and aspired to represent India as a basketball played. However, he began participating in school plays and debates after he fractured his leg because of which he could not practice playing the sport. What started as a mere activity for passing his time soon became a choice of interest after he was chosen to play the part of Trinculo from the William Shakespeare play The Tempest. He then took up engineering to fulfill his parents` wish but ended up changing his stream to economics, to pursue which he moved to Mumbai and graduated in economics from St. Xavier`s College.

Personal Life
The actor has been dating a Delhi-based girl. In 2015, he tweeted that he proposed her to marry him. However, he has refused to give out his girlfriend`s name.

Acting Career
Ali developed a passion for theater and acting when he was much younger and still in school. He took his passion a step ahead by featuring in the James Dodson-directed romantic comedy The Other End of the Line in 2008, where he only did a cameo. The rom-com, co-starring Jesse Metcalfe, Shriya Saran and Anupam Kher, was a critical and commercial failure. He was then seen in the American miniseries Bollywood Hero in 2009, where he played the role of Monty Kapoor. He was spotted by Indian screenwriter and director Saeed Akhtar Mirza, who then cast Ali te lead role in the erotic thriller Ek Tho Chance in 2009, which co-starred Amrita Arora and Saurabh Shukla. Despite being premiered at the 14th International Film Festival of Kerala, the movie`s worldwide release has been delayed.

While performing at Prithvi Theatre in Juhu, Ali was spotted by a crew member of Rajkumar Hirani`s movie 3 Idiots, and then was referred to the director. He was then cast in a minor yet important role of Joy Lobo in the movie. The 2009 release, co-starring Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, and Sharman Joshi, went on to become one of Bollywood`s highest-grossing movies. After the success of 3 Idiots, he bagged a role opposite Giselli Monteiro in the Roshan Abbas-directed Always Kabhi Kabhi in 2011. Although the movie flopped at the box-office, Fazal`s performance was well-received by the critics.

Despite appearing in a few movies, Fazal gained popularity only after appearing in the Mrighdeep Singh Lamba-directed coming of age movie Fukrey in 2013. Although the movie opened to mixed reviews, Fazal considers Fukrey as a turning point in his career since he started receiving lead roles after the movie`s release. He was then seen in the parody of Shakespeare`s The Comedy of Errors, Baat Bann Gayi, where he played the dual role of a novelist and a local don. The movie opened to mainly negative reviews but earned the actor praise for his performance. The following year, Fazal was seen in a supporting role in the Vidya Balan-starrer Bobby Jasoos, where he plays the role of a TV anchor Tasawur who helps a local detective in cracking her case. Despite having a small role in the movie, the actor`s performance was well-received. He was then seen in Sonali Cable co-starring Rhea Chakraborty, where his acting received mixed response from the critics.

After failing to wow the critics, Fazal was next cast in Karan Darra`s psychological horror thriller Khamoshiyan in 2015 opposite Sapna Pabbi. He played the character of an alcoholic novelist who, after a failing career and relationship, moves to Kashmir. Since he had already started with shooting the movie, he had to let go of being a part of popular American political thriller television series Homeland. Making his Hollywood debut, the actor was seen in a special appearance in the action film Furious 7, where he had only but three scenes. Given the length of his role, the actor still considers working in the film an experience to remember for a lifetime. His next release For Here Or To Go? premiered at various international film festivals.

Apart from appearing in movies, Ali also appeared in the Y-Films produced web series Bang Baaja Baaraat opposite Angira Dhar in 2015, and also had a special appearance in another web series, Sex Chat with Pappu & Papa. In 2016, the actor was seen in the Aanand L. Rai-produced comedy drama Happy Bhag Jayegi, co-starring Diana Penty, Abhay Deol, and Jimmy Shergill. His other projects include the Kalki Koechlin-starrer Love Affair, based on the 1959 Nanavati murder case directed by Soni Razdan, and Prakash Raj`s romantic comedy Tadka co-starring Shriya Saran. He has also been cast in Stephen Frears` Victoria and Abdul where he plays the role of Abdul Karim, who is befriended by Queen Victoria, whose role is played by Judi Dench, during her reign. His 2019 release includes Prassthanam.