tv & movies

First of Many: Ali Fazal revisits Ek Tho Chance

This week's First of Many features Ali Fazal. In the 65th edition of our exclusive series, the actor talks about Ek Tho Chance.

Ali Fazal, who juggles Indian and international projects with equal ease, began his career on stage. He eventually switched to movies and web series, most notably Mirzapur.

But how did it all start? Here’s what Ali shared about the first time he faced the camera:

1. What was your first acting project? How did the project come to you?

I first faced the camera for an unreleased film by Saeed Akhtar Mirza called Ek Tho Chance. I don’t remember how he picked me and how that contact happened. Maybe it was through somebody who saw me in a play. But I do remember entering this room and meeting this larger-than-life person who looks a bit like Francis Ford Coppola. Though Ek Tho Chance never released, you’ll find its trailer on the internet.

2. What do you remember of your first day on set? 

The movie had three parallel stories. So I was the lead in one of the stories. I played this brash, rich young boy. It also starred Purab Kohli and Amrita Arora.

I was very nervous. It was a very dramatic shot. I’m this boy sitting on my bed and I take out a gun, and point it to my head. I had a dog around and so I was very aware about another living thing in the room. This was the set-up.

3. How was the rapport with your co-stars when you got to meet them again?

I was in touch with Amrita and others for a long time. I’m in touch with Saeed ji till date. He’s an amazing guy, who’s been one of my mentors.

When I say mentor, I truly mean it. I’ve never really had anybody to look up to. But once in a while, there’s someone who’s there to pull you away from the pressures of the world. Saeed ji and his wife Jennifer have been those people to me.

4. If given a chance to go back to your debut role, what would you like to change or do better?

Nothing. Maybe I’d like to change things in my first released film – Always Kabhi Kabhi.

5. One film or role that inspired you to become an actor?

I was obsessed with Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. The first story that I remember as a child was of an Italian family living in New York. Later, I realised it was Godfather. My mother told me this story when I was small, to send me to bed. Once I asked her why she told me Godfather’s story. She said that was her favourite too. So, it became one of the things that stayed with me. Dilip Kumar has also been a daunting figure. I was obsessed with Raj Kapoor’s Mera Naam Joker. I realised that it didn’t inspire me but when I became an actor by accident, I was actually copying that.

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