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YRF’s working culture is one of the finest: Ali Zafer

06 December, 2014

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Kill Dil is a YRF film. Can you tell us about the work culture?

YRF’s working culture is one of the finest that I have worked in. It was like a breeze. It was such a delightful experience and specially with a director like Shaad Ali who is not just a good director but a great human being. He has been one of the good friends I have made in the film industry. The kind of energy that he brings on sets is fabulous. I feel that the director is the captain of the ship and his way of putting everything in place and getting everyone together for such a big film was fantastic.

Are people saying that? I am not much aware of that kind of a buzz. Even if there is, I am not that kind of an actor. I am not an insecure actor. I am happy with my part in the film from what I had read in the script, it has come out beautifully. I have also personally asked people about the promos and all. People seem to have been also talking about my strikingly different looks and how my character is different in this film. But I am not aware of the fact as to whether Ranveer is getting all the hype in the promotional tactics.

Ali Zafar has been synonymous with a clean cut shaved look and sweet roles in romcoms, but here was a rough and rugged character. What all did you do to transform yourself into that?

I built a lot of muscle for this film. I wanted to look bulkier as it was an action flick. About my hair and my beard, Shaad just asked me to keep growing them as much as possible. He just asked me to let if flow and told me that we will check during the look tests if that works, else we would chop it off. Luckily it worked and I got a very different look in this film. About the dialect I had to be extra conscious as I didn’t want my refined Urdu accent to come in the way.

Your last few films didn’t do that well at the box office. As an actor do you feel that it’s your failure to appease the audiences or is it the director’s or the script’s fault that the movie didn’t earn big bucks?

Actually its everything put together. I have done five films and I guess three worked at the box office and two didn’t. So I do pass in that ratio as an actor. However, it is true that it depends on the whole project and everything involved in it to earn the big bucks. I know that I am not such a big star that I will have a massive opening weekend or something like that. Also, when you have a big production studio backing you, like in Kill Dil, it really helps for the project to do well and I sincerely hope that this film does that. These days it has become very difficult for a film to cut through the audiences just with their story and content. These days there are multiple releases on the same Friday and then there is another big film awaiting release the next Friday so the marketing and packaging of a film has started playing a big factor in how the film does busines

You have seen films in Pakistan and in India. How do you think these two countries are different when it comes to the creative space of making films?

India has an infrastructure that it has built over decades. Pakistan doesn’t have that. It has however started now. There is an immense lot of creative people in Pakistan, who have been time and again appreciated when they have displayed their skill set in India. All that potential needs to be just tapped and put into the right place.

What future projects are you working on?

I want to make a Pakistani film with Pakistani audiences in the mind. I am writing something and probably will be producing it as well. Apart from that I have not said yes to any other projects right now because there is only a particular size of a project that I am interested in now being a part of. As and when that comes by I would love to get associated with that. I don’t want to do films just for the sake of being busy, because I have my music as well to cater to. I want to go only certain kind of roles and give the rest of my time to other creative works.

So is there any new music album coming up?

Yes, next year I will be releasing another music album.

With Fawad Khan, you and others doing well in Bollywood, do you think Indian filmmakers are finally opening up to Pakistani actors playing the lead in a film?

When I did Tere Bin Laden, it was alien concept to have a Pakistani actor in the lead. I think all people associated with that film should be given full credit for opening up the gates for having such mutually benefiting creative space between the two neighbouring nations.

And what about Tere Bin Laden 2?

I couldn’t take up that project for some specific reasons, but everyone associated with the film are so dear to me that I had to agree to do a small part in the film. What I did in the film was special for both the makers and me.

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