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Ali Fazal

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Ali Fazal
Ali Fazal looking away from camera
Fazal in 2017
Born (1986-10-15) 15 October 1986 (age 37)
Alma materSt. Xavier's College (Economics)
Years active2008–present
WorksFull list
(m. 2022)

Ali Fazal (born 15 October 1986[2]) is an Indian actor who works primarily in Hindi and English films and series. He made his screen debut with a small role in the English film The Other End of the Line (2008) before appearing in the American television miniseries Bollywood Hero (2009).[3] He had his first Hindi film release with a supporting role in 3 Idiots (2009), and went on to star in Always Kabhi Kabhi (2011), Baat Ban Gayi (2013), and Bobby Jasoos (2014).

Greater success came for his roles in the comedies Fukrey (2013), Happy Bhag Jayegi (2016), Fukrey Returns (2017), as he expanded to international cinema with a small role in Furious 7 (2015) and a starring role as Abdul Karim in Victoria & Abdul (2017).[4][5] He has since starred in the Amazon Prime Video crime thriller series Mirzapur (2018–present), and in the Hollywood films Death on the Nile (2022) and Kandahar (2023).

Early life


Ali Fazal was born in Sir Gangaram Hospital, Delhi, and grew up in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.[6] For a very brief period, he went to International Indian School, Dammam. He also went to La Martiniere College in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, and then moved to the all-boys boarding school, The Doon School in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.[7] At Doon, he took up acting and participated in many Founder's Day theatre productions. He is said to have "found his calling" when he played the role of Trinculo, the jester in William Shakespeare's The Tempest.[8][6] After Doon, Fazal went to Mumbai and graduated in economics from St. Xavier's College.[9]



2008–2011: Early work


Fazal appeared in a small role in the James Dodson-directed romantic comedy film The Other End of the Line (2008).[10] The film was a critical and commercial failure.[11][12] He next appeared in the American television miniseries Bollywood Hero (2009) where he portrayed the role of Monty Kapoor.[10] During his second year of college, Saeed Akhtar Mirza saw him in a play and picked him for the lead of erotic thriller Ek Tho Chance (2009), alongside Amrita Arora and Saurabh Shukla.[6] The film focused on the realities and comedies inherent in life in Mumbai. The film premiered at the 14th International Film Festival of Kerala.[13]

Ali Fazal looking at the camera
Fazal at a promotional event for Always Kabhi Kabhi, 2011

The same year, Fazal made his Bollywood film debut with Rajkumar Hirani's National Film Award-winning 3 Idiots, a film loosely based on the novel Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat.[14] He was doing a theatre play at Prithvi Theatre in Juhu, when a person from the film's production unit noticed him and referred him to Hirani.[9][15] Co-starring alongside Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R. Madhavan, and Sharman Joshi, Fazal played the role of an engineering student, Joy Lobo. The film received critical acclaim and emerged as the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time up until then, grossing 3,920 million (US$47 million) worldwide.[16]

In 2011, Fazal was picked up by Shah Rukh Khan's production house, Red Chillies Entertainment for the Roshan Abbas–directed romance film Always Kabhi Kabhi.[17] Appearing opposite Giselli Monteiro, Fazal plays the role of Sameer Khanna and had to lose 15 kilos for the role.[15] The film received negative response from the critics and was a box-office failure.[18] While Komal Nahta of Koimoi said Fazal acted reasonably well,[19] Gaurav Malani from The Times of India picked him as best in the cast.[20] Later in an interview, Fazal said that doing the film was not a good decision.[21]

2013–present: Career progression


Fazal's first release in 2013 was in a coming-of-age comedy film Fukrey, in which he portrayed the role of Zafar, a struggling musician.[22] The film along with his performance received mixed responses from critics. Nishi Tiwari from Rediff.com said he wore a "dazed expression" throughout the film,[23] and Saibal Chatterjee from NDTV felt his role was "underwritten".[24]

The same year, Fazal appeared in the romantic comedy film Baat Bann Gayi, which was considered a parody of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.[7] He portrayed the dual roles of Kabir, a successful novelist from Singapore, and Rasiya Bihari, a local don.[25] The film met with negative reactions from critics and failed at the box office, though Fazal was praised for his acting.[18] Faheem Ruhani from India Today considered him an upcoming talent to "watch out for",[26] while The Times of India affirmed he is "standing out" from the cast.[27]

In 2014, Fazal appeared in a supporting role opposite Vidya Balan in the comedy-drama Bobby Jasoos. Initially, Fazal refused the role since he felt he had "nothing much to do in it", but later agreed because of the "unusual romance" between him and Balan.[28] Fazal's role as Tasawur, a popular local TV anchor who helps a Hyderabadi woman who aspires to be a detective (played by Balan), was well received. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama described Fazal as a "complete revelation": "Although pitted against a powerhouse performer like Vidya, Ali makes his presence felt with a wonderful performance".[29]

The same year he appeared in the film Sonali Cable opposite Rhea Chakraborty, where he portrayed the role of Raghu. Fazal did his first on-screen intimate scene for a song in the film along with Chakraborty.[30] His acting received mixed response from critics, where many criticised him for "recent stereotyped roles".[31] Mohar Basu from Koimoi commented, "Ali Fazal is not even close to what he is capable of. The actor has good potential and this film fails to unleash it",[32] though Renuka Vyavahare of The Times of India felt he was "likeable in his character".[33] Both films received mixed to negative response from critics and were declared to be box office flops.[18]

Fazal next took the lead role in the psychological horror thriller Khamoshiyan (2015).[34] He portrayed the role of Kabir, an alcoholic novelist, whose failed career and relationship forced him to move to Kashmir in search of an inspirational story. The film was a critical failure, though Fazal's performance was well received. Bollywood Hungama said: "He has a wide range of emotions that effortlessly inhabit his face".[35] The Hindu critic Arjun Kumar described him as a "natural performer with effective screen presence".[36] Reportedly, Fazal was offered a role in the American political thriller television series Homeland, but he had to reject the offer since he had already commenced shooting for Khamoshiyan and ultimately the role went to Nimrat Kaur.[37][38]

Fazal made his Hollywood film debut with a special appearance in the action film Furious 7, the seventh instalment in The Fast and the Furious film series.[39] In the film review, The Hindu wrote: "Ali Fazal turns up in a fleeting cameo and before we could breathe in his presence he is ejected out of the scenery".[40] Fazal said that he had only three scenes, but Subhash K. Jha from Bollywood Hungama considered those scenes "delightful". But it must be considered as a part of the story in furious as the friend of Ramsey.[41][42]

Fazal was next seen in an Indo-American film, For Here Or To Go? which revolves around two Indian immigrants who find it difficult to build a successful life away from home. The film was played at many international film festivals.[43] That same year, Fazal played the leading role in the Yash Raj Films youth studio Y-Films web series Bang Baaja Baaraat.[44]

In 2016 Fazal played in Anand L. Rai's Happy Bhag Jayegi opposite Abhay Deol and Diana Penty. The film was a critical and commercial success.[45] Fazal featured alongside Kalki Koechlin, in Soni Razdan's Love Affair, a fictionalised version of the 1959 Nanavati murder case.[46][47] In addition, he has committed to star opposite Shriya Saran in Prakash Raj's romantic comedy Tadka.[48]

In 2017, Fazal appeared in the sequel Fukrey Returns. He also starred in the British-American film Victoria & Abdul, which depicts the relationship of Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and her confidant, Indian servant Abdul Karim.

In 2018, he appeared in the spin-off Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi and played Guddu Pandit in the web series Mirzapur.

In 2019, he was cast in Milan Talkies, Prassthanam, and Netflix film House Arrest.

In 2020 he continued his role of Guddu Pandit in Mirzapur season 2. He has also been cast in the film Death on the Nile as Andrew Katchadouriaan, a film based on Agatha Christie's novel of the same name.

In 2021 he turned producer. He started his own film production company named Pushing Buttons Studios with Richa Chadha.[49][50]

Personal life


A practising Muslim, Fazal performed the Umrah pilgrimage in January 2022. He shared his journey to Mecca and Medina on Instagram.[51]

Fazal had been in a relationship with Richa Chadha, though their marriage plans had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[52] On 23 September 2022, he and Chadha announced their impending marriage and said that the ceremony would be eco-friendly.[53] On 4 October 2022, they married in a ceremony in Lucknow.[54] The couple welcomed their first child, a baby girl, on 16 July 2024.

On 17 June 2020, Fazal's mother died[55] due to health complications in Lucknow. Ali Fazal's grandfather died on Saturday 24 April 2021.[56]

Other work and media image

Ali Fazal looking walking on a stage
Fazal walking the ramp at Lakme Fashion Week, 2015

In February 2015, Fazal joined a Cancerthon organised by NDTV and Fortis to create awareness about cancer and raise funds for children battling the disease. He has though now[when?] left the work.[57] Along with Tochi Raina, Fazal participated in a musical concert to raise funds for victims of the earthquake in Nepal.[58] In 2014, Fazal made an entry in The Times of India's listing of the "Most Desirable Man".[59] In 2019 Power Brands honoured Fazal with “Power Brand: Industry Trendsetter” at BFJA (Bollywood Film Journalist's Awards).[60]




Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role(s) Notes Ref.
2008 The Other End of the Line Vij [12]
2009 3 Idiots Joy Lobo [61]
Ek Tho Chance Smridh [6]
2011 Always Kabhi Kabhi Sameer "Sam" Khanna [62]
2013 Fukrey Zafar [63]
Baat Ban Gayi Kabir / Rasiya Bihari [64]
2014 Bobby Jasoos Tasawur Sheikh [65]
Sonali Cable Raghu [66]
2015 Khamoshiyan Kabir Walia [67]
For Here Or To Go? Vivek Pandit Indian-American film [43]
Furious 7 Safar Hollywood film [69]
2016 Xuanzang Jayaram Chinese film
Happy Bhag Jayegi Guddu [71]
2017 Love Affair Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati [47]
Fukrey Returns Zafar [72]
Victoria & Abdul Abdul Karim English film [48]
2018 Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi Guddu [73]
2019 Milan Talkies Annu [74]
Prassthanam Ayushmann Singh [75]
House Arrest Karan [76]
2022 Death on the Nile Andrew Katchadourian Hollywood film
Tadka Siddharth
2023 Kandahar Kahil Hollywood film [77]
Fukrey 3 Zafar Cameo [78]
Khufiya Ravi Mohan [79]
TBA Thug Life TBA Tamil film; filming [81]


Year Title Role(s) Platform Notes Ref(s)
2009 Bollywood Hero Monty Kapoor IFC 3 episodes
2015 Bang Baaja Baaraat Pawan Y-Films 5 episodes [82]
2016 Sex Chat with Pappu & Papa Himself Episode: "Pregnancy"
2018–present Mirzapur Govind 'Guddu' Pandit Amazon Prime Video 29 episodes [83]
2019 Mind the Malhotras Himself Episode: "He Says, She Says" [84]
2020 Forbidden Love Dev ZEE5 Episode: "Arranged Marriage" [85]
2021 Ray Ipsit Nair Netflix Episode: "Forget Me Not" [86]
Call My Agent: Bollywood Himself Episode 5
2024 Solo Leveling Song Chi-yul Crunchyroll Voice, Hindi dub [87]

Short films

Year Title Role(s) Notes Ref(s)
2010 Sleeping Awake Un­known
2012 According To Plan A Abhi [citation needed]
2015 Cheers Himself [88]
2017 Triyacharitra Ajay Rawat
2020 Listen to Her Husband
2021 Prince Innerwear Un­known
2022 The Astronaut and His Parrot TBA [89]

Music videos

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2016 "Pyaar Manga Hai" Un­known [90]
2020 "Aaj Bhi" Un­known [91]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref(s)
2017 Hamptons International Film Festival Variety 10 Actors to Watch Won [citation needed]
2021 Indian Television Academy Awards Best Actor – Web Series Mirzapur Nominated
Filmfare OTT Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated [92]


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