“I am working hard at the gym to build my physique for the role,” says Ali, who has four films in hand. In a free-wheeling interview with CS, the actor talks about his Hangover-style vacation in the US, acting and the music culture in Pakistan.
Bonding with buddies
I have six very close friends from my college days. We got together at Miami after my concert and took a small vacation. It was an all-boys trip. In Miami, we chilled out at the beach and got tanned. In the evenings, we would hang out at the clubs that dot the seaside town. Then, we proceeded to New York, where we gorged on various cuisines. One of my friends knew all the good eateries in NYC, and he made sure that we had a super experience.
I don’t think I can categorise myself as a method or spontaneous actor. I would say that I believe in performing as per my director’s requirements. I am open to doing workshops if I am asked to and I am equally cool with the idea of getting my lines on the day of shoot. Being a thorough professional is very important for me, though. The good thing is that I am quite relaxed before the camera. And I don’t stress a lot about my scenes, co-stars, dialogues, etc, which helps me think creatively all the time. Anxiety and creativity don’t go together (laughs).
Yes, multi-tasking can be tough. Acting, composing, lyric writing and singing for London Paris New York was quite a task. I used to feel totally drained, at times. However, I have always loved challenges. The best part of being in a creative space is that work doesn’t seem like work (smiles). I would love to act, sing and compose in my future films as well. As of now, I am focusing to get out of my cute guy mould.
Music’s in the air
I think music is present in every Pakistani. It has something to do with the legacy of Sufi saints or maybe the philosophy of Hazrat Amir Khushro. You will find a singer or a music enthusiast in every family who lives in the Punjab province of Pakistan. I feel that singers have more freedom in Pakistan. Here in India, the aspiration of every singer is to become a successful playback singer. That’s not the case in Pakistan. Our film industry is quite small, so the singers are the real celebrities.