Pakistani actor-singer Ali Zafar says after his first Hindi film got good response, people of Pakistan realised that it was possible for artists from the neighbouring nation to make it big in India.
Ali made his acting debut in Hindi films in 2010 with 'Tere Bin Laden', which was a hit. He was later seen in 'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan', 'London, Paris, New York' and 'Chashme Baddoor'. "I think when my first film became a hit, people in Pakistan realised that it is possible to make it big in India.
There is a misconception that every woman wears a 'hijab' and every man keeps a beard in Pakistan. I always think that nothing is impossible," Ali said. "When it comes to India I have been welcomed here with open heart. I also get lot of appreciation for the work I do here in Hindi films," he said.
Ali disagrees that the industry favours only children of stars and not outsiders. "It has been an interesting journey for me. At times I wonder whether I am really acting in Hindi films. Considering that I didn't know anyone over here and more importantly, being from Pakistan there was nothing going in my favour.
I could only bank on my sincerity, talent and my hard work and I guess I have been pretty successful in doing that," Ali said. Ali has a 'no kissing clause' in his contract while he does Bollywood films. "I have a clause that I won't be kissing on screen.
In 'London Paris New York', kissing was essential in the film and so they got a body double to do it. I obviously think about what people are going to feel like back home (Pakistan) and what they are going to think," he said.
"She (wife) is very understanding. She sometimes comes down and joins me while I am here for my shoots. She likes my films... she loved me in 'London Paris New York'. My family has always been supportive of my acting career here," he said.
Ali has an interesting slate of films lined up for release this year, including 'Total Siyapaa' where he plays a Pakistani boy falling in love with an Indian girl, played by Yami Gautam. The film produced by Neeraj Pandey releases on March 7.
His next is YRF's 'Kill Dill' alongside Ranveer Singh, Govinda and Parineeti Chopra which is scheduled to release on September 5 and apparently he will make a cameo appearance in the sequel to 'Tere Bin Laden'.