'I am not just a hot face'

'I am not just a hot face'

Ali Zafar tells us why he wants to be known more for his talent than his body
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'I am not just a hot face'

An incredible package of looks, good acting chops and great singing skills, Ali Zafar is a complete package. He may be still known in Bollywood for the delightful comedy Tere Bin Laden but he did stand out in the Katrina-Imran starrer 'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan' last year. Now he is back with yet another comedy 'Chashme Baddoor' in which he reprises veteran actor Farooque Sheikh's immortal role! Clearly comedy seems to be his forte but off screen, this versatile artiste is quite serious!

What's different about this remake of the cult classic 'Chashme Baddoor'?
The remake gives a modern twist to the classic. The script is exceptional; it's an amazing film just like the original.

How did you interpret your role differently from that of Farooque Sheikh in the original?
As an artiste and a fan, the only way I could be true to the project was to be true to myself. I played Farooque to the best of my ability and hopefully, fans will like it.

What was working with Siddharth and Divyendu Sharma like?
Simply, simply amazing! I couldn't have asked for better people to work with. Siddharth is a brilliant guy and so is Divyendu. Their comic timing is excellent and we gelled well.

You are considered one of the hottest faces in Bollywood. Do you think the competition has increased now?
Oh goodness! I hope I'm not perceived as just a hot face in the industry. I'm here to showcase my talent. Nevertheless, my Bollywood experience has been great. I've met some really impressive people and the dedication with which they make movies is fascinating.

Are there any particular directors or banners you want to work with?
It wouldn't be fair to pick just one. As an actor, I'm open to working with anyone who has good vision and great direction.

How does your son react when he sees you on television?
He is just too adorable! Whenever he sees a picture of me somewhere or notices me on television, he says, 'Look, that's daddy!' He doesn't know about the whole celebrity world yet and I'm happy just being his dad. (Smiles)

What's his favourite Bollywood song?
Well my household is very musically inclined so my son seems happy bouncing about whenever I pick up the guitar.

Could you share three things that the world doesn't know about you?
Only three? Let me start off by stating the one aspect that shocks everyone about my personality: I'm really quite laidback, not competitive or aggressive at all. Secondly, I love to have a regular night at home with my wife and son rather than go club hopping. And with great pride I can state that I'm still a fan of Dragon Ball Z (laughs)!

Every actor seems to be trying their hand at singing, has this increased the competition?
The competition has always been there but the opportunities have increased as well. Song and dance is an integral part of our cinema, so the more the merrier!

What's the latest on your music career?
I'm working on my fourth album, about which you will hear soon! I can't reveal much now.

What stresses you the most?
Strangely I don't get stressed about movies or music. I think this balance and harmony comes with being a parent. I like to stay close to my family, they help me relax.

What's the craziest thing a fan has done for you?
Well, there was a rather strange incident with a bear and a bunch of roses outside a hotel in London (laughs)! I am not saying anything more, keep guessing!

What's the sweetest thing a fan has done for you and how did you react?
A young cancer patient made me a card when I visited a hospital; it meant a lot to me.

What's the nastiest rumour you've heard about yourself?
Well, there are all kinds of stories flying around but my wife and family take all that with a pinch of salt because they know the real me.

Do you have a bucket list?
Over the years, it has just come down to one thing: live life to the fullest and have no regrets. I deal with everything as and when it comes.

Is it a planned strategy to do a film a year?
Not really (laughs)! Nothing is truly planned in the industry as it is so unpredictable. You serve the art and wait to get lucky.

Who is your best critic?
My wife and my parents. They are brutally honest with me!

Are you scared of delivering flops?
Every project is a risk. You don't get scripts with success or failure written on them. You do your best and hope the audience receives it well.

Who's the one star who's always been in touch with you?
All of us try and keep in touch. It's usually at events like awards ceremonies that we get to catch up. It gets tough meeting up often as you know how busy work can get!

What advice would you give to men who dread getting married?
(Laughs) It's not as bad as it seems. It is that phase in your life where you can be blissfully happy if you allow yourself to be.