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5 ways in which Ali Fazal has set new benchmarks for Indian actors in Hollywood

As Ali Fazal rings in his 34th birthday today, here’s taking a look at his achievements that are creating history for Indian artistes in the West.



Ali Fazal

Ali Fazal is easily one of the most prominent Indian faces in Hollywood. The actor after a start in a cameo in Furious 7 quickly gained popularity as he landed Victoria And Abdul alongside Dame Judi Dench. With his next international release Death on the Nile around the corner, the actor has already been roped in for the lead part of Code Name Johnny Walker, based on the bestseller by the same name. As the actor rings in his 34th birthday today, here’s taking a look at his achievements that are creating history for Indian artistes in the West.

1) One of the youngest Indian Academy Members

Fazal was one of the youngest members of the Academy from India. In 2018, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has extended an invitation to 928 artists to be part of the Oscars membership. Fazal was the youngest Indian on the list that year alongside Shah Rukh Khan, Tabu, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit amongst others. In an interview, talking about it, Fazal said, “I feel exhilarated, honoured and humbled to be included in that list of beautiful people. Cinema is the key to unite people from all over the world. The academy is a standing example of that and I hope I serve well in the forthcoming years of entertainment.”

2) First Indian to land a titular role in an international film

With the conversation around lack of representation intensifying in the West, it was a landmark move for the makers of Victoria and Abdul to cast Ali in a titular role for the film. It was a first for any Indian actor. Ali had remarked in an interview that the sheer representation opened doors for writers to look at talent in India. He had said in an interview during the promotions, “With Victoria and Abdul, we finally broke the stigma around an Indian artist to get a lead role in a Hollywood movie. Indian cinema is out there now, on the world stage.”

3) First Indian to bag a biopic in the west

Codename Johnny Walker, his next, is written by Alan Wenkus former writer of famed chat series – The Tonight Show and Straight Outta Compton, for which he got an Academy Nomination. It is the first time that an Indian artiste will be playing the lead in a biopic.

4) Surrounded by legends

The one solid yardstick of Ali’s success is the fact that the actor has been surrounded by great talents throughout his career in the West. From working with the Academy Award winning actress Judi Dench and the Academy nominee Stephen Frears in Victoria and Abdul to working with the talented Kenneth Branagh (who has multiple Academy Nominations to his name) to even working with Wenkus, who has written the screenplay of his next, the actor keeps the company of great and aspires to better his craft everyday learning from the masters themselves!

5) Named as the top 10 actors to watch out for

In a 2017 yearly list close on the heels of Victoria and Abdul’s release, Ali was seen as one of the actors to watch out for by the popular Variety Magazine in the US. The actor was named alongside Timothée Chalamet,  Kiersey Clemons, Daveed Diggs, Kumail Nanjiani, Grace Van Patten amongst others. The past awardees of this honor have names like the Oscar winning actresses Lupita N’yongo and Viola Davis.