Ali Fazal Clarifies CAA Tweet as ‘Boycott Mirzapur 2’ Trends
Ali Fazal talks about showing patriarchal setups and violence in films and series, says it exists in India.
After the success of the first season of Mirzapur, the second season is all set to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on 23 October. The series is packed with action and twists and is bound to leave one on the edge of one's seat.
The Quint spoke with Ali Fazal about the second season of Mirzapur, the call for its 'boycott' on social media and more.
The Mirzapur actor also spoke about his international project Death on the Nile, where he plays Gal Gadot's cousin.
The first season of ‘Mirzapur’ got this amazing response. When you read the script for the second season, what were the first thoughts you had about it? Did the pressure of it doing so well in the first run ever occur to you?
Ali Fazal: You know you do feel like suddenly there are lesser people who are carrying the burden of all the performances, and especially because my teaming with Vikrant (Massey) was so strong in part one, that suddenly I felt a bit lonely. The emotions are huge, so the stakes are high. We’re all hoping that we manage to convey that.
Ever since the trailer came out we saw ‘Boycott Mirzapur 2’ trending, which was perhaps based on your tweet posted earlier when the CAA protests were happening…
Ali Fazal: I have never been able to clarify that, it’s so sad. Even though it’s not something that should affect me, this little trolling that happens because there are so many fake accounts, so it’s almost like it’s a template that runs for this particular stipulated period of time. But at the time it was the wrong usage of my words or rather the wrong interpretation. At that time there were people, the youth of our country, they were outside. Things like these don’t happen. We don’t come together. Our country hasn’t seen people come together, and reading the Constitution of our nation together and in that little moment, I had written the post.
You’ve basically spoken about how violence was shown in the series and expressed your concerns. Did this time you have a conversation about how it’s being shown? Sometimes it’s done for the reaction of it but in ‘Mirzapur’ it’s a part of the storyline and the characters.
Ali Fazal: Oh but I always ask. I am always that one actor who will question it and that’s fine because I have to know… not to test somebody but sometimes I might not see the world where it’s coming from or I might not see the reason for it. For instance, when the first season came out, somebody wrote saying you have shown the world well but not as much as is prevalent. There are patriarchal setups. And in a lot of areas in our country it still exists, and we know about it and when you show that then people ask questions about why you showed it. We are showing it because it exists and we are trying to empower these characters and break those thresholds that they are living with.
I want to congratulate you for the projects that are coming your way on the international front too. There are announcements after announcements, getting us excited. What can you tell us about ‘Death on the Nile’ and what was it like being on the set? We saw pictures of you in a boat with all these actors.
Ali Fazal: Yeah, that on the boat ride when all of us were going to the ship and I can tell that because in the book is there and it’s not a revelation. It was amazing because I never expected a part like this to come my way because it was played by George Kennedy at the time when the first movie was made. It was written for a much older person. He’s the sixty-year-old Uncle Andrew Pennington in the book, and here I am playing cousin Andrew. So, Gal and my character are cousins in the movie. Of course he’s not Indian. I am sure everyone must have realised because the cast is so diverse, we haven’t committed to geography. I think it’s such a nice message to put out there. Not that it’s emphasised upon, but it’s nice to have a large part of the world in one cast together. Annette Bening is sitting with you and chatting. Kenneth Branagh is like my director and I am chatting away with him about my look and my character. Kenneth is where the buck stops for a lot of actors. And just his way of getting the whole cast together and to get them to mingle was so sweet and so beautiful. He had created these sweet quiz chits and he wrote everybody’s work and then did a quiz with everyone just so we get to know what each and everyone in the cast has done.
You know Ali you are from Uttar Pradesh and I feel like it’ll be a colossal waste of our time if I didn’t ask you this. When we saw the politicisation around the Hathras gang-rape case, what does it make you feel as someone who comes from UP and has probably seen a certain UP while growing up? What do you draw from it?
Ali Fazal: I think we have been drawing from the general atmosphere for the past few months now. That’s also something that has happened in this case. There have been awful incidents happening all across the board. I really feel that there needs to be major flossing, major churning out and I don’t know…it’s sad. Really sad that we are coming to a point where journalism is being stifled in so many parts of the country. Our country is going through a huge crisis right now and I just feel like we have all forgotten about the pandemic.
Does it make you feel that you as a public figure must hold back what you’re saying or hold back your opinions? Do you ever find yourself in a spot there?
Ali Fazal: I think we all do. We speak, if we don’t…it’s a catch 22 for all of us. But we try and we try as much and I am so proud of ‘Mirzapur’ and all the work that I do, but I am most proud of this little short film that I did during the pandemic. It’s called ‘Tasveer’. Ashutosh Pathak directed it, it’s an animation and I hope everyone sees it because it’s such a correct representation of what has gone down during this pandemic, who has really suffered. Because at the end of the day it’s the poor who gets affected by it all and it’s they who help you rise up as well. Apart from that we do nothing at all.
Mirzapur 2 also stars Pankaj Tripathi, Divyenndu Sharmaa, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Ali Fazal, Rasika Dugal, Amit Sial, Harshita Gaur, Isha Talwar and Vijay Varma among others.
Video Editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan
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