After his last film Kill Dil in 2014, Ali Zafar is returning to Bollywood with Dear Zindagi, a Gauri Shinde flick in which he will play a love interest to Alia Bhatt.
In an interview with DNA India, Ali explains his absence from Bollywood and talks about the future.
Ali Zafar missed his family while working in Bollywood
"I spent close to five years here shooting films and doing lot of work. And to be honest, I was far away from family and saw my son growing up on Skype. He’s around five years old now and my daughter is a little over a year old. I was missing out on the important moments and I felt that I needed to give more time back home."
He also had work to do in Pakistan.
"After the Peshawar attacks, we had pledged to make as many schools as the number of children that had died, so we have made about 40."
This is his major takeaway from his Bollywood experience
"I’ve learnt that the industry works and functions at a certain pace. And I have my own pace to do things. I don’t like to go on a signing spree and sign projects. And I choose one project a year, so I can do that and everything else I want to do."
He wants to try new things.
"I had played the chocolate-boy and I wanted to try different things. I did Kill Dil because of that. It didn’t work out at that level. But the roles that I had been looking forward to would be roles which are not just clean-cut, but something edgy, cool, cut-through, something crazy, different and something challenging that kind of stuff."
He is open to playing a homosexual character, as long as it's a good one.
"If I play gay, it would only depend on what kind of role it is and the offer. I haven’t thought of it at all, because I haven’t been made any such offer."
He may be working on something with Sultan's Ali Abbas Zafar
"He is a great guy and there is something that we are discussing, which I obviously can’t reveal, as of now."
He is happy for Fawad Khan's success.
"[Fawad's success] pleases me for a bigger reason: since the time I came in, I just didn’t think of myself. I thought that I was just one person. There will have to be many like me who take this exchange of artistes between our two countries forward. And I feel very happy and glad that someone like Fawad is so well-received here. I hope more artistes come and receive that much love and vice-versa."
He is very optimistic about the future of Pakistan.
"I am an optimist and I will always be one. I am also a romantic, but at the same time. I am also a realist. You know I made a song called 'Udenge' after the Peshawar incident. It spoke about a positive tomorrow, where we will rise. Pakistan is headed to a good space and good things are happening. Pakistan’s film industry business has picked up and had some amazing talent. Also, the youth in Pakistan is very proactive, which is a very good thing."