Actor Ali Fazal says his role in Victoria & Abdul, a never-before exposition on the indefinable friendship between Queen Victoria and her loyal trusted Indian Man-Friend Abdul Karim, does not represent his political views on colonialism.
He said, “We can’t stop people from thinking what they want to. I didn’t see the role as representing my political views on colonialism. I am just playing the role of a man who was unique and powerful and persuasive. I got a chance to work with Judi Dench in almost every scene. How many Indian actors get that chance?” Ali Fazal, who recently shot for the film in England, has returned with happy thoughts.
“I got a chance to work with so many stalwarts from British cinema. Judi Dench, of course, who is a legend. Then there was my director Stephen Frears. He is the man who made some of British cinema’s salient trendsetters. I love My Beautiful Laundrette and Dangerous Liaisons.” Ali’s affinity to his character Abdul Karim was instinctive. “There isn’t much documented history on him. Abdul Karim was a secret from Queen Victoria’s palace that was best forgotten. But I read what I could. When I arrived in England for the shooting, I was shown a picture of Abdul Karim. Then they put up a portrait of me as Abdul Karim. The two pictures fused in my mind. It was surreal,” he said.