Ali Fazal says one can't get cynical in the industry and lose empathy, as the moment an actor thinks he is too smart for people, it reflects on his characters. The Mirzapur actor said he constantly tries to not let complacency and over-confidence creep in. "You can't get cynical here. A lot of people after a long time tend to become that and lose empathy. The moment you think you're too smart for yourself, for everybody else, it reflects in your characters as well. It's the look in the eyes that knows it all," Ali told PTI.
"That's something I can't have. It's a constant fight to keep learning. If sometimes not here, I step out of my box and I try to be heavily delved in the West, grasp as much as I can there," he added.
The 32-year-old actor said he has reached a stage in his career where he has realised that every time he is pushed out of his comfort zone, he does his best work. "I'm hungry for good directors to push me. I've noticed when I'm pushed out of my comfort zone, things work for me. Like 'Mirzapur' and 'Victoria and Abdul.' It's also about taking risk on somebody like me who has a very mixed image."
In his career of 10 years, the actor has featured in films like 3 Idiots, Fukrey and Happy Bhag Jayegi. He is now looking forward to his next, Prassthanam. Reflecting on the last decade, Ali said even though he gave up "big projects", he is glad the way his career has panned out.
"There are things I did which I regret too, but at the time I was naive and young. I've left big projects which I should've been a part of on the pretext of 'I want a script.' Everybody was like you can't ask for scripts from these people! You just do it.
"I didn't know that. All the mistakes have happened but I'm glad the way it all happened. I got my roles one at a time, from cameo, to leading roles, ensembles and then the shift to Hollywood," he added.
In his next stint in the West, Fazal is set to feature in actor-director Kenneth Branagh's upcoming adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel Death on the Nile. "Prassthanam", directed by Deva Katta, stars Ali as Ayush, the son of Sanjay Dutt's character Baldev. The movie is a remake of the filmmaker's Telugu hit of the same name.
Ali said shooting with Dutt and Jackie Shroff was far from intimidating as both the stars are extremely "giving" actors. "Sanjay sir makes it a point to keep the actors very comfortable. He's a very giving actor, which is rare from his generation. They both are giving. In my shot, Jackie sir told me where to stand according to the light so that it'll make me look sharp."
The political-family drama, which also features Manisha Koirala, Chunky Pandey, Satyajeet Dubey and Amyra Dastur, is scheduled to release on September 20.