Ali Fazal set to make history as the first Indian actor to star in Off-Broadway production in New York | Bollywood

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From acting in Bollywood to Hollywood to turning producer, actor Ali Fazal continues to add more feathers in his hat. And now, we have exclusively learnt that Ali is set to create history by becoming the first mainstream Indian actor to grace the Off-Broadway stage in New York City – the world capital for Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

Ali Fazal is also coming up with the third season of Mirzapur.
Ali Fazal is also coming up with the third season of Mirzapur.

Expressing excitement and gratitude for the opportunity, Fazal tells us, “It’s a dream come true to be part of the Off-Broadway tradition, which has produced some of the most groundbreaking and innovative productions in history. I am thrilled to embark on this new journey and bring forth an experimental drama that I hope will resonate with audiences from diverse backgrounds.”

Fazal’s Off-Broadway debut, an adaptation of Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, is being directed by Alexander Malichnikov and will run for a limited period of four weeks. “It’s a very iconic play written at the end of the 19th century, and has been endlessly performed. It’s always an adapted version that you see and that’s the beauty of Chekhov. You can adapt it to whichever times you are in,” says Fazal, who will start with rehearsals in October.

The 36-year-old feels overwhelmed to be taking a step closer to share notes with so many brilliant artistes all across the world through this opportunity. “Our own cast is a very diverse. We have people from at least four countries working on this wonderful little experiment that we are about to dive into. I don’t want to glorify myself so much, though I have been asked to (laughs),” he says.

What makes it all the more “special yet challenging” is the fact that Fazal is returning to stage after a long time and he sees it as an “opportunity to break stereotypes here”.

The Death on the Nile actor explains, “Cinema spoils you sometimes. People keep putting you in boxes as we come from a place where somebody sits in a room and decides our fate. I remember there were attempts to stereotype me so many times but I always try to break out of those. It’s very important to. So, if this (Off-broadway) helps me break out of another one, why not? It’s a good reminder that I might be getting stereotyped in one part of the world but at the same time, I feel Indians on a global stage are claiming ourselves in a big way. I think I’m part of that, and I want to continue to be a part of that. Call it a responsibility or just wanting to tell stories on a global scale, but if I can do that, why not. If my tribe can do that, why not.”

Asked if he envisions this achievement will shape his future projects and career trajectory, Fazal says he doesn’t really believe in thinking two steps ahead.

“It’s definitely one thing I wanted to check off my list with Chekhov. I could not have asked for more. Rest, I don’t know if and how this particular experience will shape up the rest of my career, but my focus right now is the place I am at. Everything else will be decided when this ends, not right now,” Fazal concludes.

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