Who is Judi Dench's leading man in Victoria & Abdul?

Who is Judi Dench's leading man in Victoria & Abdul?


Text: Kimberly Kiong

Image: Instagram | @alifazal9

Get to know Ali Fazal, the Indian actor starring opposite Judi Dench in a lesser-known story about Queen Victoria's Munshi

1. Before propelling into Bollywood stardom, Ali Fazal was an athlete in school and an Economics graduate
Acting is not Ali Fazal's only passion. Often playing basketball, hockey and shot put, this 31-year-old actor from Lucknow was that guy in school you'd have your eyes on from the bleachers. However, a hand fracture crushed his athlete dreams so he went on to star in school plays instead. At the end of his academic journey, Fazal majored in economics at Mumbai's St. Xavier's College. Like his character in Victoria & Abdul, Abdul Karim, Fazal is definitely a tough cookie and underdog to watch out for in Hollywood.

2. His take on love could probably be found in a Nicholas Sparks movie
While he's incredibly private about his relationships, this romantic's two cents' worth is that "Love is more than just physical or conventional. It becomes more spiritual. We celebrate Rumi as the greatest poet of love, but we don't realise all his verses were for a man." But don't get any wild ideas ladies, he has found his own version of The Notebook's Allie Hamilton — Bollywood actress, Richa Chadda.

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3. He has a heart for others 
Aside from keeping up with his packed acting schedule, Fazal has been doing his part for charity. He joined a Cancerthon to raise awareness and funds for cancer-striken children and voiced his thoughts against smoking. He was also in Rooh Kambdi, a musical concert to fund victims of the Nepal earthquake. In memory of his Furious 7 co-star, Paul Walker, he helped organise a drag race in Lonavla.

4. Not only is he a thespian and sportsman, this triple threat can play the guitar 
There was no feigning that passion for music when he acted as Zafar, a musician in Hindi comedy, Fukrey. He hopes to be the guitarist of a band someday. Before the day his sold-out gig arrives, check out this short clip of him jamming.

5. His Instagram captions are worth the read
With lengthy, sometimes thought-provoking and goofy Instagram captions, each square is as entertaining as they come. His Instagram account is a refreshing change from the norm, and should be the next guy you should definitely follow.

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Victoria & Abdul is now showing in theatres. Read about last week's #ManCrushMonday.