Singer-actor Ali Zafar has had a marvelous year. His latest Bollywood venture, the Yash Raj production Kill Dil confirmed him as a versatile, multi-talented star with the ability to morph into any role.
The return of the rising star to his native city Lahore spurred much excitement amongst his fans. Zafar’s popularity in Pakistan is mirrored by his rising fan following across the border in India, going by the rave reviews by Indian critics and audiences for his latest film Kill Dil.
His role of an assassin in the film takes him far from his sweet, boy-next-door image, a ‘chocolate-box hero’ best suited for rom-coms. And his clean image at home and in India gives the media no opportunity to embroil him in any scandal, rumour or controversy. And now, in Kil Dil, Zafar shows that he can be as rugged as rugged can get.
Despite other bankable stars, the Yash Raj banner and its share of humour along with the spicier elements of rivalry, romance, and gun totting rascals, peppered with Bollywood songs and dances, the film didn’t reach the dream figure of 100 crore rupees.
But Ali Zafar told media people at a recent informal gathering at a hotel in Lahore that he is happy he did it because of the amount of love he received in India not only from fans and critics, but also industry seniors.
His co-star in Kill Dil, the legendary Govinda, was reportedly so impressed by Ali’s performance that he said the young actor has the potential to get offers from Hollywood filmmakers. Megastars Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan graciously obliged Ali Zafar by recording personal messages for his mother-in-law and mother who are big fans of the two Khans.
Lately Zafar has been talking about making a film in Pakistan featuring both Pakistani and Indian artists, aiming to project a positive and strong image of the country and showcase its immense talent.
“I am putting together my own production house, the first project under which is in planning stages,” he said. The inspiration behind this project is what he terms the “ocean of talent” that he has come across in Pakistan.
“I plan to take my film to India or maybe there will be a collaboration so that new avenues open up between the two countries.”
A solid patriot, Zafar has always dreamt of doing something for his country. Making a film locally would be his contribution to strengthening the Pakistani film industry. He has also reportedly expressed his desire to write, direct and act in that film.
Despite his fame and Bollywood ventures, the ‘superstar’ bug has clearly not bitten Ali Zafar. His huge philanthropic heart was evident in his invitation to 50 students from the Sanjan Nagar School for under-privileged children to a special screening of Kill Dil. He spent the entire evening celebrating the success of his film with them.
He also announced that he would support the education of 50 students from the school to enable them to get their high school diplomas and pursue a better life.Rubia Moghees is a freelance journalist with a Masters in Mass Communication from Kinnaird College. She lives in Lahore with her husband and three children.