Ali Fazal joins the big league, roped in as the lead with academy award winning actress Dame Judi Dench in Victoria and Abdul. It’s a rare occasion that an Indian actor is playing the titular role in a Hollywood film.
The film is being produced by Working Title Films and is being distributed worldwide by Focus Entertainment which is the division of NBCUniversal. The film is being directed by award-winning director Stephen Frears who has made films like Philomena and The Queen and the screenplay is by Academy Award Winner Lee Hall who’s written movies like Billy Elliot.
Ali plays the lead opposite Judi Dench in the film which is based on Shrabani Basu’s book and the film tells the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship during the later years of Queen Victoria rule with an Indian clerk, Abdul in her court. Set is the 1800s, Abdul Karim, a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.
Speaking about the exciting news, Ali said, ” it doesn’t get better I guess. I have known about this beautiful story for ages. Never thought I’d be destined to play out a real-life character. That of Abdul Karim. Stephen Frears is one of my all time favourite directors- from dangerous liaisons to the queen he’s made it all. So iI can’t wait to take on Judi. She’s the cherry on this wonderful pudding . The most loved woman in Britain and probably the world. It was a process of endless auditions and readings and conversations and today I am so glad they grilled fully into it to a point of no return. I am ecstatic and I guess it hasn’t really sunk in. So I will take a bow when I finish my work on the film. The fun has just begun.