As the world reeled in shock over the sudden and untimely death of Hollywood actor Paul Walker on Sunday, our thoughts raced to our own Bollywood boy, Ali Fazal, who shares screen-space with the stars of Fast & Furious 7.
Back in September 2013, Ali was in Atlanta where he shot for portions in the film which releases next year. His role is a cameo and he plays an eccentric tycoon.
We speak to him exclusively about his interaction with Paul Walker during the shoot and here’s what he told us:
Team MissMalini: What was your first reaction on hearing about Paul Walker passing away?
Ali Fazal: My first reaction was shock because I had just met him on the sets of Fast & Furious 7 a few months ago. So, I thought it had happened on a shoot. It was only when the full details emerged that I found out that his friend was driving the car which incidentally, Paul had just bought for himself.
Team MM: What was he like to work with?
Ali: He was a very down to earth guy and had no starry airs. He was real. In fact, the whole cast (Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Paul Walker) were always laughing, joking and cracking up on set. He was a very funny guy. I had the privilege of shooting my scenes with all of them.
In fact, Paul Walker was the last guy I met just before I left Atlanta and his parting words to me were, “Keep it real! See u soon brother!”
Team MM: Was he interested in India and your work in Bollywood?
Ali: Actually, I can’t remember much of that kind of a conversation. We had a chat more about the work that was happening there.
Team MM: What stood out for you when you first met Paul Walker on the sets?
Ali: It was his birthday on the day I shot with him. It was also the first day of the shoot for everybody. So yes, that stood out because everybody was in celebratory mode.
Team MM: What where your first thoughts when you heard the tragic news on Sunday?
Ali: My first thought was of his young daughter. I felt really sad for her. I also wondered why good people go so fast, so early?
Team MM: Did you learn anything in particular from him while you interacted with him on the sets?
Ali: In the little time that I got to shoot with them, I saw the confidence and the professionalism with which they shoot. I saw them shed their own persona and get fully into character. But a part of you is always in the character too. If you see his other body of work, he was a really super actor.
Team MM: Is there a lesson one can learn from this tragedy?
Ali: I think the biggest lesson we can learn is to just do it – whatever it is you want to do. This is life, its happening right now. Time is short and you never know when you will go. So don’t waste time. Go out there and do the things you really want to do.
Team MM: Any message for his fans and family reading this?
Ali: It’s not the end. He probably has a bigger part to play somewhere else. The show goes on. He was a very giving person and I’m sure he has a bigger role to play where ever he is now.