Asif Ali's next won't be 'Omanakuttan' redux

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A look at Asif Ali in the songs from the movie 'Iblis' and one would see that he has tried hard to bring the looks of a teenager. Although he entered the industry with multi-starrer movies, the actor has undoubtedly matured over time and shaped his career in his own way.

Onmanorama caught up with the star who admits having a bad relationship with his cell phone. But coming to a face-to-face chat, Asif Ali has a pleasing persona. Excerpts:

On being Iblis

Asif Ali underwent a little makeover for his role in the upcoming film. “I play the role of Vaishakan in the movie. The character is more or less an innocent and impish one. By the end of the movie, you will get to see why such a title is being given”, said Ali. The actor revealed he shed eight kilos and was on a diet to get the lean looks. “To get the innocent looks, I had a rigorous diet session. I survived on vegetables and did work-outs every two hours. Probably, this was the first time that I physically worked hard for the movie. The film was shot at Palakkad-Kollamkode and a village set was created. The movie is about that village and its people," he said.

Ali's next will hit the screens on August 3 and has an array of cast including Madonna Sebastian, Lal, Saiju Kurup, Adish.

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Hard lessons

It is for the second time that Ali is teaming up with director Rohith. Earlier, the duo had worked together in 'Adventures of Omanakuttan'. “'Omanakuttan' could be relatable in real life but 'Iblis' is no close to it. This is an out-and-out fantasy movie. While I agree that the script is the backbone of a film, it should be handled by a good maker as well. And when it comes to making a fantasy movie, only a good maker can execute it and Rohith is one. This would be one of the biggest experimental movie in Malayalam cinema in recent times," he said.

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Further talking about the poor reception that 'Adventures of Omanakuttan' got at box office, Ali said, “It was lengthy. That's what many of the viewers said. It should have been more crisp. Rohith has ensured that past mistakes are not repeated in 'Iblis'. In fact, Iblis is exactly 2 hours long”.

Opens about disorder

Ali was candid about his limited use of mobile phone. “I can't help it. You may even call it a disorder. I am very bad at attending calls and replying to messages. I have enemies because of this habit," said Ali.

Recalling an incident, he said, “You won't believe... after I agreed for this film, director Rohith was looking out for producers, Later, he told me how a producer was interested in doing the film and that he had been calling me since 3-4 days. That is when I saw the calls and several messages he had sent me. It was the efforts taken by the production team which gave life to the movie."

Iblis is the debut venture of 'ICHAIS Productions'.

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Welcome changes

Ali is satisfied with the way his career has panned out. “I am glad in a way that I have a choice to choose scripts. When I see that directors, who have worked with me once comes for a second time, it gives me a confidence. There used to be a time when people focused on big names in the industry. There were even instances initially when the scripts rejected by stars like Prithviraj, Indrajith and Chackochan came to me. And that's how I ended up doing comfortable roles. Over the time, when audience changed their interest, there began a healthy competition and I am getting various shades of characters. Venturing into as a producer was yet another area of challenge," he noted. 

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