Yes he is - atleast as far as Shah Rukh Khan's new soap Ghar Ki Baat Hai (NDTV Imagine, Fri-Sun at 9.30pm) is concerned where he will be seen playing a gay character in the coming episode. Ali spoke to us in detail about his role as well as his alleged spat with costar Swapnil Joshi.
"I am playing a character called Lizzy, who is effeminate. He is on the show to teach Kaku (Swapnil Joshi) how to model, he is a model coordinator. In the modeling world, there are so many kinds of people and some of them are like this character. They have a particular way of talking ,walking and have certain mannerisms. They also wear figure-hugging clothes."
Ali tried hard not to stereotype the role. He says, "So many people have already played such characters. For instance, Suresh Menon had acted it out nicely. But I wanted to do it differently. I tired to make the character more subdued because sometimes we cross the limit and the role ends up having a eunuch touch to it. I think I managed to show the feminine side of the character gracefully."
However, Ali feels that he did not get enough time to give his role enough depth. He says, "In such shows, we hardly get 3-4 scenes to establish the character. If it was a daily soap, then I would have gotten the required time. Even so, I have put in hard work and I hope that people like it."
The actor shocked everyone on the sets with his new avatar. "Everyday, the entire team always looks out to see what new gag we are going to do. So when I came out in a dress, everyone gathered around me."
Ali says that he is very happy with the show's progress. He adds, "I have worked in an era when serials used to get 18 TRPs and now it is very difficult generate even 2-3 TRPs. The channel is happy with our show's slow but steady popularity. It takes time for any comedy show to establish itself as people take time to connect with the characters. Our team is very good and we hope to keep the audience happy."
Recently, there were rumours of a spat between him and Swapnil Joshi on the sets. Ali clarifies this, saying, "It was nothing like that. I do not know how these rumours come about. He is like my bachcha and there is no rivalry between us."
Apart from Ghar Ki Baat Hai, Ali will enter FIR (SAB TV) next week, where he will be seen playing cop whose love interest is Chandramukhi Chowtala.