Interview: Antony Zaki
Posted by Vivek on September 23, 2008 | No Comments
You gave that brilliant performance, underplayed, yet powerful, in Harish Saluja’s JOURNEY, with Saeed Jaffrey and Roshan Seth, what’s been going on the in creative front since?
I have been acting in a number of UK TV series and films like “LD50″ an eco-thriller. also I spent a year with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the WEST END and on tour with Salman Rushdie`s book “MIDNIGHT`S CHILDREN” adapted by him, which toured the US and ended at the Apollo Theatre in New York. Helped on the film “A MERCHANT OR VENICE” with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. Wrote/produced and directed two short films, winning an award and have written a number of feature films. The first goes into production in 2009, it is a romantic comedy called “ROUNDHEADS AND CAVALIERS”.
A little about your past, as in your training, your desire to pursue the creative field, etc?
Got a scholarship to go to a London drama school to study acting to the despair of my parents! I had already appeared in a couple of TV series and had gotten the acting bug at school. worked in a number of repertory theatres and radio shows and TV series. got my first lead in a British film shot in Kerala from a story written by Tagore. Worked with George Lucas on the YOUNG INDIANA JONES series. Was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for a film about the UN involvement in the break up of Yugoslavia, “GYSPY MAGIC”.
Now with the Indian landscape opening up and the world becoming a global village, would you be open to offers from the Indian film industry and also the Indian television industry?
I am more willing and desirous of working in India now as I feel the quality and diversity in the industry there has expanded and superseded that of the UK. The talent and drive of the people in India has set them aside from the rest of the world and I can only see them getting stronger. they seem to manage to make films that are blockbusters but still hold integrity and ask questions of today`s society.
Your take on why England seems to be throwing up some wonderful South Asian British talent, in acting, in directing, etc?
The Indians in the UK have the same drive as their counterparts in the East. There’s awakening with the new breed of write/directors who feel they can achieve anything they put their hearts and minds to.
On being a South Asian actor in UK, how has it changed over the years?
There is a change definitely, by I feel it is still surface. It will only really achieve a gear shift when Indian writer, directors can garner big profits on subjects with Indian actors in the leading roles. Only then will I think the barriers will truly tumble.
Tell us a little about your directorial venture?
What I feel is lacking is support from the UK based Indian entrepreneurs to finance and back films. My feature debut “ROUNDHEADS AND CAVALIERS” is being financed by British investors who have seen the profits made on films like “EAST IS EAST” and “BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM” to realize that, a romantic comedy about fate and destiny with an Indian playing the lead has a great potential to be a hit. The film will commence shooting in 2009. In 2010 I will be filming my next project “THE MAHARAJA” an outrageous comedy about misidentity with music, song and dance. These two films have been written by me and will be produced and directed by me.
The following is my acting website: www.netspin.co.uk/zaki
The following is the short film website: www.againstnature.net
The following is the 15min version of the short film: www.jalipo.com/againstnature