When Your Greatest Romance Is A Friendship | Encore

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(Brian Rea for The New York Times)
(Brian Rea for The New York Times)

Last week, we released an episode featuring actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw reading Oliver Radclyffe's essay "Recognizing What They Had, 20 Years Too Late." In that episode, Oliver talked about being inspired by another Modern Love Podcast episode: "When Your Greatest Romance is a Friendship."

We wanted to revisit that episode this week. Here's Ali Fazal, reading Victor Lodato's essay.

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(Courtesy Ali Fazal)
(Courtesy Ali Fazal)

Ali Fazal has quickly established himself as a leading man who has transitioned effortlessly to international audiences. Born in India where he studied acting, Fazal made his debut in a leading role in the 2011 Bollywood film "Always Kabhi Kabhi."

Fazal is currently starring opposite Judi Dench in his first leading role in a commercial film, "Victoria and Abdul." Directed by Stephen Frears and written by Lee Hall, the biographical drama follows the unexpected friendship between Queen Victoria (Dench) and her young servant from India (Fazal), who later became her confidant and teacher. Based on the book of the same name by Shrabani Basu, the film was released by Focus Features.

In 2015, Fazal had his first Hollywood breakthrough with a supporting role in the seventh installment of Universal Pictures’ "The Fast and the Furious" franchise, "Furious 7," with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and Michelle Rodriguez.

In India, Fazal became a breakout hit with critics for his stage performance in Akarsh Khurana’s "A Guy Thing," which led to his first Bollywood film, the smash hit "3 Idiots" by director Rajkumar Hirani. "3 Idiots" became the highest grossing Bollywood film in India up to that point, and grossed $65 million worldwide. Fazal has starred as the leading man in over ten Bollywood films, which include the 2013 sleeper hit "Fukrey," "Baat Ban Gayi" (2013), "Sonali Cable" (2014), the horror feature "Khamoshiyan" (2015) and "Happy Bhag Jayegi" in 2016. In December 2017, Fazal will next star in the Fukrey sequel "Fukrey Returns" that will release in India and the U.S.

On the small screen, Fazal starred as the lead in the 2015 Indian web series "Bang Baaja Baaraat." In 2009, Fazal starred opposite Chris Kattan in the American television miniseries "Bollywood Hero" on IFC .

Fazal’s theatre credits include the lead role in India’s original production of Nassim Soleimanpour's "White Rabbit, Red Rabbit," the regional tour of Arghya Lahiri’s "Crab," Rohan Sippy’s regional musical "Fashion Broadway" for Chivas Studio, "The Duck Variations" playing the role of “George,” and "The Real Inspector Hound" where he toured with Quaff Theatre playing the role of “Moon.”

Fazal currently resides in India.

(Courtesy Victor Lodato)
(Courtesy Victor Lodato)

Victor Lodato is a playwright and the author of two critically acclaimed novels. "Edgar and Lucy," published this year, was called “a riveting and exuberant ride” by the New York Times, and “Magisterial … pushes the boundaries of beauty” by the Chicago Tribune.  His novel "Mathilda Savitch," winner of the PEN USA Award, was hailed as “a Salingeresque wonder of a first novel” and deemed a “Best Book of the Year” by The Christian Science Monitor, Booklist, and The Globe and Mail.

Victor’s stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta, and Best American Short Stories.  He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Born and raised in New Jersey, Victor currently divides his time between Ashland, Oregon, and Tucson, Arizona.

Headshot of Caitlin O'Keefe

Caitlin O'Keefe Producer, Podcasts & New Programs
Caitlin O'Keefe was a producer of podcasts and new programming at WBUR.



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