… says comedy actor Ali on the small screen with his show Ali 369

His name is enough for the audience to break into peals of laughter. Ali, the king of ‘get-ups’ on the big screen has managed to create a place of his own on the small screen too. Ali 369, the game show telecast on ETV is for all the game show addicts. “The show has an interesting format and it worked well with the audience,” he says. The get-up round is eagerly awaited by the viewers as he comes in a new get-up in every episode and the actor is at his spontaneous best. When he came in a Saibaba avatar in one of the episodes, the response was tremendous. “It’s not just a fun show,” says Ali and adds, “The audience gets to see a different side of the participants. There are no winners or losers on the show. We are all from one family,” he says. The show has completed 100 episodes (“Considering that it’s a weekly show, hundred is a big number”) and last year on October 10, it was a special show of Ali 369 when Ali’s family members came on to the show. “It was my birthday,” smiles Ali.

Unique style

For an actor who has been in the industry for more than two decades now, Ali’s hallmark has been his expressions and comic timing with other artistes. “I don’t have the height or personality to carry off. But the audience love me because of my style and comic timing,” he says.

Behind Ali’s comedy acts, lies a sensitive heart which breaks into tears very easily. “In real life, I am a very sensitive person as l lived alone in Chennai for 15 years without my family. I always remember that phase of my life. When I see sentimental scenes, I get emotional and tears start flowing from my eyes. Even the other comedy actors like Brahmanandam, M.S. Narayana, Sunil and Krishna Bhagwan are sensitive people in real life.”

Ali is gung-ho about his new movie Ali Baba Okkade Donga, where he plays the lead role. “This is my 50th movie as a hero,” says Ali excitedly and adds, “The movie is for two hours and for one-and-half hour, the audience will be just laughing watching the scenes.”

Among the hundreds of roles he played, his favourite is the role of painter he played in Super (which won him an award) His role in Amma Naana Oka Tamil Ammayi too won him an award. “I love my role in Deshamuduru but I did not get any award,” he smiles.

Any wishes? “I want to play a bad man in movies in other languages. One doesn’t need a particular height or body to be a villain in movies. He needs the brain and the look,” he signs off.