Belfast Telegraph

Actor Art Malik condemns 'lazy' screenwriting

British actor Art Malik has criticised the depiction of terrorists in American screen productions as "very lazy writing".

Pakistani-born Malik opened up about his reluctance to make a career move to Los Angeles in the wake of hit 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie True Lies, in which he played a terrorist.

Malik said he preferred not to uproot his family, b ut he added that he also chose to avoid America because of the "dull" writing in certain projects.

"Playing out-and-out terrorists who terrorise people and don't actually move the conversation on are not worth doing so that's probably another reason I don't go back to America, because a lot of it is like that," he told the Radio Times.

"It's boring, dull, very lazy writing."

Malik's television breakthrough came in 1984 with the award-winning epic The Jewel In The Crown, which centred on the last days of British sovereignty in India.

The 63-year-old's career has come full circle as he will soon be seen as the Maharajah of Amritpur, one of the most affluent princes in India, in the new series of Channel 4's Raj-set drama Indian Summers.

In the second series, which jumps forward three years to the summer of 1935, t he Maharajah heads to Simla, the summer capital of British India, to enter negotiations on the upcoming government of India bill.

Rising politician Ralph Whelan, played by Henry Lloyd-Hughes, attempts to ingratiate himself with Malik's Maharajah, but the artful man is unwilling to give up his immense power.

Australian actress Rachel Griffiths, known for the hit series Six Feet Under, joins the cast as Sirene, the Maharajah's mistress who is hiding a surprising past.

Series two also sees The Vicar Of Dibley's James Fleet join a cast which already boasts Julie Walters, The Borgias' Jemima West and Bedlam's Nikesh Patel.

Mr Selfridge's Alexander Cobb, Shameless star Aysha Kala and Game Of Thrones' Patrick Malahide also reprise their roles for the new series, which starts on Sunday.

London-raised Malik spoke of his "delight" at appearing in Indian Summers.

"It's wonderful and exciting to once again delve into this period in our history and of course to join such a fantastic cast is a delight," he said.

Like a number of other black and minority ethnic actors, Malik also offered his opinion on the issue of race and diversity in British television.

"Look at the people who make the decisions," he said. "Whether they're the head of Bafta or whatever they do, who are they?"

"When will we get a female director-general of the BBC? Where is the colour when you go further up the food chain? It disappears," he said.

:: Indian Summers is broadcast on Channel 4 at 9pm on March 13.


From Belfast Telegraph