Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to do the work. I live by that. You grind hard so you can play hard. At the end of the day, you put all the work in, and eventually it'll pay off. It could be in a year, it could be in 30 years. Eventually, your hard work will pay off.
I came to the United States to see what would happen in 2000 after working for 20 years in Australia and asked my agent to look out for the nasty roles because I'd become famous for playing the nicest man in Australia. So I wanted to play bad guys.
I remember Michael saying, 'Rich and famous? It's much better to be just rich'. I didn't quite get it to begin with. But he's right. You lose anonymity. I say to my family that you've no idea until you lose it how precious anonymity is.
You do stand-up because you have to do it. If you're doing it to become 'famous,' you're wrong. If you're doing it to become a millionaire, you're doing it for the wrong reasons. In 2003, I was flat broke. I'd been doing stand-up for 14 years at that point. I loved it and just kept at it.
When I was young, anywhere I would go in Germany, I would see my father's posters. Everyone knew about him. And he had many friends who were artists who were also quite famous. So, for me, it seemed very natural to be an artist and be known.
One of the downsides of being famous is that folks pay far more attention to you than they should. American celebrities are constantly under surveillance, and every word they say is subject to scrutiny. So, be careful what you wish for if you desire fame. No human being should be a goldfish.
The only thing my famous last name got me was a foothold in the industry. That was the easy part. The biggest problem is survival. As Fazil's son, I am expected to know everything - acting, dancing, horse riding... I am not trained in all these, and I don't think I ever will be.