Sanjay Dutt was Ali's childhood inspiration to battle depression

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Mumbai, July 31 -- Ali Fazal who has been shooting in his hometown Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, for his next film, Prassthanam being produced by Sanjay Dutt, is quite open about just how Dutt has been an inspiration to him. 

From idolising him as a child to now sharing screen space with him, Ali feels like he has come a long way.

A source close to Ali says, "Ali had a tough childhood and had to deal with his own share of difficulties. He found inspiration as a child in Sanjay Dutt owing to his story and his hardships. Dutt has seen many ups and downs in his life since his early days and has yet managed to survive it all and come out a winner. Ali also feels a connection with the actor as both of them studied in boarding schools and hence, Ali found similarities in their attitudes. Ali attached himself to Sanju's story and it inspired him in many ways.

For someone who has had his fair share of difficult and trying times, Ali says that he has learnt a great deal observing Dutt who play his on screen father in the film. "His life has inspired me in many ways. The way he has fallen and gotten up and delivered iconic performances. It's a full life. It helped me battle my own childhood depressions and demons", says the actor.