I've been offered a film with a senior actor, post-Dear Zindagi: Alia Bhatt – Alia Bhatt on making calculated choices in her life and career
Alia Bhatt (DNA – Ashwini Sawant)
Unlike most actresses, Alia Bhatt loves doing film promotions. And maybe, that’s her way of reaching out to and interacting with maximum number of fans. Starting out being a happy Student, she has played varied characters — a sexually abused child, a drug addict, a depressed girl, and now, she plays a Dulhaniya. With each film and performance, she has wowed audiences, critics and the industry. At a young age, she has set high standards for herself and her contemporaries. In a candid chat, we talk about her successful streak, her latest movie Badrinath Ki Dulhania and her film choices, etc. Read on…
2016 was a fantastic year for you. What was your takeaway?
It was a good year for movies in general. Yes, my films did very well and I was very glad. All the films I did were either considered big risks or unusual ones. With Dear Zindagi, people were sceptical about what the pairing would be like, how will Shah Rukh and Alia look together? People ended up liking that, so that made me happy. Kapoor & Sons — it took so long to make. It was just circling for a while before it got made. I’m glad that I got to do it because it got a lot of love again. Apparently, the Udta Punjab script went to several other actresses before it came to me. All the films took a while for them to get going, released and got a lot of love. It was sort of a relief at the end of it all.
Do you think your ‘risky’ choices will give other actresses confidence to take up such roles?
I’ll use actors as examples. Anushka, Kareena and Kajol inspire me in many ways. So, it’s not like I am taking decisions because I want to inspire somebody, but if I end up inspiring somebody, then I will be really happy. It’s a creative field at the end of the day, so we all need to inspire each other. Otherwise, everyone will be doing the same thing again and again. I have always wanted to do both — commercial, glossy films and a little hatke films. Also, I think there can be only one way to categorise films — good or bad. Only good films are doing well these days, so a commercial film can be a good film too. How would you term films like Kapoor & Sons or Vicky Donor, which are in a new genre by themselves?
Your contemporaries and seniors applaud your achievements. Does it give you a sense of pride and achievement?
I don’t look at it that way. It’s almost as if they are talking about another person. There’s no tick mark I make in my head when I’m appreciated. I’m grateful for it. I’m aware of what I have got so early in life. But I’m not too aware of my success. If you are too aware, it somehow sets into the choices that you make and the way you conduct yourself.
But have you closed your doors to a film like Student Of The Year?
Not at all. Why would I? People come to me and tell me that they loved me in SOTY. Kids tell me that and that age group is not easy to impress. I don’t look down on any kind of cinema. Just because I do a film that demands me to perform or look a certain way like Udta Punjab, doesn’t mean I don’t want to do a film like SOTY. But I would make sure that I don’t feel it’s a pointless film. SOTY was a fun, happy film but not pointless. I just look for some heart.
203 of 217 films bombed last year because they didn’t work in the interiors. With a film like Badrinath Ki Dulhania, that’s like half the battle won…
That’s the purpose of Badrinath. People have been asking me, ‘You guys are already popular. Why do you need to go everywhere?’ We just want to forget that this digital space exists right now. We want to penetrate into the interiors of the country and reach out to people, who may have their phones but also are probably unaware of which film is releasing. We want to make sure that it’s a heartland film and it’s been a while since we have seen a really nice out-and-out commercial heartland desi love story. We are trying to reach out to the roots in the country because that’s who the film speaks to.
You were last paired with Shah Rukh. Do you think today, that has made it easier for such pairings to happen?
Totally. Especially today, when the story has the scope of getting any two people together — whoever they may be. It’s eventually a story of two or three people and they can be of different age groups. Now, we are not only confined to doing love stories anymore. We have other stories as well. Dear Zindagi, in the end, was a very different kind of a love story. That’s the beauty of movies.
Have you been offered another film with a senior hero?
There have been talks. I won’t deny that. But nothing’s official as of now.
On Koffee with Karan, Kangana said that she doesn’t understand why actors hide their love life. Comment.
I think, to each his own. It’s very gutsy of anyone to speak about their personal life. They are able to bare themselves completely to the world. I’m not like that. Only very, very close people will be let into my space. Here, as an actor, you can’t help but let people into your space. But these areas, you can. I’d rather stick to that.