If you are a hardcore Alia fan, here’s all the dope about her next film, her life and a lot of other juicy jazz’¦
When you get talking with Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter Alia Bhatt, you realize she’s nothing like the snooty chick that she played in her debut film Student Of The Year. Her angelic feathers don’t get ruffled easily and she’s usually as happy as a clam. Sporting a chic grey jacket, with the title of her next film –Highway – imprinted on it, the Bhatt babe answers the volley of questions thrown at her, without a crease of reluctance on her face. She says she didn’t have to do much research for her second film Highway. “The only preparation I did was that I took diction classes for improving my Hindi as I play a Delhi girl in the film,” she says. She adds, “For this film Imtiaz wanted me to be as raw and untouched as possible because it was a blank sheet of paper and the blanker it was the better.” The babe talks about practically everything under the sun, but her love life. “I will never talk about who I am dating,” she declares. But thankfully she doesn’t hesitate much when I ask her about one female actor from the industry, whom she considers an idol…And pat comes the reply ‘Aishwarya Rai’.
If you are a hardcore Alia fan, here’s all the dope about her next film, her life and a lot of other juicy jazz…
You are seen in a completely different avatar in Highway, quite unlike your ‘glamorous’ character in Student Of The Year? Was it challenging?
It was definitely challenging. Even Shanaya’s character in SOTY was challenging. I didn’t know how to walk in heels or how to look glamorous. It was all new for me. Even working for Highway was quite difficult, there was a lot of traveling involved; it was physically and emotionally exhausting. I had to push myself a lot. Also since it was a road trip, there are a lot of things that go wrong but you have to stay strong, and you end up learning a lot…all in a good way.
It must be extremely difficult, practically shooting all the scenes in the outdoors…
That was the most exciting part for me. While traveling, we didn’t take the tourist route, we were shooting in very isolated areas, areas you wouldn’t even go to if you were in that specific place. The weather conditions were changing, we were constantly pressed for time and we would have to constantly bother about when the sun would set, and keep the climatic conditions in mind. So that made it more spontaneous, that gave me more of a thrill. And getting all inspired by the locales and coming up with your own dialogues is something I enjoyed the most. One of my favourite shot from the film is because of one of these moments. All that ‘travelling by truck’ scenes gave me a backache, but it all worked in my favour as I genuinely looked all battered and bruised which was the requirement of the role.
How spontaneous are you as an actor?
I try to go with the flow. I don’t have a method yet because I am quite new to the profession. I also feel that if you are feeling that character and feeling the environment, you don’t have to try to be spontaneous, it comes naturally. So with this film I didn’t have to try much. Everything was happening for me to react in a certain way.
Your first film was with Karan Johar; so how instrumental KJo has been when it comes to making your film decisions?
I always call Karan when I end up with an exciting offer and consult him because he’s my mentor. I have a three film contract with Dharma productions, and I am their talent for the next 5 years, so automatically I feel that Karan is the person I can fall back on whenever I need advice.
Do you ever speak to your father about working in his production house?
No, I wait for him to speak to me (giggles).
I hear the film is based on the Stockholm syndrome?
No the film is not based on the Stockholm syndrome. Stockholm syndrome is when you start feeling sympathy for your oppressor. The film is about the way I end up finding myself.
You are often compared with Kareena Kapoor, does that bother you?
No, it doesn’t bother me. I just think it’s not true. I am not like her and she’s not like me. And I think nobody can be like Kareena Kapoor, there’s just one Bebo and I strongly believe that.
You said you consult KJo pretty often, does that mean you don’t consult your father at all?
He may not be involved in the decisions but he knows what I am doing and where I am going, he keeps a track of all that. When I was in school, he didn’t even know which standard I was in because studies were never his interest but now he’s always keen about which studio I am heading to or where I am promoting my films.
So what kind of advice does your father usually give you?
He’s asks me to keep my head on my shoulders and there’s this one very beautiful thing he told me about not expecting too much from life and being hungry for success. He said that nothing fails more than success. He told me that the moment you feel like you have arrived, that’s when you fail.
Which one has been your favourite location while shooting for Highway?
Every location, every state is special to me for some reason. But I don’t like Delhi much. I got hurt several times while shooting there. Rajasthan is special because I celebrated my birthday there. Punjab was special because I got to climb a tree, run across the fields like a typical Bollywood heroine. So it was one helluva long journey.