She hates peo­ple with an at­ti­tude and says her big­gest flaw is that she talks too much. In­tro­duc­ing, Cosmo’s youngest cover girl and Bol­ly­wood’s hottest new debu­tante!

Cosmopolitan (India) - - COSMO INTERVIEW - By Priyam Chaturvedi; Pho­to­graphs by Vishesh Verma

At all of 19 years, Bol­ly­wood’s lat­est en­trant Alia Bhatt has a lot to be proud of. Not be­cause she can boast of a celebrity gene in her body (she is di­rec­tor Ma­hesh Bhatt’s daugh­ter), not even be­cause she’s mak­ing ma­jor head­lines as the new face of the in­dus­try, but be­cause she achieved it all on her own, picked from over 500 other con­tenders. “Karan heard about me through our di­alougue writer Ni­ran­jan Iyen­gar, and I came in through the nor­mal process,” says Alia, when I ask her how it all hap­pened. “I au­di­tioned for the role, was short­listed, and Karan saw some­thing in me that he liked!”

Alia Bhatt’s de­but movie, Stu­dent Of The Year, might be the first time di­rec­tor Karan Jo­har stepped into un­fa­mil­iar reign by cast­ing only fresh faces (the film also stars new­com­ers Varun Dhawan and Sid­dharth Malhotra along­side Alia), but it didn’t mean he would com­pro­mise on the mag­ni­tude of his style of cinema. “I’d never imag­ined that I’d get to do my first film with Karan Jo­har—it was a big deal for me! And even though he didn’t have a big name in his movie, he never com­pro­mised on the film...he went all out and made it like he would make it with other stars. Karan put in a lot of faith in all of us and that made us feel con­fi­dent about our­selves.”

As Alia re­veals, she is a girl who al­ways had her pri­or­i­ties set in life, right from the word go. “Ever since I was four, I wanted to be in front of the cam­era,” she says softly. Cliché, you’d say, con­sid­er­ing she comes from a fam­ily of ac­tors, di­rec­tors and pro­duc­ers. But her dream had less to do with her lin­eage, more with her lik­ing the idea of get­ting to wear so many

The only prepa­ra­tion I did for the role of Shanaya was to learn how to walk in heels. I’d walk around wear­ing heels all the time.

dif­fer­ent clothes. “I was fas­ci­nated with movies,” she ex­claims. “I loved how one minute ac­tors would be danc­ing in a gar­den, and in the very next shot, they’d be on the road and then some­where else, chang­ing quickly for ev­ery se­quence, wear­ing in­ter­est­ing and colourful clothes all the time.” It took her big break to fig­ure out that there was much more to act­ing than fab­u­lous clothes; in­clud­ing hav­ing to lose 16 ki­los for her role (“Karan thought I was a bit over­weight for the part”) and learn­ing to walk in high heels. “The only ac­tual prepa­ra­tion I did for the role of Shanaya was to learn how to walk in heels. I’d walk around wear­ing heels all the time. The whole process of act­ing in this film was my prepa­ra­tion, be­cause I’d never had any act­ing for­mal train­ing be­fore.”

“The weight loss was the te­dious task ac­tu­ally,” she con­tin­ues. “I just had to lose weight, so I went on a very strict diet for three months. It was a long process, but it was worth it. I knew that I had to give it my all, and I did.”

Grow­ing up, Alia was never made to feel as if she be­longed to a fam­ily of celebri­ties, and ad­mits to have had a very nor­mal up­bring­ing. “I was so in­volved with my school life that I never got to know any­thing. I used to get up, get ready, take the rick­shaw, walk back home…it was noth­ing out of the or­di­nary. There was no spe­cial treat­ment that was given to me.” And have things changed now, post the movie? “Not at all,” she laughs. “I’ll be kicked out of the house if I ex­pect any celebrity treat­ment. I’m not a celebrity at all. I’m just an ac­tor and per­former. A celebrity and a star is what the au­di­ence makes you. At home, I’m just the youngest per­son in this house, and that’s what I’m treated like.”

It is this down-to-earth at­ti­tude that be­comes Alia’s defin­ing qual­ity. Apart from the long list that she gives me when I ask her to de­fine her­self, that is. “I’m a very sen­si­tive per­son, and very emo­tional. I’m also very moody and like be­ing by my­self more than be­ing around peo­ple. I don’t know where I de­vel­oped this char­ac­ter­is­tic from, but once I do get to know some­body, I’m all friendly and chirpy and happy,” she says, all in one breath. She no­tices that I’m strug­gling a lit­tle to catch up, and laughs, “And see...this is my worst habit. I talk too

fast! Most of the time I stam­mer and stut­ter be­cause there are so many things I’m think­ing in my head. I just have too much to say at one time. I’m also very clumsy. I keep fall­ing ill and fall­ing down, and that ir­ri­tates me a whole lot. These are my big­gest flaws.”

Given her ‘grown-up suc­cess’ and a sense of lev­el­head­ed­ness she ex­udes, it can be easy to for­get that she is still a teenager. But she is just 19, and I won­der whether she minds not do­ing the things friends her age are (“I’m do­ing some­thing I al­ways wanted to do, so the other things don’t re­ally mat­ter”) or that her wardrobe doesn’t boast of lux­ury de­signer la­bels yet (“I be­lieve I should wear a branded item only when I can af­ford it my­self”). And does this ma­tu­rity ex­tend to her per­sonal life as well (she does ad­mit she has “the big­gest crush on Ran­bir Kapoor, es­pe­cially af­ter Barfi!”)

“Of course, I’m a very ro­man­tic per­son,” she says, sound­ing like a school­girl for the very first time dur­ing our in­ter­view. “I want a boy who is madly in love with me... loves me more than I love him and who’s also my best friend. But sadly, there is no such per­son avail­able at the mo­ment. Till then, I’ll just have to keep look­ing.”

Em­bossed leather jacket, and dou­ble panel leather pants, both Zara; lace-up shoes, Em­po­rio


Em­bel­lished dress, Gior­gio Ar­mani; lace stock­ings, Zara; pumps, Clarks

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