Alia shoots for superstardom
Alia Bhatt is so much more than a ‘young star’—behind that fresh face is a determined actor who refuses to leave any stone unturned on her way to superstar status!
IT'S EXACTLY A MONTH TO GO BEFORE HER SECOND RELEASE, HIGHWAY, AND ALIA BHATT IS BOTH EXCITED AND NERVOUS.
Busy on a multi-city tour to promote her movie, she’s clocking this interview while on her way back to the Chandigarh airport. “It’s just been so hectic, but I don’t mind it one bit!” she tells me. “Shooting for this movie has been life changing. Moving from a fun film to an intense one like this was such an eye opener. I had to go through many challenges—physically, mentally and emotionally, but it was a process I enjoyed thoroughly,” she explains. “Between promoting Highway, where I star opposite Randeep Hooda, and shooting simultaneously for 2 States with Arjun Kapoor and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya, opposite Varun Dhawan, I have no time left to do anything else!”
Welcome to the frenetic world of 20-year-old Alia Bhatt. In 2012, when she bagged her debut role in Karan Johar’s Student Of The Year, many agreed it was a career move other newcomers could only dream of. They were right. The multi-starrer firmly placed Alia in the top
league, bringing with it a host of titles like ‘A star in the making’ and ‘The industry’s next big thing’. But Alia assures me she doesn’t take such things too seriously. “These tags don’t make me confident or nervous! They are just labels people use. One day they put you up there and the next day you’ll be thrown down, so I try not to get overly affected by either negativity or positivity and accept both with open arms.”
Wise words, you’ll agree (reminder: Alia is 20!) Does this savvy come from her family (which includes dad and director Mahesh Bhatt, mother and actress Soni Razdan, and half-sister and actress Pooja Bhatt). Alia credits her Zen-like attitude to her profession. “Being an actor teaches you a lot of patience. In my line of work, there are a lot of things happening around you, and it’s not an entirely controlled environment...sometimes it gets chaotic. At that point, you just need to keep your sanity intact.” What about all the animosity one can attract being in the public eye...being calm isn’t always easy. “If you have lovers, you must have haters too! If there are no haters and no problems, you’re not making a big enough impact!”
Being in an industry where competition and comparisons are inevitable, Alia knows that it’s only her talent that will set her apart, not her surname. “Right now it’s my time to slog and give my 100 percent to the job, and let my work do all the talking. I won’t deny that there are days when the fear of failure creeps in and you feel ‘What if the film doesn’t do well or the audience doesn’t appreciate your effort?’, but it’s that fear that pushes me to work even harder. As far as comparisons are concerned, I think everybody in the industry is hardworking and passionate, and in that sense, I consider everyone competition. But not in a bad way!
Parineeti (Chopra) and I are competitors, but we’re friends, and there is no anger, irritation or cold vibes between us, as is popularly conjectured. We’re all here to make movies and one should learn how to appreciate the other person’s effort as well.”
It’s clear that the world of movie-making has taught Alia both patience and perseverance. Has it also taught her diplomacy? “I think diplomacy only works so much, even in Bollywood. I hate being fake! There are days when I don’t feel confident, or don’t feel like smiling. So I don’t! I smile only when I feel like smiling.”
Alia comes across as someone who doesn’t mince words, so I ask her to finally clear the air on her relationship status. First it was Varun Dhawan, then Siddharth Malhorta and now there are whispers about Arjun Kapoor. Alia’s response is curt. “No, I’m not dating anyone. And being the person I am, even if I was, I’d like to keep it private!” But there are a lot of rumours, I try again, does that bother her? “No, it doesn’t. I don’t consider link-ups important, and don’t pay any attention to them.” Styling: Tanima Khosla; Hair & Make-Up: Subhash Wagal Production: Kavita Thakur.
Printed boxy top, boy shorts (worn inside), and full circle sheer skirt, all Namrata Joshipura; bowler bag, TOD’s; denim, embellished cuff, and spider-motif chain
necklace, both Outhouse
Bustier, Namrata Joshipura; flared pants, Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna; sheer full length jacket,
Masaba; pearl collar, Outhouse; suede peep-toes,