It’s her fourth year in Bollywood. Although Alia Bhatt (right) is considered one of the most sought-after actors in B-Town, the 23-year-old says she is “still working at building a niche” for herself. Here, she talks about her career, doing back-to-back films, and more.
You have been working on back-to-back films. How challenging has it been?
It has been challenging, but amazing too. I probably learnt something on the sets of Udta Punjab that I carried to Kapoor & Sons (she shot for Udta Punjab before Kapoor & Sons). I’m sure the same must have happened vis-à-vis Gauri’s (Shinde; director) film. Whatever I learnt while working with Gauri and Shah Rukh Khan, I’m taking that to my next with Varun Dhawan. I am learning at every step. I’m climbing the ladder and becoming aware of more things. I am not even close to being fully aware, but I’m taking whatever I am learning to my next film.
You are one of the most successful female stars today. Considering the insecurities that prevail in Bollywood, does success make you feel lonely?
Acting, in itself, is a lonely job. That’s the case even when you have a great support system like I have lovely friends and a great family. Since you are constantly moving from one film to another, from one character to another and from one place to another, you interact with certain people on a film’s set for 50 days. Then, on the 51st day, you aren’t with them. So the family that you had is suddenly not there. You don’t even talk to those people; it’s a bit jarring. That makes you feel lonely.
Watch: Alia Bhatt in Udta Punjab trailer
Have you faced such situations?
I have times when I feel, “Okay, now what?” It’s not that I need someone by my side (smiles). But if you strike a balance between the ‘actor self’ and the ‘real self’, that’s when you find sanity. Usually, in the first part of everyone’s career, it’s difficult to balance things out. You can strike that balance when you reach a certain position in your life. At that time, you have the luxury to step back and say, “I’m not taking this up.” I don’t have that kind of luxury right now. I’m still working towards building a niche for myself. I’m working hard; it’s just my fourth year in B-Town. I can’t escape the loneliness, but when it’s there, I just watch TV and eat ice cream.
Working on a variety of films has only helped me. Having said that, I feel it is important to give your mind a break sometimes. Otherwise, you become a repetitive version of yourself. No one wants to see that. That’s why it’s important for actors to take a break, to switch off and do normal things such as going scuba diving, on a safari or to the spa. They should do something different from their daily routine.
Watch: Alia Bhatt in a song from Kapoor And Sons
You must be excited to go on your first-ever world tour…
I don’t know why it’s being called a ‘world tour’. We are only going to US. I think it’s because the term, ‘world tour’, is famous. I am excited because I haven’t travelled the whole of America. I have only been to New York. It will be great fun. We will have lots of dancing and many crazy acts are also planned.
You have wrapped up work on your film with SRK...
I remember an incident when we were shooting. The creative director had a suggestion for a shot. All of us were like, “No, it’s okay.” But Shah Rukh was like, “I understand what you are saying.” SRK reasoned it (the viability of the shot the creative director was suggesting) out with the team. The next day, he kept pulling the creative director’s leg, saying, “Are you okay with this shot?” So, there is a feeling that everyone’s suggestions count. That’s an important trait to learn. I had a lovely time with him. We played games on the sets. It was a lot of fun.