She had a great 2016 with back-to-back hits — Udta Punjab, Kapoor & Sons and Dear Zindagi — but Alia Bhatt doesn’t have as many films lined up this year, with only Badrinath Ki Dulhania (BKD) being confirmed so far. But the 23-year-old maintains she won’t be “under the radar”, as she’s planning to keep busy with social work. HT catches up with the actor to talk about her plans for 2017.
It seems, unlike 2016, you’ll be under the radar in 2017.
No, I don’t think I will ever go under the radar (smiles). I feel, strategically, [not going under the radar] makes sense right now. I had three releases in 2016, and this year, I will hopefully have one more release apart from BKD. Nothing is confirmed yet, but it seems BKD will be my only film in 2017 as of now. It’s a very different and biggish film. What I mean by ‘biggish’ is that it’s a very mainstream film, which I haven’t done for a while now. So I am really looking forward to that.
But you won’t be seen on screen as much as last year?
Yes, generally-speaking, if you don’t have a film release, then one can be under the radar. But besides movies, I have a lot of other plans for 2017 that are not film-related. For instance, I am going to be very active when it comes to social work. I am already working on a campaign for animals.
And if all goes well, on that front, things should get rolling very soon. I am looking forward to that. It’s going to be a completely new thing and a first for me. In fact, it’s something that I have been planning for a very long time now.
You also have a new house to take care of…
Yes, I have moved into my new place, but I am still finding my feet. I love my new home.
How was it working with Varun (Dhawan) again?
It’s a love story, so both of us have to be completely into the project. Although we are exploring many more things in the film [as compared to Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014)], it’s in the same fun, light-hearted space.
Watch Badrinath Ki Dulhania first look
Does it become challenging to manage the fame, particularly when one achieves success so early in their career?
I strongly believe that there will be a year when the amount of success and praise will vary, and I have to be ready for any of those situations.
Of late, you have been making news owing to film awards….
I feel every year, whichever actor gets awarded; there should be just celebrations because you are being rewarded for the kind of effort that you put in (your work). So I have no hard or stern feelings at all. I feel it’s a highly creative field, and one should just be happy for each other.
As far as I am concerned, had there been no love from audiences last year, I would have felt that I lost, or maybe I wouldn’t have felt so good. But luckily, there has been only love from the audiences. So, I don’t think I have anything to complain about if my shelf has one or two fewer trophies (smiles).
We have heard that you want a couple of scenes from Badrinath Ki Dulhania (BKD) reshot…
It’s a joke. I started to shoot for BKD’s first schedule right after Dear Zindagi (2016), and since both are completely different films, I found it challenging to get into that world. So, there are one or two scenes that I am not happy with. In fact, I even told Shashank (Khaitan; director), ‘we will reshoot them since I do not like them (laughs).’ But he is like, ‘no, don’t worry, it will all work out. The scenes will all be fine.’
Last year, one of your career highlights was working with Shah Rukh Khan…
Honestly, I feel there was a lot of give-and-take in the film. It’s like without Shah Rukh, even I won’t be in the film. Yes, the journey was about the girl, but it was more about moving through the depths of life and enjoying those simple moments of introspection. I couldn’t have done that without him. I had a lovely time working with Shah Rukh. Plus, I got to learn so much from his experience.