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Alia Bhatt: Rate at which crime against women is going up is scary

The Badrinath Ki Dulhania star, Alia Bhatt says the rate at which crime against women is increasing is “very scary”.

bollywood Updated: Feb 24, 2017 07:29 IST
Prashant Singh
Alia Bhatt made her Bollywood debut in 2012 with Karan Johar’s Student Of The Year.
Alia Bhatt made her Bollywood debut in 2012 with Karan Johar’s Student Of The Year.(HT Photo)

Alia Bhatt is at the top of her game in Bollywood, but even as she goes through a golden period, the actor asserts that she “expects ten times more” from herself. HT catches up with the 23-year-old star to talk about her career, her love life, her new film, Badrinath Ki Dulhania with Varun Dhawan, and the recent molestation case involving a Malayalam actress.

People’s expectations for your performances have gone through the roof…

Yes, people keep saying that to me, but remember — I expect a lot from myself, too. I probably expect ten times more from myself. It’s not like I feel pressurised, or work hard and do certain films only because of what people expect from me. You are your best critique, and so, I am not going to sit around and watch myself perform at a ‘basic’ level. Even when I am being ‘basic’, I want to be fabulous. I am constantly competing and challenging myself.

Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt in Badrinath Ki Dulhania.

Does that pressure become too much to handle with a new film’s release?

There are expectations from Badrinath Ki Dulhania anyway, but before a new film’s release, I try to forget all [the hit movies] that happened earlier. Once the movie releases, I cut myself off. I can’t stay attached to that feeling — of my film doing well and me getting all the love — because it will then become a part of who I am, and we know how people can become when they become successful. I don’t want any of that happening to me. So, for me, it feels like my first film is being released.

Alia Bhatt’s last release, Dear Zindagi also starred Shah Rukh Khan.

As a female film star, you must be shocked about the molestation case in Kerala. Does it worry you?

We always have our security apparatus around us. Whenever I am going to work, I always have somebody with me. But it’s very scary. It could be anybody. Honestly, I don’t want to talk much about it so I don’t bring more attention to the issue — anyone who is in that space wouldn’t want that right now. As a girl, I take a huge offence to it. It’s a very sad thing. I have a very simple question: Why are women going through this? We shouldn’t. The year itself started on a bad note with the Bangalore molestation case.

Watch Badrinath Ki Dulhania trailer

What do you think is the way out?

Education — about ethics, society and sex — is the only way we can impart knowledge to this country and to the people who don’t understand what they are doing or are criminal in their behaviour. It’s the only way we can make sure that this country is a safe place for women to live in. The rate at which it (crime against women) is going up is scary. We are so cultured in our behaviour with everyone, that it [such behaviour] comes as a shocker. Why are we like this with women? I don’t understand it; it’s beyond me.

Alia Bhatt is rumoured to be dating Sidharth Malhotra. (HT Photo)

Recently, your picture with Sidharth Malhotra (alleged boyfriend) at a party set tongues wagging…

We had left [from the party] at the same time, and since my car had not come [to the porch in time], I stepped into his vehicle. He dropped me to my car, and then I went home. I had to attend my grandmother’s birthday, so I had to go home.

The photo comes after a number of stories about the two of you breaking up and then patching up a few times…

Those who think that we have patched up should just feel happy (smiles).

But is he more special than just a friend to you?

Sid is extremely and immensely special, and he will always be that way. I am not saying he is just a good friend either. But I don’t want to talk about who he is [to me]. And there is no mystery; it’s just that I don’t want to talk about it.

Alia Bhatt made her Bollywood debut with Student Of The Year.

After you and Sidharth left from a party together, the talk is that, you two have come out in the open (about your relationship)…

We are very comfortable (with each other). And, I don’t care (what people think). Let’s put it that way. I am not trying to project anything false, but I am not going to go out and talk about it in any way because it’s personal. I don’t want people to use anything that I say against me. It’s not like I left in Sid’s car for the first time. I don’t know why people are suddenly saying that ‘we have come out in the open because I have been doing this for quite a long time. I don’t think it’s wrong to go in anyone else’s car. I have also gone in Shah Rukh’s car, and that doesn’t mean anything.

Watch Tamma Tamma Again I Badrinath Ki Dulhania

Do you feel powerful with all the success and accolades that have come your way?

I don’t take anything for granted. It’s not like I don’t feel grateful for the space that I am in. But, I don’t take all of it (success) too seriously. The minute I do that, it will start affecting the choices I make, and the way I interact with people and conduct myself. I will start nitpicking everything thinking that I should behave in a certain way because people expect me to be like that. I don’t want to change because of the love and appreciation that I am getting.

Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan also starred in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania.

You started your career at 19. Is there a fear of burning out?

Yes, there is, and that’s why I am taking it easy right now. I just have one film this year. I have signed two more – Dragon and Gully Boy. I am not going crazy about work right now. After Badrinath Ki Dulhania releases, I will go on a four-month break during which I will do nothing. And, this is not scaring me. I am not going to do a film just because I have four months off. I will chill and learn to play the piano, Kathak, horse riding and cooking. To learn cooking, I want to travel to places such as Paris, France. I want to be a student for four months.

Watch Humsafar song I Badrinath Ki Dulhania

Keeping up with the theme of your new film, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, is marriage on your mind?

I don’t really think about getting married because I shouldn’t be doing that anytime soon. I am only 24. I have at least five or six years more for marriage. I can start thinking about it then. It’s not at all on my mind right now. But, yes, I do want to have babies and settle down some day. I also want to continue acting. I will not stop working as long as people want to see me on screen.

Alia Bhatt was lauded for her performance in Udta Punjab.

You worked with Varun for the third time in Badrinath Ki Dulhania. Is this why the chemistry between the two of you is so palpable?

I would like to believe that both of us are good actors, which is why our chemistry is also good. It’s also got to do with how well our characters are written, and how Shashank (Khaitan; director) worked with both of us. Also, we are like children. We are constantly going neck-to-neck with each other in real life too. So, whenever we work together, we try to make sure everything is fabulous without trying too hard. And, I am not taking our chemistry for granted. We depend a lot on each other to make sure that (chemistry) it comes across.

Watch Badri Ki Dulhania (Title Track)

Have you finally settled in your new home in Juhu?

I haven’t been at (the new) home on a regular basis. But, it’s fully functional and designed now. There were minor issues such as plumbing etc. But, now, everything has fallen into place. I am finally fully settled. There are no alarming situations any longer at home (laughs). Sometimes, it does feel strange to have your own space. But, now, that strangeness is also going away. I look forward to going home and spending some ‘alone time’ with myself. But, I haven’t had even that kind of time for a while now. Nowadays, I go home only to sleep.