She is at the top of her game, and has delivered back-to-back hits in the short time she has been working in Bollywood, but Alia Bhatt says what she’s looking for is “constant growth”. As the Badrinath Ki Dulhania actor turns a year older today (March 15), HT catches up her to talk about her plans for the day, maturity, growing older and her love life.
What’s the plan for your birthday?
It’s going to be my first birthday in my new house, so that’s going to be a first. Honestly, other than that, what makes my birthday special is my family and friends. It’s an excuse to get together and celebrate. It’s not like I hate my birthdays, but I don’t really get into or understand big celebrations. I am turning 24, and am entering the mid-20s zone. So that’s interesting.
You seem very excited to be in your mid-20s…
Yes, I am. I am not one of those people who are conscious about age. Some people don’t want to ‘turn’ old, but I want to turn a couple of years older — not just one year — so that people don’t call me a ‘kid’ (smiles). It’s sweet and I don’t mind [being called] that, but turning older will take me away a little bit from that (laughs). Anyway, age is just a number. But maybe I am saying that because I am young (smiles).
Are you a big birthday person?
There’s one thing that I am particular about: cake. I have always made sure that my cake has been epic, ever since I was 17 or 18. So, if I am not able to get my cake, I tell someone else that I want this particular kind of cake. This time, I have told my sister (Shaheen Bhatt) that I want a white cake with chocolate inside it. Besides that, I don’t care much about gifts or parties.
With regard to your career, you seem to be in a great place.
Yes, I think I am in a very exciting place. I wouldn’t say that ‘I am now safe or that I have arrived’. It’s a very intriguing time in my life, because I am so taken up by the movies, people, work and creativity. It’s an exciting time to be a part of movies and just to be an actor in this generation. I don’t measure my success or failure. I am just looking for constant growth as a person and an actor. If I feel ki ab toh ho gaya (that I’ve achieved everything now), then I am putting a full stop to everything, which is boring.
Watch Tamma Tamma Again I Badrinath Ki Dulhania
Recently, you were in the news for receiving threats on the phone. Was it scary?
It can happen to anyone. My father calls them an occupational hazard. Honestly, since I was in the middle of promotions for my film, I didn’t want to be disturbed or bothered. My father sort of understood that and so I wasn’t bothered at all. He just said, ‘You need to know about it, but there’s nothing to worry about.’ Thanks to him, the Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh police got on it immediately to make sure there’s nothing to worry about. My family and other people have also faced things like these. It was dealt with every well. With my father and the police by my side, I don’t have anything to worry about.
It was reported that ‘rumoured couple’ Alia and Sidharth went on a lunch date last week…
It’s not a rumour, because I did go for the lunch (laughs). And I didn’t give that headline. So, I didn’t call it ‘rumoured’ (smiles).
So, if not ‘rumoured’, then are you confirming it?
No, I am not confirming anything. I just didn’t give that headline (laughs). There should be a new word for ‘rumoured lovebirds.’ Let’s use ‘love cats’ or ‘love dogs’ (laughs). I also love cats. I am tired of seeing the same headlines over and over. Plus, there’s nothing to react to. I find some of the headlines very entertaining, and I’m Sid does too. There are only reasons to be happy and joyful.
2017 is also your fifth year in the industry…
Honestly, the five years have felt longer to me. People generally say that time has gone fast but I feel like I have been in the industry for a while. Also, maybe because the day I faced the camera, I felt, ‘Oh, I have been doing this for the longest time’. I felt that comfortable and happy in front of the camera. In these five years, so much has happened. There has been so much frenzy that it feels so long. If you come to think of it, it’s (five years in the industry) nothing and it’s just the beginning.
You are turning 24. Do you feel you have had to act mature because you are a public figure?
First, I don’t believe in acting mature. You are either mature or not. If I have a mature side, I also have childishness in me. I can be a six-year-old child in a minute and can also behave like a 40-year-old adult. I think that’s also because I am a Piscean. And all Pisceans – be it Shraddha (Kapoor) or Shahid (Kapoor) – are very unique, sensitive, moody and evolved by nature. I also feel that comes from my family too. If you live with Mahesh Bhatt, and wake up every morning having heavy, deep conversations about everything under the sun, you can’t help but behave and think a little ahead of your age. So, I feel my emotional quotient is very high.
What makes you happier – your film’s (Badrinath Ki Dulhania) success and praise; or birthdays?
Actually, if there was any reason for celebrations, I would do it for my film, Badrinath Ki Dulhania (BKD). So, there can be combined celebrations for birthday slash my film. I know birthdays come just once in a year but it also comes every year. But if a film of mine gets lots of love, it doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes, it happens and sometimes, it doesn’t but you work so hard on a film that you feel great with such a response that I am getting for BKD. So, I would love to celebrate my film along with my birthday (smiles).
By now, haven’t you gotten used to praise and success?
You never get used to it. It’s a Friday-to-Friday kind of thing. Also, it’s not like I want my films to just make money; I also want my films to have an impact on people, the same way a story has an impact on me when I hear it. It’s one thing that a film does well and another thing as to how it makes a place in people’s heart. That’s what I was hoping to happen with BKD that has a subtle message but not in a preachy manner. And I am glad that I am getting a fabulous response. That’s what makes me happy and want to get into celebratory mode.
You said in an interview that you are Yash and Roohi’s (Karan Johar’s kids) sister…
Yes, I was discussing it with Karan that ‘I am like your daughter so, I can’t be their aunt. So, they have to be my brother and sister’. Maybe, I am one of the only people, who will qualify to be Yash and Roohi’s aunt (laughs).