It’s only been four years since she made her debut in Student of The Year (2012), but Alia Bhatt is at the top of her game in Bollywood. Although the 23-year-old is “happy” with her success, the actor says she doesn’t want to take it “too seriously”. Here, she talks about her career, new home and co-star Shah Rukh Khan.
Do you feel four years old in the film industry?
No, I don’t. In fact, I feel four years younger, and as years go by, I will continue to feel four, five or six years younger. That way, you don’t feel like you have been here for a while. Everything seems fresh. You always want to keep doing things without feeling like, “Oh, I have been doing this for so long.” I don’t want to think that four years have passed [in the industry].
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You’re co-starring with SRK in your new film. Many initially felt that it was a weird combination. Were you nervous?
Of course, I was a bit nervous because people were like, “What are they doing?” and “Wow, can they work together?” I kept telling people to leave it to the imagination, because the kind of role and story it is, the casting is completely apt. Now, I am really excited that people are also excited to see both of us together. They want to see the film, and there’s an air of positivity. Right now, I don’t think anyone can pinpoint as to what kind of film it is. All you can get is a happy feeling and that’s most important.
This year, you received a lot of praise for Udta Punjab, bought a new house, and are now working with Shah Rukh Khan. Has 2016 been special?
Definitely, and I hope every year is as special in a different way. This has been a good year for me. Forget the numbers, all the films that I have done this year have received great response and have connected with people’s emotions. For me, that’s most important. I hope people come out feeling an emotional connect with the new movie too. Then, I will feel proud and feel that my job is done.
You are in Singapore right now. Since you recently bought a new house, are you planning to buy something for the new place from there?
I hope that I get some time off, but as of now, I have no time to shop, because we are shooting at night, and the schedule is hectic. But if I get one or two days off, I will go for it. Also, my house is fully set up. All I need to do is move in. I don’t need to buy or do anything else.
So you haven’t moved in yet?
Everything has been set up. I just have to move my clothes there. I am still struggling to find house help and few other things. I am facing all the domestic problems that I hadn’t faced in life till now. I didn’t want to move in without the house being set up completely, but now it’s almost done, so once I am back, I will move in.
Is your new film with Shah Rukh Khan completely different from what you have done so far in your career?
Yes, it was totally different, because, honestly, I don’t think that there is a reference for a film like this. At the same time, it’s familiar, because when I’m talking about life and the problems in life, it does feel normal and real. So, while it felt real, the idea of it being a Hindi film was exciting and new. Even though you can’t compare it to anything, it’s a relatable film.
You are just 23. Was it challenging for you to relate to the role?
Not really, I related to the part well. I know I am young, but the role is also of a young girl. Maybe not as young as I am, but she’s also in the same age group. She also feels the same things that most young people go through — they are a bit lost, they don’t know what they want from life, they don’t know what to do about their career, etc. So, I am asking questions and Shah Rukh is responding to them. Even our (teaser) videos have the same essence and ethos.