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I want to experience life and travel the world: Alia Bhatt

Although she’s appreciated by all, Alia Bhatt doesn’t feel she is doing ‘great work’; adds that she will remain ‘single’ until she gets married.

bollywood Updated: Nov 20, 2016 11:01 IST
Prashant Singh
Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt says she doesn’t think she is “doing anything special or great work.”(HT Photo)

Within four short years of beginning her acting career, Alia Bhatt has created a solid niche for herself in Bollywood. In an interview about life, career, her love life and her new co-star, Shah Rukh Khan (in Dear Zindagi), the 23-year-old tells HT Café that the excitement of being an actor will “always keep her going”.

You are considered an effortless actor. How much effort does that involve?

A lot. We assume that effortless acting is very spontaneous, but to look effortless [on screen], you have to rehearse a lot, be well versed with the space, and use props naturally. In real life, while talking, I may look to the left or right, but when you’re in front of the camera, you tend to look just towards the camera or in your co-actors’ eyes.

But that shouldn’t necessarily be the case. To get a hang of that, you have to do it once or twice, and then it just flows. You know that the tone is set with what you’re going with.

Alia Bhatt will next be seen with Shah Rukh Khan in Dear Zindagi. (HT Photo)

You’ve delivered solid performances in one film after another. What’s the trick?

Honestly, I don’t know if I am doing anything special. I don’t even think that I am doing great work. I feel that actors ko toh accha hona hi chahiye (actors have to be good). If you are doing a job, you have to be good at it. Else, don’t act; do something else.

So, if people feel I am doing a good job, that’s normal. Of course, appreciation and applause is always welcome, and so is criticism. But it’s not something I feel that will change my behaviour, excitement or understanding of all this [acting]. I am still learning and grasping, and I’m excited about it. I just want to be part of movies and play characters. It’s like a day-to-day thing.

Watch Dear Zindagi Take 1: Life Is A Game

At 23, does it get difficult to manage it all?

Sometimes, yes. When you get tired, you do feel it. Honestly, at 23 or at any other age, the excitement of being an actor and being a part of movies will always remain with me, and that will always keep me going.

So juggling all that may stress me out sometimes, and I may have a nervous breakdown, but I will never resent or dislike what I am doing. I will always love it and that’s why I will keep going. And the reason that I don’t say “I don’t want to do it” is because I can’t live without it.

Alia Bhatt was last seen in Udta Punjab, earlier this year. (HT Photo)

Was it unnerving to work with Shah Rukh Khan in Dear Zindagi?

In the beginning, yes. On the first day, I was like, “Oh, I am going to shoot with Shah Rukh Khan.” But the good thing is that we had already broken the ice a night before when we did the readings. Due to that, I kind of got used to his vibe. I had even interacted with him at an awards function, so that made me shed my inhibitions.

So, whatever awkwardness was there went away. And the first scene that we shot went on throughout the day. So by lunch time, I was okay.

Watch Ikk Kudi by Alia Bhatt & Diljit Dosanjh | Udta Punjab

Would you ideally like to space out your work and schedules?

I am okay with it, but yes, I will make sure that I take two breaks a year, because I want to travel. I want to experience life. I am not one of those people who are like, “I will work all year around and not take a break”.

I want to take a break not because I don’t want to work, but because I want to experience life so that I can use my experiences in my life and in films. So, I need to have experiences to feel revived and rejuvenated.

Alia Bhatt is “excited” that Farhan Akhtar is working on Dil Chahta Hai 2 that will have female protagonists. (HT Photo)

As Karan (Johar; film-maker) asked you on his show, would you feel bad if you didn’t win awards for Udta Punjab?

Karan asked me if I would feel bad if I didn’t win an award.’ So I said, “Yes, maybe. I am a normal person, so I may wonder, ‘Kyun nahi diya (Why didn’t I get it)?’ I also genuinely believe that Sonam (Kapoor) did a great job in Neerja. So, by the end of the year, if people and the jury feel that Sonam deserves it, then she deserves it all.

There’s nothing wrong in it. I’ll never feel that I deserved it more than the other person [who won it]. I won’t be upset about it. I am not working for awards but to satisfy an artiste inside me. If my performance is good and I get an award for it, that’s great.

Watch Just Go To Hell Dil - Dear Zindagi

You are immensely successful. Does that ever make you feel powerful?

Not really. In fact, sometimes, people tell me that I need to start acting more like a star and not to undermine myself. People have to tell me that, because I have a feeling I haven’t done anything great. I know I have worked very hard and I will continue to, but I don’t feel powerful. And the reason I don’t feel that is because I’ve seen failure.

So, you aren’t immortal and invincible. That’s why I feel failures are very important. I will never run towards failure, but I will never run away from it too, because you have to come face-to-face with it as that’s also a part of life.

Alia Bhatt says she learnt a lot from Shaandaar’s failure. (HT Photo)

How important was Shaandaar (2015; the film didn’t do well at the box-office) to you?

Very important. I am so glad that whatever experiences I have had, I really learnt a lot from them. I didn’t try to defend it [the film’s failure] by saying, “No, people have gone mad or it wasn’t a good film.” I didn’t disown it either. I am so glad that I got to work with Shahid (Kapoor) and Vikas (Bahl; film-maker), and I got so many songs that I’m still dancing to and getting paid for them (laughs). But, I learnt a lot from that experience of failure.

Watch Tu Hi Hai - Dear Zindagi

You had told HT Café that you would love to work in Dil Chahta Hai 2. Now, Farhan is working on such a script…

It’s great. As they say, “Jo tum dil se chaho, wo ho jaata hai (If you want something from your heart, then it happens).” Farhan met me and said, “Alia, it’s a really good idea and I am writing it.” He also joked about it, “Let me know what you think of the film,” he said. And I was like, “Farhan, that’s so mean.”

Of course, he later told me that he was joking (smiles). Let’s hope [that the film works out]. It will be great. It’s for the first time that through an interview (with HT Café) a film got conceived.

Alia Bhatt says Sidharth Malhotra and she are “great friends.” (HT Photo)

Are you doing Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy with Ranveer (Singh)?

I said recently in an interview that I would love to be in any gully with Ranveer and Zoya. Jis gali mein mujhe leke jaao main pahunch jaungi (laughs; Whichever lane they will take me to, I shall go).

Have you broken up with Sidharth Malhotra?

If you mean that if he’s not in my life any longer, then that’s not true. He is still in my life. No broken ties.

Watch Dear Zindagi | Take 4 : Set Free

So, is he a friend or more than that?

Sid will always be a good friend (pauses). He is actually more than a good friend. He is very close to me. So, we are just great friends (laughs).

Are you single then?

Until I get married, I’ll be single. The day I get married will be the only day I will be in a relationship.

Next year, Alia Bhatt will be seen alongside Varun Dhawan in Badrinath Ki Dulhania. (HT Photo)

Rumours suggest that you went on a lunch date with Varun (Dhawan) in Singapore…

Honestly, rumours rarely bother me, but this one did. It’s not true, and it’s literally making a mockery of two people who are working genuinely hard to create cinema. We don’t go outdoors to start dating, or for a break-up or a hook-up. At least I am not doing that at this stage.

I genuinely want to make a film, and I want to do it correctly with the right attitude. That’s why I said on Karan’s show also that I am not interes-ted in all of this. I am in a different space in my life right now and I like that space. So, the rumour really bothered me, not because it was true, but for the reason that there’s zero per cent truth to it.

It made me feel that people just want to take away good things from you and start saying, “This is happening or that’s happening.” But what can I do now? Such stories will come. People will talk about it for a few days and then it will go away. And Varun has nothing to do with my love life.