Though she is just three years old in Bollywood, her acting skills have already made Alia Bhatt one of the most sought-after actresses in the industry. While she has delivered hits like Highway (2014), 2 States (2014) and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014), the 22-year-old says that she still feels nervous about her new films.
As she opens up about her career, marriage plans and rumoured boyfriend Sidharth Malhotra, she also explains why she visited his residence recently at night that made headlines. “I was in the same area where Sidharth lives. And since I am an insomniac, I was wandering around in the night, because I like doing that (smiles),” she says in jest.
There’s been buzz around your visit to Sidharth’s house when he returned from the UK.
Nahin, aisa kuch nahin hai (There’s nothing like that; smiles). There’s nothing to explain. And it wasn’t just me. There were a couple of other friends too, including Sidharth’s pals.
So, is there nothing going on between you two?
No. Honestly, I will neither say yes nor no. I will say nothing (smiles).
It’s believed that unlike the past generations, the younger actors today are very secretive about their relationships.
To each his own. I can openly say that if I am asked about my personal life, I will lie. I feel it (talking about relationships) takes away from your work. If you talk too much about your relationships, things often get misinterpreted. And when there is a break-up or heartbreak, you haveto deal with that, and also deal with how the matter gets splashed in papers all over the country. I am a very sensitive person. I would rather not have this trouble.
You will be seen in a film (Vikas Bahl’s next) after over a year. Are you nervous?
Of course, I am. I am so stressed that my dentist told me I am grinding my teeth due to stress. So, every evening, I get shooting pain from my jaw to my head. I am nervous, but I am not scared. Everyone’s films have done well of late. So when your film doesn’t do well, you ask yourself, “Oh, did I make a wrong choice?” And I strongly feel that it’s your choices that make a good career. The track record has to be good.
Do you think you are on the right track to achieve that?
I don’t want to reach there too fast, because I don’t want to burn out. I have been in the industry for only three years. I want to sustain at least for another 10 years. Even if it means that I do lesser number of films and make fewer choices. I don’t mind sitting at home for six months if there’s no film that I want to do.
When you talk about sustaining in the industry for 10 years, do you plan to get married after that?
I think anytime between 30 and 32 should be good. Apart from your career goals, there are a few other goals with regards to your personal life. But, I don’t know what will happen in the future. Everything can change. I know there’s going to be a time when I want to settle down, get married and have a baby. I have given myself that deadline in my head.
So you believe in the institution of marriage.
I may get married later or may never get married. But I want babies, so I’ll have to get married. I want fat, cute babies. Every girl has to think about it at some point. For me, marriage is about family, and that’s why I find it necessary. Till then, it’s normal to have a partner and do your own thing.
You have lost so much weight. Are you aiming for size zero?
No, I am not going for size zero. I am somewhere between size zero and size four. It (the weight loss) has happened by default, and not on purpose. The aim is to be internally fit.
You made your acting debut at 19. Do you feel you started out too young?
No. Earlier, I would feel that maybe, I am a bit too young [to be in the industry]. But now is a really good time to be an actress. It doesn’t matter if you are too young or too old. The kinds of roles that are being written are so diverse and versatile.
But wouldn’t it be challenging for you to keep yourself inspired for a long time?
If you love the job, you have to be inspired. The only way you can be an actor is if you really want to do it. Even if bad things happen to me in life, and I am sad, I have to think, “Good, now I can use this in my scene.” I equate every little thing that happens in my life to my movies. I am focused.
There have been talks about you working with Pooja (Bhatt; director-sister). How is your equation with her and Rahul Bhatt (brother)?
My equation with both of them is very cool. There was a time when Rahul would come home every Sunday, and we would have a meal together. Now, of course, everyone is doing their own thing. But I met Pooja on my dad’s (Mahesh Bhatt; film-maker) birthday (September 20). What I love most about her is that she is her own person. She is the strongest person in the Bhatt family. She doesn’t mince words, and says things the way they are. She and mum (Soni Razdan; actor) are also working on a project together.
You recently met Rajinikanth. How was the experience?
I have performed live at awards shows, but performing in a stadium, with over 30,000 people in the stands, is a different deal altogether. So, I was nervous. When Rajinikanth entered the stadium in a golf cart with a football in his hand, the whole stadium went crazy. When he came on stage, he was so warm and down to earth. I took his blessings, and introduced myself to him. I was star-struck when I met him.
You are going to work with Ranbir Kapoor in Ayan Mukerji’s next…
I am very excited, because that film will go on the floors at a time when I would have had two releases behind me, and would want to be on the sets again. Also, I have a superb equation with Ayan. He is my 3am friend. Working on a set with him would be very interesting. And I have made no bones about the fact that I am very fond of Ranbir, as an actor. Now, I know him very well as a person too. Karan (Johar; film-maker) recently told me, “Ranbir is the best person to have on the sets.” I have heard similar things from Imtiaz (Ali; director) too.
Whenever I’ll do my family banner’s film, it will be a big one. So, we have to be sure about it. I have a lot of thoughts. The remake of Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahi (1991) was Pooja’s (Bhatt; sister) idea, and I said, “I would love to do it.” We want to take it forward, but only in the right way. So, if it’s not made at all, or if we don’t get the right director, actor or adapted script, we probably won’t go ahead with it. It would be disappointing if I do my first film with my dad’s banner, and it doesn’t do well.
But right now, there are no talks, as I don’t have the time to sign any new film. I have three movies releasing next year, and I’ll start work on another one in 2016. You have to give each film the required time. So, I don’t want to cramp things up. But it’s definitely at the back of my mind for sure.