She doesn’t have to try too hard to make news. For instance, last week, even when Alia Bhatt had no new film to promote, she made headlines when she apparently played peekaboo with the photographers, while visiting her alleged boyfriend, Sidharth Malhotra’s house in Bandra. But when we caught up with Alia, she laughed off the incident. Here, she talks about dealing with the failure of Shaandaar, not losing any more weight, and more.
What exactly happened outside Sidharth’s residence that day?
I didn’t play peekaboo at all (laughs). I know that just because I can’t see the cameras doesn’t mean that they can’t see me. I was on a phone call, and had just shut my eyes, as I was discussing very stressful information. The photographers are always around. Wherever I go, they start clicking incessantly. I am always like, “At least give me a heads-up, as many times, I look so disheveled. What will people think?” (smiles).
Are you comfortable with the paparazzi?
I don’t have any issues with them following me around. If I create a fuss about it, and if they stop taking my pictures tomorrow, I will be the first person to cry and say, “Meri please photos le lo (Please click my pictures).” I don’t want to reach that stage. They are just doing their job. So, I am okay with the paparazzi, as long as they don’t enter my bathroom (laughs).
How did you handle the failure of Shaandaar?
I will never regret doing that film. But honestly, for the first few days, I wasn’t good at all. I was feeling extremely low. But now, I am fine and happy that it happened. Now, I know how it feels to have a film not do well. I have got a lot of love and support, especially from my fans. At that time, it was important for me to take a break to understand things. It’s important to take some time off for yourself. Otherwise, you keep pretending, “Oh, I don’t feel bad”, but it’s a fact that it’s not the best feeling in the world.
How did your family react?
I can’t explain how supportive my father was. Since it (failure) happened to me for the first time, I needed to understand and process it. So, I took a holiday when I had three days off, and went to Oman all by myself. For the first time ever, I went on a holiday alone, and it was great. My dad is too cute. Every morning, he sends me one motivational quote. I have a folder full of all his quotes. In fact, he sent me a quote by Frank Sinatra, that says, ‘The best revenge is massive success’. Dad got the quote framed and hung it on the wall behind my bed.
You have been maintaining a low profile on social media. Why?
It’s (social networking) crazy. It has reached another level. I need to get off it every now and then. I don’t want to be constantly on it, checking and posting stuff. Initially, it was exciting, but then, I found myself logging on to Twitter or Instagram even when I didn’t need to. It becomes like an addiction.
Are you happy that two of your films are ready?
It feels good, but it’s also nerve-wracking because I have very different characters in both. So, I have to wait and watch. I have decided that I am not going to stress too much. Everything depends on that Friday, when the audiences watch the film and give their verdict. You just have to ensure that you make good films because audiences, today, have become picky and smart, and rightfully so.
Did you hear the rumours that claim your film with Shah Rukh Khan has been shelved?
I heard a few. I don’t know why they came up because a schedule can get delayed. But as Karan (Johar; film-maker) said, ‘We are on track.’ Preparations are on in full swing.
Are you nervous about working with SRK?
I am very excited. Plus, I am nervous before anything — be it going on a ramp, stepping on stage or starting a film. I have been doing a lot of readings with Gauri (Shinde; director), and we get along like a house on fire because the character is just so me. I love her work, and adored English Vinglish (2012). She is a phenomenally talented director. We have a really nice connection. It’s important that the director and actor have good chemistry, and not just the actors.
Are you doing a remake of Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991) with Shahid Kapoor?
No one has approached me for it. I don’t know what’s happening with it. But talks are going on with my dad (Mahesh Bhatt; film-maker) about doing a film [with the family banner]. I think it’s the right time to at least put some thought into it. I am sure it will happen soon. It will be a good one, and a biggish project. They (writers working for the family banner) are working on a few scripts right now. For me, what matters the most is the script. I can’t say yes to an idea, and even dad knows that. As a company, they are working on a couple of ideas right now. Let’s see if I like the script once it’s done.