She made a promising debut in 2012 and has tasted critical success with her recent film Highway. The question on everyone’s lips is: when will Alia Bhatt team up with her film-maker father, Mahesh Bhatt?
Bhatt Senior answers that, talks about his fledging acting career and more in this chat.
You said you have retired from directing. But would you want to helm a film starring Alia?
I gave up direction in 1998, with my film Zakhm that won both me and Ajay Devgn National Awards. It was a very important film in my career and came after a spate of bad ones. I’ve been in the business for three decades now, but the last 15 years have been the most productive.
Alia has just begun. She is only two films old and has miles to go. I don’t think she is dependent on me to bring out the depth in her. Karan Johar and Imtiaz Ali have brought out dimensions in her which I could possibly have not done as a director. I have no illusions about wielding a magical wand that can bring something out of her that others can’t. She does tell me to write a film, so maybe someday… but it should be natural.
Alia is being touted as the next big star. How do you look at her career so far?
We are a family of movie makers — my father made more than a 100 movies and I’ve made more than that. She has to understand that long film careers need a lot of consistent hard work. She must enjoy the praise but also remember that she has a long way to go. It’s dangerous to delude yourself into thinking that you’ve arrived. Thank God, Alia doesn’t suffer from that. She isn’t the first member of her own fan club.
Will we see you star in a film with your daughters, Alia and Pooja Bhatt?
I have been offered a role by (director) Mukul Mishra. He wants me to play a lama (spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism), which I have agreed to play. I am a bad actor, but I’ll surrender to him. You can’t rule out Pooja and Alia sharing screen space.
Your banner is known to make films with adult content. Will you cast Alia in such a movie?
We don’t make films for our children. If it happens, then it will, but we don’t have any specific plans in that direction.