Just because I like the name Sidharth doesn’t mean I’m rekindling anything, says Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt says after doing back-to-back challenging parts, she would probably take up a stress-free ‘nonsensical part’.Updated: Apr 11, 2019 16:56 IST
Last year, she completed a glorious five years in Bollywood, and the sixth year started off on a “super busy note” for Alia Bhatt. But she is clearly not complaining. “I always want my working atmosphere to be a happy one,” says the actor, as she gears up for the release of her next, Raazi. She also talks about her working style, link-up rumours and more.
This year you have worked on Raazi, Gully Boy, Brahmastra, and now you are working on Kalank in a back-to-back manner. How are you managing time?
Thank God, my manager takes care of my date diary (laughs). But it is a crazy time for me. This is the most that I have worked continuously. I have worked every day since January without even a single day off. But I am not complaining as it’s a new kind of time for me. I am learning a lot about myself, my work, and I am understanding new things as well as meeting new people too. We are just in the fifth month of 2018 but it feels I have already gone through the whole year. It’s all going very fast but also slow in a way. The difficult part is switching between the characters. Fortunately, I have finished Gully Boy so, now I just have Brahmastra and Kalank but they both are in very different worlds. I just wish my directors lots of love and luck to handle this kind of a mess (laughs).
Are you nervous about carrying a film completely on your shoulders?
I feel a film is made up of many characters, so it is not just me. But yes, one can say that Raazi is my solo film of sorts after some time. I would not say that it’s completely my film. It is very difficult without your co-actors to bring a character to life. Also, it has been a while since my last film (Badrinath Ki Dulhania; 2017) released, so I am a little nervous because I have never done such a film. There is no reference to do such a film. But the nervousness is there, regardless of a film being big, difficult or small. I will always be nervous but it’s a different kind of nervousness.
Be it Highway (2014), Udta Punjab (2016) or Raazi, do such intense roles take a toll on you?
I don’t know for sure but I think it does. I am feeling very tired, but not because of the physical aspects [of a character] but because every character that I am playing is quite layered. For instance, my part in Kalank is also quite difficult. I did not realise it initially, when I started shooting for it. But then, I was like, ‘it’s so difficult. Why am I struggling?’ On the second day, I gave 11 takes for one shot which has not happened with me for a long time. So I choose my characters thinking, ‘yeh kuch alag hoga but it’s like apne pair par kulhaadi maarna’. After this year is over, I just want to have fun and maybe do a nonsensical part with no hectic, stressful and layered work (laughs).
In an earlier interview, you said that a 20-something isn’t always a poster girl of pure positivity and constant joy…
You know, I always try and remain positive but at the same time, I also feel, ‘why should the world feel your internal struggles?’ I want my working atmosphere to be a happy one. I want to only give love and positivity. But neither am I always happy nor I am permanently positive. I am constantly paranoid, worried from time to time, under confident and insecure as well. I don’t think these are bad emotions. There is a certain perception that you always need to be happy. I am totally against that. For me, happiness is not an emotion, but moments. I think happiness has been defined all wrong for us. Happiness doesn’t mean you have to be constantly giggling, smiling and laughing.
But the perception is that Alia is a happy-go-lucky person.
I am a very positive and happy person. I certainly believe in the better things in life. But it does not mean that I don’t have bad moments. It’s okay if I don’t laugh too much on a certain day. To put it correctly, I like being warm and that’s my vibe. I can be sad but still be warm. So, I would rather be warm, cozy and comfy. Happiness is overrated.
Does the burden of expectations ever weigh you down?
More than others, I have high expectations from myself. So, it never weighs me down. I won’t use the word ‘critical’, but I am quite objective about when I am killing it and when I am not. When I watch my film, I don’t think, ‘oh, I wish I had done it better’. I only judge what’s good and what’s not or what’s great and what is average, to be aware that I will be able to do it better the next time.
Of late, you have been linked up with Ranbir Kapoor. Does it affect either of you?
I haven’t asked Ranbir. I don’t know how he feels about those rumours. He won’t feel anything as he will be exactly like me (smiles). But there is nothing to feel. There’s no need to clarify or deny anything. He is a very good human being, and I am very fortunate to be around him at this point in my life.
Recently, you said that you like the name ‘Siddharth’ and it went viral…
It is genuinely a nice name and I spoke my mind honestly. What else am I supposed to say? But I got so confused when people started making stories out of it. Gautham Buddha also had the name Siddhartha. What I said had no connection with Sid [Sidharth Malhotra]. I like the name and the person that Sid is as he is a beautiful person. But it has nothing to do with me and him rekindling or anything on those lines. I find that a bit far-fetched.
How challenging has Raazi been – physically and emotionally?
It was physically exhausting but not because of the action scenes as we don’t have them. It was challenging because of the number of hours we were shooting. We shot minimum 7 to 9 scenes per day and worked continuously as we had a certain budget and had to finish it in around 49 days. Of course, due to the layers [of emotions] that Sehmat feels within herself it was very difficult emotionally too. So, it was like I had to constantly express but not express since I am playing a spy. As I always say, ‘I play a character but Sehmat also constantly plays a part.’ That was difficult but fun.
Having Meghna Gulzar (director) around must have been really helpful…
Absolutely! Meghna is so clear about the tone that she wanted for the film that once we cracked it, we were simply flowing. The reason we were able to shoot fast was because we were not taking much time to shoot scenes. That is not always easy and doesn’t happen in every film. Sometimes, it takes a really long time to crack that code and get the tone of the character. We cracked this one on the first day itself.
Five years after your debut (with Student of The Year; 2012), have you found your zone or method?
No, I never want to crack any [method] or have one because then I will be just like a robot and won’t feel anything. There should not be one way to do anything. I want my every character to have new and unique journeys. And I am happy doing different things. I want to learn something from an experience and apply that somewhere else. I may not approach Raazi the way I approached Udta Punjab or the way that I went about Raazi, it won’t be the same in Kalank. Different films should have different approaches.
You have always been fond of Ranbir as an actor. How was the first day of shoot with him on the sets of Brahmastra?
The experience was exactly the way I had imagined it to be. I always thought that if he is such a good actor, his process will also be amazing, and it is. He does not have a fussy process so it’s nice to be around someone who is so easy-going. That’s why I feel its borderline fascinating as I am like, ‘how are you so Buddha-like about everything? Does anything affect you?’ He has a great attitude. I have learnt a lot from him during the process, and it has helped me be patient and positive and not stress about everything.
Recently, a report stated that you are fascinated by Ranbir Kapoor.
I don’t know whether I used the word, ‘fascinated’. But yes, I would definitely say that I’m fascinated by the kind of person he is with his vibe and behaviour. He is a really rare person and in the years that I have been alive, I haven’t seen many such people.
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