She hasn’t got “even a single day off” since January even though she would like to “take a day off every week or a couple of leaves every month”. But Alia Bhatt is not complaining. The actor says having no work to do is worse. Here, the 23-year-old talks about her effort to break away from her glam image, her new film with Shahid Kapoor, her big Oscar dream, and more.
You have been working constantly.
I am enjoying it, but it keeps me very busy. Too many things are happening at one time. I wrapped up Gauri’s (Shinde; director) film, and then I started work on my next with Varun (dhawan). Now, I am promoting my upcoming release. I have to do all this because I have made a commitment. So, I have no choice. It is good in a way, but I think now it is taking a toll on me.
This also proves that you are in demand. Maybe, right now. I won’t complain (laughs). But I had a conversation with my manager a few days back, where I said that once my next is released, I need to take some time off. I am feeling too exhausted. I am not able to give my 100%. Soon it will start showing on my face, and as much as I try, it will affect my energy levels. So, eventually, I am the one who will suffer.
You have been experimenting with the kinds of roles you do. Do you keep the audience’s preference in mind while choosing your films?
Most importantly, I want to challenge and shock myself. I do think about audiences in a way that I will act responsibly for the people who follow me or look up to me. But when I take up a part, I know that no matter who is watching my film, and how much you love or hate me, you will only take away a positive message from my character. Having said that, I still – someday – want to play a negative character, like Shah Rukh Khan’s in Darr (1993).
Do you ever fear losing your fame and stardom?
Of course, I am petrified. Anyone, who says they aren’t scared of the day when their stardom, craze, love, appreciation and affection will die down, is lying. I have a major fear of failure ever since I was a kid. Sometimes, I would hate taking part in school races thinking that if I lose, I won’t be able to take it. So, I don’t know how it will be when I lose, but the aim is to live on forever with the love that I have managed to gain from the audience through my films.
Going by your role in your upcoming film, it seems you want to break your glamorous image.
Yes, there’s a conscious effort to break away from that. But I am also fortunate enough to get such opportunities. Had I not, I would still be doing the same roles that I have been doing all this while. Even when it comes to glamorous roles, I want to break away a little bit; I want to do something different, which I am doing in my next with Varun. It is very important for me to do ‘real’ films like my upcoming movie, so that audiences know that I can do both kinds of roles.
In your filmography, where would you put your next film, co-starring Shahid?
In terms of challenge, it goes right at the top. It is the most challenging part that I have played till now. I remember that every day I would come back to the hotel [after the shoot], and would be so exhausted that would sit with my legs in a tub full of hot water mixed salt. It wasn’t just physically, but also emotionally draining for me. Also, I wasn’t my natural self, so I was constantly ‘acting’ as I couldn’t relate to the character at all. You just wrapped up a film with Shah Rukh. Are you now a bigger fan of his?
I have definitely become a bigger admirer of him. I have always been a fan of his work, and now that I have seen how he works, I can safely say that now I admire him 10-folds. He is such a delight to work with. He is so professional and so giving as an actor.
Are you finally working with your dad’s (Mahesh Bhatt) banner for Aashiqui 3?
I am definitely interested in doing the film. The reason why I haven’t spoken about it is because there’s no official confirmation till now. The film is still in the scripting stage. So, I don’t think it is the right time to say that I am doing it, as I need to read the script first. It is Aashiqui 3 at the end of the day; and it will be great if that can be my first film for my dad’s banner. So, hopefully, it will all work out.
Here is Alia’s take:
On a reported fight with alleged beau Sidharth Malhotra
I haven’t fought with Sid, and I don’t have any reason to fight with him. He will always be a very close friend of mine. We are supportive of each other. I also asked him casually about his dinner with a ‘mystery’ girl (which was reported a few days ago), and he said, “I didn’t go for one.” I know he has been working non-stop. He hasn’t even been in the country. I have known him for the longest time now, even before I became an actor. We started off together, and, of late, we have been spending a lot of time together. I have developed a fondness for him, and he will always be an important part of my life.
On her Oscar dream
I don’t dream about my wedding day, as much as I dream about attending the Oscars, and walking the red carpet. I imagine that my name will be announced, I will pretend to be shocked, will go up on the stage, hopefully without falling, will give a speech followed by a little bit of crying, and then I will leave. If I talk about this to anyone, they will be like, “What is she talking about?” I know it sounds very far-fetched. But as Muhammad Ali had once said, “If dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough.” I will start off by winning a National Award, and then I will go on to win an Oscar (laughs).
On her Marriage plans
Marriage is not a dream. It is part of life, and of course, I will get married someday, because it is not like I am against the institution. I am also a big romantic at heart, so I want to celebrate that feeling. But I am way too ambitious to sit and think when I will get married. There is no plan of settling down right now. As I have said earlier, too, 32 is a good age to get married because I want babies, so I have to plan a bit (smiles). But I am 23 right now. However, I feel anything can happen, and I can change my mind four years down the line. So, you never know.