‘I’m not one to hide my flaws’
Alia Bhatt tells more about how she handles her stardom
For her age, Alia Bhatt could well be one of the most successful heroines the Hindi film industry has ever had. The 22-year- old is a star who has established her acting credentials with a string of super hits. And now she has a rather enviable line up to look forward to. Starting with Shandaar and Udta Punjab with Shahid Kapoor, then Karan Johar’s Kapoor and Sons with Sidharth Malhotra and Fawad Khan followed by Karan’s much-coveted and much-awaited magnum opus Shuddhi with Varun Dhawan — a lot of people in the industry would want to be Alia Bhatt right now.
No stardom comes without the pressure of expectations and Alia is well aware of what’s riding on her shoulders. “I would rather not think about the pressure and focus on giving every film my best shot. Yes, there are expectations but I feel blessed to be part of such big projects so early in my career and that only motivates me further,” she says.
She’s not one to hide her follies. Alia reveals that often she ends up fumbling and stuttering her dialogues. “It happens when I have to say them very fast. That’s something I have been working on,” she says. “Actresses are expected to be all poised and everything but I have my clumsy moments...tripping all over, that kind of thing. You learn with time. I’m much confident now, than I was when I had started out. And I see that as an achievement, but I am not one to hide my flaws,” she adds.
Alia has essayed a variety of characters on screen and every performance of hers has stood out. “When I am playing a character, I live that role and give it my all. But once I am done with the film, the character is out of my system. I am glad the audience has accepted me in different kinds of roles. I also have age on my side, so I can experiment a lot more. Starting early has its advantages,” she says.
The actress is not just sought after by filmmakers, brands too are lining up to get her endorsement. Alia chooses her brands with as much care as she chooses her scripts. “I choose brands very carefully. It’s not like I take up everything that is offered to me. It is a great thing that they want me to represent them. But I do my research to see if I can identify with the said product before I recommend it to other people,” says the actress.
For someone from a famous family and one who has always wanted to be famous herself, stardom was almost a logical progression. “As long as I can stretch my memory, I have wanted to become famous. I used to love being the centre of attention in school. I have had to give up certain things like hanging out with friends. I recall my mom would tell me, ‘enjoy junk food while you can, once you become an actress you will miss these indulgences’. While all that is true, I also love my new toned and fit look. It has taken a lot of workouts to get here. You can’t have everything, so I’m happy sipping on my green tea and indulging occasionally.”
Her schedule barely leaves her with any time for herself, but Alia isn’t complaining. “Having so much to look forward to is exciting. I am enjoying being part good projects and I want to be as professional as I can, right from reaching the sets on time to everything that follows,” Alia says. Travelling is something that relaxes her. “Despite my calendar, I like to take some time off every year to visit a new place. Travelling is something I enjoy,” she adds. She even used to have a black cat for a pet once. “I know people are superstitious about black cats. I used to have one and nothing has happened to me. I am a cat lover and black cats are beautiful. I don’t know why people would think otherwise.”
As the conversation steers into the realm of the personal, we ask her, who is she closest to? Before you get your hopes high, it is not Sidharth Malhotra. “My sister Shaheen is my confidante. She’s the only one who knows everything I’m doing or planning to do. I have long chats with her and seek her advice on both personal and professional matters. Her advice has always worked for me, since she understands me best.” And what’s her relationship with Sidharth like? “There’s nothing to clarify and even if I do, people will continue to write whatever they want.”