“Age does not matter when you are an actor”
The youngster who was known for her brashness chooses her words carefully now, but when it comes to her roles, she is ready to push the envelope. Being mentored by her father Mahesh Bhatt and director Karan Johar, Alia has been making the right moves in the industry.
Whether her roles or endorsements, she has been experimenting, and how. Her choice of films—from Highway to Udta Punjab to Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921)—have been unique. She says now is the time when she can go all out and experiment. Alia is looking forward to Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi with Shah Rukh Khan, which released this Friday.
“It’s a light-hearted film. I have been a big fan of Shah Rukh since childhood and was overwhelmed when I came to know he is playing the lead,” she says.
She adds that is no scope for romance in the film. “No relationship exists without love. It was a fresh experience, and the film is far from the other films I have done. If anyone ever makes a love story where I could work with Shah Rukh, I would love to do it. He doesn’t carry any baggage of being a star on the sets. He will go out of the way to make you comfortable. He is very cool. He is passionate about his work and movies. He loves to do movies and different work like Dear Zindagi, Raees and Bandhua.”
Alia explains that she discussed the movie a lot with Shah Rukh. “He gave me a lot of advice and I will follow them in life. He used to talk about each and everything. Sometimes I would do stupid things in front of him. We are very similar in our thinking and behaviour. The gist of emotion is the same but the way we carry out is different.”
She says that Shah Rukh’s most annoying habit on the sets was not eating on time. “He drinks a lot of coffee. I would drink coffee too, but I always eat on time. We would be shooting serious scenes and the entire set would be silent, and suddenly we would hear a rumbling sound, which came from Shah Rukh’s stomach. We knew he was hungry and we would force him to eat.”
Alia met Shah Rukh when she was very young. “I had gone to his house because papa’s friends wanted to meet him. Shah Rukh had worked with papa in films like Chahat and Duplicate. I had worn an ugly top. There was a spread of sandwiches on the table and I had one in my mouth and was staring at him in awe. When I was shooting for Dear Zindagi, I showed the picture to him.”
She believes everyone will relate to the film. “I play a moody girl who doesn’t take life seriously. But unlike me, she doesn’t think before she talks.”
This is the first time Alia will be shouldering the film with four male co-stars opposite her. “I don’t have a burden on my shoulders. Dear Zindagi is director Gauri Shinde’s film and she has written it beautifully. There is a certain grimness involved in her writing. I just did my work and got out. Age does not matter when you are an actor. The minute I start thinking I am the youngest successful star it will come in the way of my work and it will ruin the whole process. I am grateful for all the love, but I don’t want the right over it. This is all momentary. I want to keep surprising all the people all the time.”
How does she try to stay positive in the film? “Being positive all the time is difficult, but you don’t have to be negative either. It’s a waste of emotion and a waste of time.”
Alia is very guarded and secretive when it comes to her personal life. “I don’t share a lot about my life but I have a lot of friends with whom I share things.”
She wants to change certain traits in her. “I become hyper quite soon and I get angry easily and say things I regret later. I want to change this. I can’t lie, I get caught easily. I lie to mom sometimes, especially after I come home late and want to go to the gym. I lie that I have to go for a meeting.”
She’s doing Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya with Varun Dhawan. “It’s a very desi and heartland romance kind of film, which has the flavour of desi ghee. Varun is doing great in the comedy space and is growing. We are proud of each other.”
About talks that she will be doing Aashiqui 3 on the home banner, she says that the script is being worked on. “I will take the call after hearing the script,” she says.
It was also said that former actress Sharmila Tagore had said that if a biopic was ever made on her, she would like Alia to represent her in the film. Alia replies, “Yes, I met her in Singapore where she was attending a poetry fest. She said she loved Kapoor & Sons. She is a legendary actress, and If I get an opportunity, I would love to do her biopic.”