Pinkvilla Exclusive: I am as close to Sid as I am to Varun - Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt,daughter of director, producer, and screenwriter Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan is all set for her Bollywood debut with Dharma Production's Student of the Year . This Karan Johar directorial has Alia play a girl by the name of Shanaya Singhania alongside fellow debutantes Siddharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan.
Pinkvilla.com caught up with this super–cute 19 year old in an exclusive tete-a-tete where she talked about the movie and her growing up years. Read on ….
You come from a film family. Did you always want to be an actor?
Yes, I always wanted to be an actor. There has been couple of times I went on to my father’s sets but not as much as people would assume. I was very involved in my school life, my friends. When I was 4, I remember watching Karisma Kapoor dance and being amused by it. It is Bollywood that I have always loved. With time, my love for Bollywood just grew.
You did not debut under your dad’s banner. Was that a conscious decision?
Yes, it was a conscious decision. Being part of the film family is a good platform to be known. I know there are lots of people who struggle to get into the industry. I didn’t want to have it that easy. If I had started with my father, he would not have auditioned any other girl. It would just be me. For this film, I did audition. I was shortlisted. I wanted to feel like I have worked for it and earned it.
Your dad is known as a great mentor . Did he advice you when you started your career?
Actually, I wanted to be left on my own. I haven’t had any training in acting. But I wanted to learn from my own mistakes. My only teacher throughout this movie has been Karan. I owe it to him.
How does it feel to debut with a big banner like Dharma Productions?
It feels great. It is like a dream come true. I remember watching Kuch Kuch Hota Hai with my sister and I asked her, does Karan launch new comers and she said no, he only works with stars. Now I am nine days away from the release and it is literally like a dream come true. I never thought Dharma would treat me with so much love and care. It is one of the finest productions in this industry. Karan has given me this platform to express myself. I owe it to him. I will forever be grateful to Karan.
How was Karan as a director?
Karan is a very chilled out director. Initially, I was very nervous as he is one of the finest directors in our industry. But, he was very patient and understanding of us newcomers. He was like a friend. He would always joke around and the energy of the sets was so positive. He would always say this film is ours and we felt like a team. It was a very enriching experience.
How would you describe your co-stars Siddharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan?
I can’t stop gushing about both of them. They both are so special to me. This is our first film. I have learnt a lot from both of them. The kind of dedication and drive that Varun has is something that I want to take away. He is so anal about everything. He wants everything to be perfect and he works at it. He has a lot of enthusiasm and energy.
Even Siddharth for that matter is such a superb actor. He has so much depth in his eyes. I feel proud when I see them perform.
For me both of them will always be superstars. I was the youngest on the sets and they were very nice to me. Unfortunately for me, I have very low immunity levels and I keep falling sick or fainting. They were always taking care of me and there for me.
How do you handle the link-up stories between you and Varun? Does that bother you?
Not at all. Varun is my friend. These rumors have been going around forever. It doesn't bother me. I am as close to Sid as I am to Varun and I am fond of both of them. I just laugh about these link-up stories.
Is the movie a love triangle?
No, contrary to what people think, the movie is not a love triangle. It’s a story about two boys Abhimanyu Singh and Rohan Nanda. The movie is about friendship and about competition and the ups and downs in your school life. Obviously there is a love angle which is where my role comes in.
Since this movie is about students, can you tell us how you were as a student?
I was a very average student. I was not very interested in studies but I would study before the exams. I was very active in co-curricular activities and sports. My favorite subjects were English and Arts.
The way Karan has portrayed you, one can’t help but notice the similarity of your character Shanaya from Student of the Year to that of Kareena Kapoor’s “Poo” from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. Comments?
Karan has always said there is going to be just one Poo and that is Kareena Kapoor. Even for me there is only going to be one Poo. I wouldn't dare to compare myself to Kareena because she is absolutely brilliant. Shanaya is a different character all together. You will see some similarities because she is stylish and very witty but she has a very sensitive layer to her. She comes from a dysfunctional family. So she is very lonely.
We all know that you were this chubby kid. How did you go about losing the weight?
I was trained by a personal trainer for 3 months, I was under strict diet. I wasn’t eating any carbs. I worked really hard. I gave it my all. I lost around 16 kilos. I still want to lose some more and tone up a bit.
Your movie is going to be out next week. For a 19 year old, is this all too much to absorb?
I know many actors have started at a very young age. Rani, Kareena, Karisma have all started at a very young age. So I never thought of it as a problem. But it’s a huge amount of pressure. It’s a lot to think about I am thinking about it every moment. Usually kids of my age are partying or chilling out and I am running city to city promoting my movie. But I love it. At the moment it’s like a roller coaster ride for me in my head. I am literally hoping for the best.
The latest news doing the rounds is that you are doing Karan’s 2 States. Comments?
I would not comment on that.
Talking about Bollywood, who are you favorite actors?
Among actresses, Kareena Kapoor & Kajol have always been my favorites. I look up to both of them. Among actors, it is Ranbir Kapoor. Post Barfi!, my love for him has become greater and larger. I love Ranbir. Even as a person, he is a great guy. He’s really fun and really sweet. Yes, I am a die-hard Ranbir Kapoor fan.
Which is your favorite Mahesh Bhatt movie?
Zakhm, Saransh & Arth.
Will we get to see your dad ever direct you?
I hope my father decides to direct a film for Alia. But he said he is never going to direct again. So let’s see, in the years to come, it may change. I would obviously love to work with him.
Moving ahead, what kind of movies would you like to be associated with?
I would not like to lock myself into a particular genre of films. Youth oriented films will probably be my calling at the moment. But I would like to be part of every kind of cinema. I would like to be as versatile as possible.
Any directors on your wish list?
There are many.But, if I have to name a few, it will be Imitiaz Ali, Raju Hirani, Ayan Mukherjee, Shakun Batra.
On a day off, what does Alia do?
It’s simple. I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is logon to Pinkvilla and then I turn on the TV or listen to music. I then hit the gym, come back home, have my lunch. I take a nap; meet my friends in the evening. It’s very simple and normal.
A message to your fans
Thanks to all of you who support me. Go watch Student of the Year on October 19th.