I Never Felt An Age Difference Between SRK And Me: Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt talks about Shah Rukh Khan, being India’s youngest star and everything she loves about being an actor.
Alia Bhatt might be one of India’s youngest superstars, but she prefers being thought of as an actor. She’s just moved into her new home and is pretty damn proud of her Bollywood journey so far. The Dear Zindagi actress tells us all about the life of a superstar and why she absolutely loved working with Shah Rukh Khan.
Q: How’s life been for you ?
Alia Bhatt: Always hectic. One is travelling constantly, barely touching down on Mumbai before taking off again.
Q: It can’t be easy being India’s youngest superstar?
Alia Bhatt: I wouldn’t call myself that. But if you call me that I don’t mind (laughs). I am not comfortable being called a star. I think I am an actor first. So as of now I like being referred to as an actor first. Fortunately I have so far worked with some truly outstanding actors. And I’ve learnt from all of them.
Q: What was it like shooting with Shah Rukh Khan for Gauri Shinde's film?
Alia Bhatt: He has tremendous regard for everyone’s work. He is SHAH RUKH KHAN. But he doesn’t let that fact weight him or others down. He doesn’t let anyone feel unimportant. Everyone on the sets was equally important for him, be it a technician or a co-star.
Q: Did the age difference make a difference to your interaction with him?
Alia Bhatt: Not for a minute did I feel Shah Rukh was older. We worked like friends. But when he spoke, I felt very young in front of him. He is so knowledgeable. He knows so much more than me. He makes every anecdote, every incident from his life, sound so interesting. I just loved to sit and chat with him in-between shots. It was absolutely amazing.
Q: Do you make a conscious effort to learn from your co-stars?
Alia Bhatt: I don’t make a very conscious effort to do anything. Because if you try too hard, the effort shows.
Q: Which has been the most difficult film you’ve done so far?
Alia Bhatt: It has to be Udta Punjab. It took me into areas of pain and suffering I never want to visit again. All of us, Shahid, Kareena, Diljit and I, played characters we had never played before. One of the side perks of doing this film was I got to watch Kareena at work. I’ve always admired her. She is undoubtedly a diva and yet so so down-to-earth. When she enters a room, it automatically lights up.
Q: Do you seek Karan Johar’s advice on what you do?
Alia Bhatt: Of course I go to him for advice. But he isn’t the sort of person to stop me from doing anything. I think of myself as his daughter.
Q: But you are buddies with your own father?
Alia Bhatt: Yes, of course. Mahesh Bhatt is my best friend. He is my coolest and closest buddy.
Q: And your oldest buddy too?
Alia Bhatt: No, oldest would be my grandfather. My Nanaji. I think a lot of my aspiration to be an actor came from him. When I was younger, I’d speak to him at least once every day, and every day he’d tell me a story. I loved that. When I was a child I’d put up a performance for my grandfather, dance to a song and he’d applaud. So he was my first spectator. I loved his imagination. He influenced me into becoming an actor. I don’t get to see my Nana and Nani as much as I’d like. But they make it a point to visit every Sunday.
Q: You’ve been working on a new film with Varun Dhawan. How is he as a co-star?
Alia Bhatt: It’s always good to work with him. He was my first co-star. We have a terrific bonding. And we’re both very enthusiastic about just being on the sets. Both of us were bitten by the acting bug from the time we were children.
Q: Any regrets about Karan Malhotra’s Shuddhi being shelved?
Alia Bhatt: Yes, I was looking forward to working with director Karan Malhotra. He has such a grand vision of cinema and his direction is epic.
Q: Do you look forward to doing your own special song like Katrina’s Chikni Chameli in Karan Malhotra’s film?
Alia Bhatt: All in good time. Katrina hit the ball out of the park with that one. I am still very young. I love dancing. Whenever my special song will come I promise you it will be really special. My time will come.
Q: Any plans to work with your dad?
Alia Bhatt: We’re very sure that we will work together. But it won’t be like, ‘Chalo kar lete hain’. It has to be something special. Of course it has to happen. It’s a family production house and I owe myself a chance to work with my father.
Q: Are you satisfied with the progress you’ve made as an actor?
Alia Bhatt: (thinks) Yes, I am. I feel I am learning. Earlier I used to be restless. Now I am calmer, though very passionate about my work. I know I am here for the long run. I don’t want to do too many films and have people get bored of me. I want to phase out all the films. I just want to make the audience happy. And the only way to do that is to do challenging roles.
Q: Does an Udta Punjab require more concentration from you than a Student Of The Year?
Alia Bhatt: No. No role is too challenging for me. On the other hand every role is equally challenging. Right now I am still learning.
Q: What do you look for in a role?
Alia Bhatt: Would the audience like the film as much as I do? If the answer is yes, I go for it.
Q: What do you do with the big bucks being one of the most successful actresses of the country?
Alia Bhatt: I don’t even think about it. I just do the work that pleases me. I don’t have to work to put the food on my table. I’ve always been well provided for. But now I’ve bought my own house, with my own money. It’s a big thing for me.
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