Pooja Bedi’s daughter Alaya F makes her debut opposite Saif Ali Khan in Nitin Kakkar’s Jawaani Jaaneman. Ahead of the film’s release, she spoke to The Quint about the privilege of coming from a film family, why she wanted to become an actor and working with Saif and Tabu.I want to start by asking you what you’re feeling because your movie is only a few weeks away. Any nervous jitters?Alaya F: Excited jitters. Perpetually excited. I just can’t wait now. It’s been over a year since I signed this film, and now I’m just excited for it to come out. It’s like my baby.I banned the word nervous when I was on the flight to shoot Jawaani Jaaneman, because the more I say I’m nervous the more I’ll feel it. So I’m just not going to say the word. I’ve banned it, and I just say excited instead.Take me through how this happened. Did you audition for the film? What was the process like of getting the film?Alaya F: So my agency had heard about this film and I said that I’d like to test for it. So I went and they gave me my sides and I prepared it. I went and gave the audition, Nitin sir, Jayu sir and I think even Saif sir saw my audition and thank God they liked it. Nitin sir was in Kashmir at that time shooting for Notebook, and they couldn’t okay me unless Nitin sir had also met me. He also liked me and got to talk to me. So, I went to Kashmir for one day, just to meet him and he got a sense of who I was and everything. That night they told me I got the film.Is this something you have been working towards always, because I know you went to the New York Film Academy? Did you do an acting course there?Alaya F: No. I actually wanted to direct. I first went to New York University to study direction and then came back and I felt like I wanted to act, because I had one acting class in my direction course, and I was obsessed with it. I came and then went back to study acting and then I came back to Mumbai. I trained for two more years in Mumbai itself. So, I did acting classes, dance classes, diction classes, singing classes. I can’t sing but for voice modulation I prepared. Then I went out and started doing auditions and meetings and all of that. You’re from a film family and there has been so much talk about nepotism. Recently in an interview Siddhant Chaturvedi said, “Where our dreams are fulfilled, is where their struggle begins.”And everyone has their own struggle, but I’m just wondering how you are going to combat this. Do you feel the need to?Alaya F:I feel like struggle is very relative, but it’s very important to realise that even in our struggles we are privileged. What I mean is that even if I am getting rejected from my tenth audition there is someone sitting right next to me who has been rejected after the hundredth audition.If I go home and cry under the blankets because something has been cancelled, and I’ve not gotten something that I have really wanted or I’m not fit for a role or whatever, I come back home and I’m crying about life. I realise that at least I get to be in my home with my family around me, with a support system that I can call. I know that tomorrow I’ll wake up and I’ll go for another meeting, do another audition or do something else. As compared to someone who comes from a very small town. That is firstly working through the day to earn money to stay in the city and then doing auditions and then going back to a PG with so many other people and not having the comfort of their family or friends. So that struggle is far greater. So even realising that in our struggle, now when I’m crying underneath my blanket, I’m entitled to feel bad that something hasn’t happened. But also just realising and being aware of the fact that our struggle is also privileged. I think just understanding that is also very important.What is it like to work with actors of the calibre of Tabu and Saif Ali Khan?Alaya F:It’s incredible. It’s very intimidating at first, because if you have seen the trailer there is one scene where I have to shut them up. My God can you imagine me having to shut Tabu ma’am and Saif sir up? It’s very scary. But I feel like after one point you have to forget that they are who they are and you have to be like this is my mother and this is my father and I’m going to shut them up as I would to my own parents if they were bickering in front of me. Camera: Sanjoy DebVideo Editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.