All of 23, the journey of Alia Bhatt has been nothing short of phenomenal. And what a year has it been for the pretty woman. ‘Kapoor and Sons’, ‘Udta Punjab’ and now ‘Dear Zindagi’ which gives her the chance to share screen space with her on-screen idol Shah Rukh Khan.
Team Radio City caught up with the ‘Ladki Beautiful’ ahead of her film’s release.
First of all, we are meeting you after the success of ‘Udta Punjab’. So congratulations for that firstly. How has the response been for you towards the film?
Alia: It was overwhelming. After all the stress we went through, it was a very happy experience.
The marketing around the film has been very different with short snippets of the film being released instead of the trailer. Was this a conscious decision?
Alia: I cannot take the credit for this as the credit goes to the marketing team, Gauri, Karan and Shah Rukh sir. I think the idea was to generate curiosity by releasing small snippets of the film and we have succeeded.
So what is ‘Dear Zindagi’ all about? Is Shah Rukh Khan playing a love guru to you?
Alia: You can’t call him a love guru. He is a friend, philosopher and guide. But having said that I believe that no relationship can exist without love. Love will be present in some form or the other. It need not necessarily be romantic. But there is love. Because it’s special. Everyone goes through a heartbreaking phase in life and when you cannot find answers from your family and friends, you seek help from a stranger. Maybe, you’d have to pay him for it but either way it works.
Do you think demonitisation can affect the film’s performance as ‘Rock On 2’ which releases a fortnight ago suffered because of its impact?
Alia: Whenever something massive has been implemented, the repercussions are bound to be there. It will be hard for a few weeks, but now I believe that the impact has lessened down upto an extent. I hope normalcy is restored sooner.
‘Student of The Year’, ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’, ‘Kapoor and Sons’ and now ‘Dear Zindagi’. Is it a deal with Dharma Productions to always be a part of a two-hero project?
Alia: (laughs) No, not really. But it is not always necessary that I end up with someone eventually in the film. Is it?
You have been a part of films that have made the money and have also got you critical acclaim? What matters to you more?
Alia: To be fair, I prefer my movies getting a lot of love from the audience. Because when that happens, it automatically gets translated into the money the film would make. For me, I’d be happier if my audience would get to take something away from the film alongwith them. That would be the most rewarding bit for me.
Since you play a confused character in the film seeking an answer to love, can you share a few tips with your readers about love?
Alia: I’m not a love guru per se (smiles) but I’d like to tell this to the girls especially. Don’t fall for someone who does not respect you. And don’t be harsh on the guys either. Also people should stop misunderstanding girls who have multiple relationships. I don’t get it when people say it’s okay if boy have multiple girlfriends but they don’t feel the same about girls. Everyone goes through deliberations and it’s completely normal.
People are not aware much about Alia before films? Would you want to share something about you?
Alia: I was a very regular kid before films happened. I was in school when I auditioned for ‘Student of the Year’. As a young girl in school, I wasn’t particularly studious and I was very naughty. I was always interested in extra-curricular activities and would play sports, all the time.
You have achieved so much success at such a young age. Your take on that?
Alia: When I hear this from others, it’s a different thing. But for me, I am just going with the flow. It feels like yesterday when Student of The Year happened and since then, every film I’ve done is only for the love of being a part of this industry. So I’m not looking at my successes or failures, but I’m just going with the flow.
Which is the one song from the soundtrack of the film, which you are repeatedly playing?
Alia: That will have to be Just Go To Hell Dil. Not because, I am going through heartbreak or anything, but because I genuinely love the song.
You’ve said that you are a huge Shah Rukh Khan fan, so let’s find out how well you know him?
Two movie in which he has played a sports coach: Chak De India and Chamatkar
Three movies starring SRK and Kajol: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
Four movies where SRK’s name is Rahul: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Chennai Express and Dil Toh Pagal Hai
What was the experience like working with SRK?
Alia: It was a pleasant experience and a dream come true. Also, he is very easy to work with. He doesn’t come with the baggage of being a superstar. He still comes across with a lot of warmth and love towards his colleagues and fans.
You seem to have become the lady Akshay Kumar with three back-to-back releases?
Alia: That is not true. I fell I am going through a sort of imbalance, if you ask. I had one release in a year, then three back-to-back releases and then the pattern followed. So I guess, that is the plan to release one film, and then three films, one by one (laughs).
Lastly, your message for our readers?
Alia: No matter what you are going through in life, go and watch Dear Zindagi because it’s a slice of life. Go with your friends and family as well, because its a family film. Enjoy.