Alia Bhatt, as per her own admission, is a very secretive person.
She is particularly guarded about her personal life, but these days she's being a little more open. Ask her if she’s gone through a break up, and she promptly says, “Yes, I have, I have had my fair share of break-ups.” Maybe because she is promoting her film Dear Zindagi, which deals with love, life and break ups, she's decided to be more vocal?
“The experience of doing this film has added a few bits into my life,” she says, at the launch of the third song of the film, 'Tu Hi Hai'. When she was asked, “The first time you were heartbroken, how did you deal with it?” Alia, with a little inhibition clearly visible on her face, picked up the microphone and stated that she was very young when the first break up happened, and she would just hang out with friends to get over it – “There was no funda (back then)”.
“Today, maybe, I would go on a holiday or just focus on my work. If something has ended, it is obviously for a reason and if it was not supposed to end then it will come back together. I always believe that if that person is meant for you he/she will come back to you," she adds. Perhaps, this learning came from her on-screen life coach and counselor Shah Rukh Khan, with who she’s sharing screen space for the first time.
And so, the million dollar question. How was it working with Shah Rukh Khan?
“After spending 25 years in the industry, he doesn’t carry around any excess baggage of stardom. Obviously, people get enamoured and are star-struck on seeing him but he doesn’t seem to take all that seriously. He is cool and chilled out. He goes out of his way to make his co-stars comfortable which is a very rare quality,” says Alia, further adding, “For me it was a very fresh experience and it wasn’t so because I was working with Shah Rukh and Gauri for the first time, but because I could relate to this character the most as compared to all other films that I have done. Except for the traits shown in my character which is quite impulsive and upfront, rest is all me. In real life, I think twice before I talk.”
As we all know, Shah Rukh Khan is known as the king of romance but Dear Zindagi is not a typical romantic film, so did Alia miss that side of SRK? “No. I don’t think there was any scope for that kind of romance in this film. Considering our age difference, the typical romantic film may not be accepted by the audience, but I feel no relationship exists without love. Maybe not romantic relationship, but even in this kind of relationship there is some amount of love," she says.
“But, yes," she continues, "If I’m offered a film where I have to romance Shah Rukh, I will do it provided the story about an older man and a young girl is convincing and makes sense. It’s not completely wrong to attempt such a film, the way the world is going, it’s possible to tell different kinds of stories.”
Alia is working with a woman director (Gauri Shinde) for the first time. "I believe that we have male and female actors, but director is a director, you can’t classify them as male or female. The only difference I can see between directors is in terms of creativity and not because of any gender. I like Gauri’s quality of being a frank person. She is also very clear in her thoughts and hence our scenes were so ‘kadak’; we went with the flow," she says.
The 23-year-old actress may have had her share of break ups but she's never signed up for counselling or thought of having a life coach, unlike what's been shown in the film; however she isn’t against it.
“I am a very secretive person so I don’t like sharing too many details about my personal life with anybody and everybody. But I have few friends; with some I talk about work, with others I talk about family and relationships,” says Alia. When she’s asked whether she feels the pressure of carrying a film on her shoulders at such a young age, she shoots back, “Actually, the pressure is more on the director. We are actors, we just go and act."
She continues, "I hate answering these age-related questions. I feel, if I’m doing something, I better be good at it whatever be my age — 12, 13, 23 or 45. We should stop thinking about age. Everybody’s journey is different. Some people figure out what they want to do much later in life. I would just like to tell young girls that whatever it is, be passionate about at least one thing in life; that can be cooking, being a homemaker, an astronaut or even a chauffeur.”
During a recent episode of Koffee with Karan, when show host Karan Johar asked Alia if Udta Punjab was the performance of the year, and if she felt her acting was better than Sonam Kapoor’s in Neerja, Alia had said, “Honestly, I think that Sonam was very good in Neerja.” When further asked whether she would be upset if she does not bag the best actress award, Alia said, “I will be upset. Not upset, but I would be like ‘why not’?”
"I genuinely feel that let the best man, woman, best actor or actress win. And if I don't, I will wonder why not. But I will move on and come back later. Sonam has done a great job in Neerja so she should be awarded for it. At the end of the year, if people think that she was the best, then so be it.”
While there are talks about Alia playing the lead in Aashiqui 3, her filmmaker-father Mahesh Bhatt and the film's producer has been repeatedly saying that Alia was a star, and since he has an aversion to stars, he wouldn’t like to cast her in his film. 'If I don't bring something new to brand Alia then why should she do my film?' Mahesh Bhatt had said.
“He’s talking rubbish,” says Alia in a hushed tone and with a laugh. “It will happen; my dad and I will work together and it’s not that he won’t cast me because of the reason he’s been giving. I would love to work with him and I would love to do this film. In fact, I would like him to direct me in an intense love story.” She then confirms, “Yes, we did meet to do Aashiqui 3, the film is still at the scripting stage and I am waiting."