Alia Bhatt InterviewYou grew up as Mahesh Bhatt's daughter. Did you lead a privileged childhood?
No. I didn't. I was never a brat. I had a rather grounded and modest upbringing. I didn't get the pleasures that people assume I would've got because I am Mahesh Bhatt's daughter. I led a normal life. And I am happy I did. I bought my first designer item myself, after I made enough money to buy it.
What's the biggest compliment your father has paid you?
He keeps telling me that since I've become an actor, the rhythm of our house has changed. He tells me, whenever I wake up, everything changes. He's kind of enjoying this competition he has in the house. He's proud of me and that makes me happy.
Do you discuss your choice of films with your sisters?
Shaheen is somebody who I talk to about everything. She is the only person I talk to. If I have to take advice, I will take it from Shaheen because she doesn't please easy. She is very particular. Even when my father feels that - if Shaheen likes something, he is satisfied, it's like his toughest audience is convinced.
Your first film 'Student of the Year' belongs to a very different genre. Was it challenging to work in a film like 'Highway'?
It was definitely challenging for me. Even at that time, doing Shanaya'scharacter (in SOTY) was challenging for me - I didn't know how to walk inheels, how to look glamorous. Of course, this was a different involvement altogether, it was very physically and emotionally exhausting and I had to push myself a lot. It was a road trip, so a lot of things happened where you had to be strong and keep going. But it was all in a good way because you get to learn a lot whenever you are being challenged.
Did you have to prepare for the role of Veera?
For this film Imtiaz wanted me to be as raw and as untouched as possible. He wanted me to be like a blank sheet of paper that is about to be written on and the blanker it was, the better. Probably the only thing I did was take diction classes because I am playing a Delhi-based girl and I wanted to improve my Hindi.
Is the film based on the Stockholm syndrome?|
No, it is not. Stockholm syndrome is when you feel sympathy for the oppressor. Here she finds herself when she is out of her comfort zone,she actually finds comfort.
How was it working with co-star Randeep, since he's much older than you?
Randeep is as young as I am. It's just a perception that he's older. He's actually younger. In fact, he thinks I'm smarter than him, which I believe is true. Seriously speaking, I was nervous initially because he's a superb actor. But he made me feel comfortable. He's not a selfish actor so that's something I admire about him. He helped me a lot. The best part about working with him was that I could pull his leg and irritate him at any time and he wouldn't get affected.
Do you consider yourself lucky to be working with such established directors right at the beginning of your career?
I definitely consider myself lucky. You know, it's a dream come true the kind of launch I got, it's another dream come true to work with Imtiaz Ali in such a different film, so, I am very, very grateful.
Does it bother you when you are compared to Kareena Kapoor?
It doesn't bother me, it's not like they are linking me up with her. I just think it's not true. I don't think I am like her in anyway and I don't think there can ever be anyone like her. There is only one Kareena Kapoor and I strongly believe that.
Do the link-ups bother you?|
No. If they are true why should it bother me and if it's not true, again,why should it bother me? Anyway, I will never talk about who I am dating, that's a given.
Of late, there has been talk of you and Varun Dhawan being a couple?
I am very, very close to him. I will neither hide it, nor deny it. But we're not together. And I won't stop hanging out with him because of these rumours.
So you are single?
Yes, I am. Being in a relationship is not a priority for me at this point. I just don't have enough time for one. I'd probably want to be with someone a year down the line. But currently, I am happy with the way things are. I've had my share of fun. So I'd rather focus on my work right now.
Of all the travel that you have done in the film(Highway), which place appealed to you the most?
Actually, every location is special to me for different reasons, we travelled across six states, so every state is special to me for a different reason. Delhi is not very special because I got hurt a lot during the shooting. Sambar in Rajasthan is special because I celebrated my birthday there and that was the time during the shoot when I was very content with the place. Punjab was special because I could do things like - climb a tree, run in the khet like Kajol does in DDLJ, I wasn't looking as beautiful but I was still running in the khet. I love the mountains, so Kaza in Himachal and Shimla were also special.