A day before the closing ceremony of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) being held in Goa, popular movie star Alia Bhatt enthralled the crowd by having an engaging and hilarious conversation with her fans, moderated by Anshul Chaturvedi, Senior Editor, Times of India. The talented actress was quite excited to interact with her crazy fans and entertained everyone present with her hilarious repartees. From signing autographs to acknowledging all their admiration and support, Alia impressed her fans and the media.
The young star started off by sharing her experience about working in Goa. “I have been to Goa several times. I’ve spent almost 45 days shooting in Goa for Dear Zindagi, so to be staying in the same hotel and the same room is quite nostalgic.”
On maintaining the fine balance between an actor and an individual, Alia said, “Being on your own on and off the camera helps me as an actor and I try to be as real and natural as I can be. Children are the most loyal set of audience. Post my debut film, I became popular and there was a general acceptance among the people but after Highway, people started talking about my work as an actor. As an actor and as an individual, I express myself fully.”
Alia was recently praised by few critics to the extent that they compared her acting skills with yesteryear iconic female stars. “It becomes slightly uncomfortable when people start praising your work to the extent that they compare you with yesteryear actresses like Madhubala, Nargis and Waheeda Rehman. It sort of disrupts me and changes my thought process, so I never allow such thoughts to come to my mind,” she explains.
Though Alia has often received more accolades than brickbats for her brilliant portrayals of interesting characters, she remains grounded. “My father and mother have always kept me grounded ever since I was a kid. My father often tells me the day you think you have achieved something and start walking with pride, your downfall begins. I keep my head on my shoulders. In fact, when Shaandar didn’t do well at the box office, it broke my heart as if like I had had a break up! But that made me stronger as a person. It made me that realise if a film is good, it will do well, if it doesn’t that means it didn’t deserve to do well,” she adds.
It was Imtiaz Ali’s Highway that changed audience’s perception about her as an actor. “When I meet people, they always talk about Highway first and then the other films. Highway will always be special since I turned 20 on the sets of the film. It changed me as a person and an actor as it pushed me out of my comfort zone. The process of working on such a complex character made me hungry as an actor. Imtiaz is very protective of me and keeps telling me that we haven’t finished it yet. There’s a lot to be explored in you as an actor.”
For Alia Bhatt, a movie can either be good or bad and she doesn’t believe in the concept of commercial or art cinema or a festival film. “For me, it’s either a good film or a bad film or something which didn’t excite me as an actor during the movie watching experience. I don’t believe in commercial or art cinema or a festival film. I want to keep exploring my craft and challenge the actor inside me.”
Though she has worked with big production houses and renowned filmmakers, she doesn’t shy away from meeting any budding writer or director that would have something substantial for her to portray on the big screen. “I possibly try to meet everyone including a budding script writer or a documentary filmmaker or anyone who I think has got a story to tell. You may not know which young mind has got something new for you. Recently, I met someone who has offered me a good script,” she concludes.
The 48th Edition of IFFI is being held from the 20th to 28th of November, 2017 in the beach state of Goa.