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Thursday, 23-March-2017

Alia Bhatt “I am Still a kid for my family and friends”

Her film ‘Udta Punjab’ may have come a cropper at the box office, but she is still a confident candidate for the awards with her upcoming film. She seems more mature now, and admits she has matured and is happy about it. On the other hand, there are constant rumours about her many ‘affairs’, which she clarifies are pure friendships. In a recent interview, Alia Bhatt opens her mind on her real and reel lives..

Many critics feel that there is no comparison between Alia of the first film ‘Student of the Year’ versus Alia of today ?

Well, I accept that as a compliment. It is the wish and dream of every actor to attain versatility as time goes by. It should always be one’s endeavour. I am 23 years of age. I was unaware why I have a girlish image in the industry. I fail to understand why people tease me by pulling my cheeks. I had done a film ‘Highway’ with Imtiaz and I am sure that I never looked like a kid in the role, but I still was not able to impact the audience, which is sad. Then I thought that after seeing my film ‘Udta Punjab’, I will be able to shed that image, but on the contrary this film got entangled with the censor board and was not able to attract the audience. Finally, watched Dear Zindagi and must have realised that I am no longer the small girl.

But many people like to remain as kids…

Yes, I also want to remain a child at heart, but as far as acting is concerned, I don’t want to. In fact an actor should not have any kind of image. Only then you will be able to get and do all kinds of roles and characters. I feel that versatility plays an important role in the character of an actor, in the absence of which you cannot sustain for a long time. But for my family and friends I will always remain a kid and they will have to bear with me all their lives!

Only time will tell how big you have grown for the film industry, but I must confess one thing that there is a massive transformation in the Alia I met during the release of Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya in 2014.

What kind of a change?

You are looking quite mature.

Thank you so much. Even my friends feel the same. Earlier I used to just frolick, but now I guess I have grown a bit.

Tell me, are there things which you were unable to do after becoming a celebrity?

Basically, I have witnessed celebdom of my father since my childhood, hence the life of a star is not new to me. You will agree that every coin has two sides. On the one hand, I received publicity and respect, and on the other hand, I have to forego many things. Like, I cannot move about freely. I cannot sit and eat pavbhaji on the roadside tuck shops. I cannot attend the college fest with my friends and do headbanging. I remember the words of my father, who said that it is the naked truth and the darker side of the life of a celebrity that one has to say many lies, in spite of your conscience compelling you to tell the truth. Now understand his words in totality. But in the midst of all this, I must confess that I am happy with this life…. and I want to stay in this industry for the whole of my life.

Hope this is not a lie ?

No.. No… this is true and I have said it from the depths of my heart.

You got an opportunity to work with Shahrukh so soon ?

As far as the film is concerned, when Gauri Shinde read out the script to me, Shahrukh Khan had still not signed on. Gauri told me that after the sitting with the script with me, she will be going to meet him. So if you are thinking that I did this film because of SRK then you are truly mistaken. By the way, who doesn’t want to work with Shahrukh? It is a dream come true for everyone to work with him. But I did have such kind of dreams (laughs), and may be that’s why it has been fulfilled so soon.

Well, some people feel that Shahrukh is haughty and egoistic?

Yes, I also feel the same way that he is arrogant, But his arrogance is commensurate with his stature, his figure as a superstar may be. He becomes arrogant once he is in front of the camera. Otherwise he is very humble and down to earth off camera. On talking to him, you will feel as if you are talking to one of your family members.

Alia , you have really grown up as you have shifted in your new house, leaving your family behind….

Yes, it was my desire since years to shift, as it was the will of my father that I live independently. But to live separately doesn’t mean that you are cut off from your family. Here I am facing a serious problem, that since I am unable to cook,  I have to depend on chefs or on home deliveries…

You have an upcoming film with Varun Dhawan?

Yes we are working together in Shashank Khaitan’s film Badrinath Ki Dulhania, which is a romantic comedy film and a nice effort by the director. I hope that it will be liked by the public.

Your friendship with Siddharth Malhotra is in the air.

This is nothing new to me. The media is always trying to giving a hype to my personal life. First it was Varun, then Randeep Hooda, then Arjun Kapoor and now it is Sid. But I don’t mind as this kind of interesting gossip gives you publicity. So why will I oppose if somebody says that there is an affair going on between me and Sid? I would like to be an open book in my professional as well as my personal life.

But will you deny about your close friendship with Varun Dhawan, right?

I will never deny my friendship with anyone, but please don’t call it an affair. What is this that I am being associated with Varun Dhawan along with Siddharth Malhotra? If we are doing a film together does not mean that we are into a relationship. There is pure friendship and nothing else. But because of all this gossip, these two boys have suffered, a lot as they are not being given a lift by the other girls ….. Everybody thinks that they are my boyfriends.

Do you order aloo chaat and French Fries as soon as you hop into a restaurant?

It is not like that, but I am a diehard fan of French Fries and if they are made with love by my mom, then there is nothing that compares. Whenever my mom is free at home, I always request her to make French Fries. You know my mom is a very good cook. In my free time during evenings I relish eating French Fries. I cannot control myself on seeing chaat and pani puri. My favourites. I like all the delicacies made with potatoes, but French Fries are my absolute favourite. In our house everybody likes potatoes and order for aloo fry. It goes without saying that when you have tempting food placed in front of you one forgets all the funda of health and dieting. In non veg, I have a weakness for chicken chilly and chicken lollipop and I cannot hold myself back if these two dishes are placed in front
of me.

Seems that spicy food is your weakness?

I was born and brought up in Mumbai. Maybe that is the reason I like spicy food. But I have to restrain myself to some extent in order to keep myself physically fit. In spite of all this, Delhi and Hyderabadi food are also my weaknesses. Green vegetables and fruits comprise a portion of my food as well.

Are you a hard core foodie by nature?

Yes, you can say that. It happened many a time that I enjoyed spicy and tasty food during my shoots in the afternoons or in the nights. The best part of it was that I did not feel lethargic after having that much but did the shooting with the same zeal and zest as it was at the start of the day.

Which is your favourite season?

I love all the seasons. Like in the winters, I would like to visit the places where there is snowfall and would like to make snowballs and to hit my friends with them. I like to drench myself in the rains. I am not that happy about the summers. I am unable to restrain myself to the AC rooms and even feel uncomfortable in front of the arc lights of the AC studios.

How conscious are you with regards to your fitness?

I am a bit lazy that way. But, yes I practice all that which is required to keep you fit and in good health. I make it a point to take a shower, which rejuvenates me after coming back from the hectic shoot. In summers, I take showers three or four times instead of just twice. I enjoy myself in the bath tub full of foam, sometimes I also put petals and aroma oil which infuses a new energy in me.



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