Alia Bhatt chats about her dreams and more with PRATISHTHA MALHOTRA.
Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ is your fourth film now and after playing varied characters from ‘Student Of The Year’ to ‘Highway’ to ‘2 States’, would you say that this is the most ‘filmi’ character that you would be essaying on celluloid?
Yeah, actually I can say that. Definitely it is my most massy role. Kavya is a Punjabi girl who is not stereotypical but it is the most filmi that I have gone till now. See, I know that I won’t be getting a film like HIGHWAY every month. If it comes, then I would definitely want to do films like this. But that doesn’t stop me from doing films of other genres. ‘2 States’ also was a romantic film but it was talking about a very important subject. The character of Ananya was much more mature, and especially playing not a very stereotypical Tamilian was not very easy. What I felt, which was very important for me,is the need to keep exciting the audience. I would not put ‘Humpty…’ and ‘Student…’ in the same bracket because that is a completely different world altogether. Let’s be very honest, in ‘Student Of The Year’, it was Varun (Dhawan) and Sidharth (Malhotra)’s love story more than my love story with them! I was more of a kabab mein haddi in the film. That is anyway a very posh, different elegant kind of world but ‘Humpty…’ is a rooted heartland love story, which is the basis of the Indian film industry.
Looking at Varun post your first film, do you think he has evolved as an actor?
I have known him since ‘Student…’ and we haven’t lost touch ever so I know him as a person very well. I was constantly in touch with him during ‘Main Tera Hero’ also and I know that is his forte and that is what he is born to do. But what I have realised about him is that now he literally treats a scene like a character and is not thinking like Varun anymore. Maybe in ‘Student…’ he used to think as, ‘What would Varun do? Can I use something which I learned with Barry John in a scene or no?’ It’s good, the scene does look nice but what he does now is that he thinks as Humpty which I think is a great achievement in your third film. Like with me, I sometimes realise that I am talking in Hindi but I am still thinking in English and when you are talking in Hindi, your body language changes completely. To be honest, I only managed to do that in HIGHWAY where I forgot that I was myself. In ‘2 States’, there were moments where I was aware of myself but when I was with my family speaking in Tamil, then I would be Ananya. Even during playing Kavya, I try to do it in bits and pieces. When I was shooting in my house, I would feel more of Kavya than maybe shooting in Khan Market or somewhere. But Varun would manage to do it all the time which was very interesting for me.
Being brought up very lavishly in the Juhu-Bandra area with the luxury of high end fashion brands, do roles from middle India become a bit challenging for you?
Yeah, it is somewhere. But you know to be honest, when I did HIGHWAY, I lost all my Zara- Burberry-Juhu-South Bombay feeling. It was like I learnt how to walk again. I was a person who was just observing and absorbing what is around me. I am not this stuck-up person, I never was and HIGHWAY just kind of took out any sort of stuck-up-ness from me. I have travelled to places which people would not even have seen in their life and slept in places where people wouldn’t ever dare to sleep. But yeah, playing a girl from Ambala is very different; her body language is only very different. So I feel like you have to kind of make up your own story in your head, which I kind of did. I know the characters so I made up a story that Kavya has been pampered all her life, she is very close to her sister, things like she probably likes to eat such kind of food and likes to sleep for these many hours and things like these. All this helps you give the correct body language for the character. Speaking of inspiration, Parineeti (Chopra) has been a major inspiration in my life to be a good actor. I observe her a lot on screen and I love watching her. So you do learn a lot from your contemporaries.
Speaking of your characters and films, are you able to detach from them easily or do some glimpses still remain in you even after the film is over?
That happened with ‘Highway’ – it was very difficult for me to detach from that film. I think after that I learnt how to detach after the film is done. As a character, I have learnt now but as a film you are still connected because it is your film.
Only half the year has gone by and you are all over the place and the world is raving about you. Do you think once we reach the awards season, you’ll be holding one in your hand?
It’ll be amazing ifI get an award but I am not expecting any. It will go to Kangana only…I have done my calculations (Laughs) Some award I’ll get na, something critical, some jury something. It’ll be so nice, it is my dream to get an award. If I don’t get it, I’ll be sad. I know I will be disappointed. Something I should get….Lions Club maybe (Giggles). I already have got one Stri Shakti Award for power packed performance in ‘Highway’. I mean, however much people lie, you need at least one award on your shelf to say that I won this for a film. But my serious goal is to win a National Award for one film at least. I know Oscars is not a possibility but National Award at least ya.