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Rise of the Student

Anita Britto
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Alia Bhatt has graduated from being the baby of the family to a promising performer in Bollywood. The 20-year-old reveals her hopes and dreams…

Alia Bhatt, who made her acting debut with Student of the Year , talks about her upcoming releases Two States and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya, relationship with father, Mahesh Bhatt, and the encouragement she received from director-producer Karan Johar.

Were you flooded with offers after Student of the Year ?

To be honest, I have signed all the films I was offered. Probably, I might have rejected one script at the most.

Post Student of the Year , has Karan Johar remained involved in your career?

Karan is the first person I call up when I get an offer because he is my mentor. I do have a three-film contract with him and I am their talent for the next five years. So, automatically, I feel like he is the person I can rely on when I need advice.

Was your second film Highway more challenging for you than Student of the Year ?

Essaying Shanaya Singhania’s character in Student of the Year was challenging for me because I didn’t know to walk in heels or to be glamorous. In Highway I had a different kind of involvement altogether. It was a physically and emotionally exhausting experience, because it included road journeys, and I had to stretch my limits.

I had no preparation during Student of the Year ; all I concentrated on was appearing poised and comfortable during the songs. So, I rehearsed for the songs. For Highway , director Imtiaz Ali wanted me to seem as raw as possible. He wanted the page to be blank, the blanker the page, the better. However, I took a diction class since I played a Delhi-based girl and had to improve my Hindi.

How was the experience of working with Randeep Hooda?

He had a very difficult role to play, but he did it with a lot of ease and without saying much. It is wonderful to be around actors from whom you can learn a lot.

You are working with Varun Dhawan and Arjun Kapoor. When do we see you with Ranbir Kapoor?

I want to work with Ranbir Kapoor — not because I am a fan but because he is a fantastic actor. I want to work with him for a selfish reason — I want to nurture myself as an actress.

Would you call yourself a spontaneous actor?

I try to be in the moment. I don’t have any method yet because I am very new.

Do comparisons with Kareena Kapoor trouble you?

I don’t think I look like her. I don’t think there can be anybody like Kareena Kapoor; I am her fan.

Besides Kareena, who else do you look up to?

Aishwarya Rai.

Do link-ups trouble you?

No.

And would these rumours trouble your dad?

He hasn’t said anything to me so far. I don’t think it troubles him but I am sure he doesn’t want me to date anybody. He is protective in a very subtle way.

Will you admit to being in love, as and when it happens?

I will never talk of who I am dating, that’s for sure.

What advice does your dad offer you, if any?

He tells me to keep my head on my shoulders and constantly strive to be successful.

Is your father involved in your monetary deals?

No, he is not involved in my decisions. But we speak and he keeps an account of what I am doing.

What makes you worried as an actor?

Failure.

Anita Britto

Bollywood News Service

“I want to work with Ranbir Kapoor for a selfish reason — I want to nurture myself as an actress.”

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