The spotlight has shone on Alia Bhatt very early. She was all of 18 when Yash Raj Films’ Student of The Year happened to her. And as she tackled the press on Tuesday in Bangalore to promote her next film Highway, the young actress displayed an air of confidence that seems to be nurtured from all the attention she’s been getting. So no newbie jitters here, no paused answers.
“I should be glad to have two good films, one was Karan Johar’s Student of the Year and now Highway with Imtiaz (director Imtiaz Ali). So far so good,” said Alia before commenting on the huge responsibility that comes with being associated with populist Hindi cinema. “I am doing what I love and that’s all that matters. I was never going to college anyway because I am not the studying type. I am acting type of a person. May be there is a responsibility (that comes with it) and I am okay with it.”
Alia is even controversy ready. “If you are not doing anything wrong, you should keep going,” she said and brushed off rumours about her and Arjun Kapoor, whose latest release is Gunday, with a ‘rubbish’.
With Highway, Alia has moved from working with fresh faces like Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan, to the experienced Randeep Hooda. She was quick to clarify on the shift and said that it was Randeep who was cast after she had already been picked for her role.
“He (Imtiaz) has not watched Student... but he thought I fit the role in Highway. Later, Randeep was chosen and I got along very well with him. He is a very giving actor to react to,” she says.
Working on Highway demanded Alia to be different from her more glamorous role in Student.... “I didn’t expect to play a role like I have in Highway but I didn’t have to prepare either because I had to be as raw as possible,” she said.
Alia said she rehearses only once before she takes the final shot. Imtiaz puts it to her many talents of which Highway explores acting, singing and dancing.
Alia has sung a song in the film, the music for which has been composed by A R Rahman. “He is a legend. It wasn’t like a decoration for the movie, it was just a thought that came through. As the director mentioned, I used to sing on the sets that they (the film team) thought I could hold a note very well. That’s how I became a part of the soundtrack,” she says.