'I'm still growing up'

'I'm still growing up'

'I'm still growing up'

When it comes to the young and rapidly rising star Alia Bhatt, there’s always something interesting to watch out for. After the success of her last film ‘Highway’, which shed her ‘Student of the Year’ image, her latest venture ‘2 States’ releases on April 18.

Directed by Abhishek Varman and based on Chetan Bhagat’s 2009 novel by the same name, the film sees Alia playing the character of Ananya Swaminathan, a Tamil Brahmin from Chennai who falls for Krish Malhotra, a Punjabi boy from Delhi essayed by Arjun Kapoor. The story follows the clash of cultures between their parents when they decide to get married and their fight to stay together.

“I read the book while shooting for ‘Student of the Year’ at leisure. It was during the end of the shooting that I remember speaking to Abhishek, who was also working on the film, about how he wanted to do a film called ‘2 States’. I said that the book was amazing though I never thought that the role would come to me. But it was Abhishek’s faith in me that brought me onto this project. We did a look test to see if I looked old enough and if Arjun and I looked good enough together. And it worked!” she tells Metrolife.

“It’s different from any of the stuff I’ve done till now. I’m playing a much older, mature Tamilian girl. So it was a challenge but that’s what I look for in every film,” adds Alia.

Could she relate to the character while reading the book? She replies, “It was a lovable character. I didn’t find it relatable until later on. While shooting the film, there was a moment where I realised that she’s a feminist and I’m also borderline feminist in various ways. So that’s something I related to. And just generally how fiery, spunky and intelligent she was, inspired me.”

When asked to compare the experience to her previous films, Alia states that she doesn’t like making comparisons. “Each experience is different. Sometimes you’ll connect to a film, sometimes it’ll be something you can slip in and out of. So for me, every film till now has been very memorable because I’m still very new. I’m still growing up and each film is a huge learning experience,” she shares, adding that her biggest takeaway from Bollywood so far has been learning how to be stronger.

“You have to be very thick-skinned to be in this business. You have to feel okay being yourself and have faith in what you’re doing and the people you’re working with,” elaborates Alia.

Being the daughter of Mahesh Bhatt and representing the next generation doesn’t pressurise her, she says. “Pressure comes and goes. On some days, you feel pressure for the film and on others, for where you think your career is headed. You can’t really be calm and collected 24/7,” she states.

A fan of Bangalore, Alia states that she has come down all three times for all three of her films. “I’ve always got a lot of love and warmth here. It’s the city of gardens and there’s always beautiful weather. I make sure to have rasam every time I come here!” she wraps up with a smile.