'I'm very strong in the head'

'I'm very strong in the head'

Getting candid

'I'm very strong in the head'

With movies like ‘Highway’ and ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ to her credit, actor Alia Bhatt is now a household name in Bollywood. She has not only carved a name for herself in the film industry but also made clear the kind of films she wants to be associated with.

Her latest release, ‘Kapoor & Sons’ emphasises the importance of familial relationships, and though Alia isn’t the lead character, she is very happy with her role. In a chat with Ananya Revanna, she talks about the film, the Bhatt family and time travel...

Why did you decide to be a part of the film?

Initially, many people wondered why I chose this film because it doesn’t revolve around me. People assume that at this point in my career I’d pick films that are all about my character, but that’s a big no-no for me. I’d rather be a small part of a really good film than a big part of a bad film. What attracted to me to this film is that it doesn’t belong to one person, it’s universal and relatable.

What was your take-away from the film?

Everyone will take away a different message from the film as each character has a story to tell. What I took from it is that one should be grateful for their loved ones.

You’ve had a fun shoot...

Because it’s an ensemble cast there was a lot of sitting around and waiting (for another person’s shoot to finish). And the weather didn’t always compromise in Coonoor, so we had a lot of free time on our hands. We’d play games throughout. In fact it felt like in between the games, we’d shoot and promote! It was a very interactive set.

Tell us a bit about your character, Tia Singh.

What I love about my character is that she’s complete. Of course, there was room for questioning and I took that as a challenge. When I initially read the script, the character was written in a simple way, but I read in between lines and decided, with the help of Shakun (Batra, the director), to make it richer. Tia is a happy, fun and jovial girl who constantly plays pranks. She has some emotional baggage and that’s what makes her.

Are you anything like Tia?

No, I’m not as jovial, but I think I can be.

Talking about ‘Kapoor & Sons’, what is the Bhatt family like?

A bit crazy, simply put (laughs). Every family is crazy in its own way but I think, we are a bit more than the usual. All of us are very dynamic, different (yet similar) and highly opinionated. And we communicate very passionately.

A philosophy you live by.

My mum told me this for acting — less is more — but I apply it to every aspect of my life. And my father recently quoted Frank Sinatra: ‘The best revenge is massive success’, which is very inspiring.

What are you most passionate about?

My family, work and animals.

Are you a vegetarian?

I am. I recently turned. The only meat I eat is smoked salmon, and I don’t count that.

If you had a time machine...

I’d go back in time.

Would you change anything?

Yes. When I was 8 years old, I used to learn ballet, but I stopped because the commute was tiresome. But if I had learnt it, I’d be a different person now.

Why don’t you continue the classes now?

I tried but I don’t have time.

Have you ever done anything because of peer pressure?

No. Never. I’m very strong in the head. Whatever I’ve done, I’ve wanted to.

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