Ever since she made her debut with Student Of The Year (2012), Alia Bhatt has been part of several hit films. As the 22-year-old prepares herself for a busy 2016, which includes two films with Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor, respectively, we speak to her about her love for songs from SRK’s films, dealing with failure, and more.
Is it true that, as a kid, you used to love dancing to Shah Rukh’s songs from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)?
There used to be so many [songs that I would dance to]. I would dance to songs like ‘Yeh ladka hai deewana’ and ‘Koi mil gaya’. In fact, not many know that I even got the same haircut that Kajol sported in the film. I would also perform to some tracks from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) and even to ‘Bole chudiyaan’ from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001).
You call yourself a Shah Rukh fan. Are you nervous about working with him?
I think I will die. I’ve been dancing to ‘Gerua’ (a song from SRK’s new film) in my bathroom since its release (laughs). Whenever I like a new song, I play it on loop and dance to it. That’s my therapy. I don’t need a psychiatrist when I have SRK’s songs.
Are you completely over Shaandaar’s failure?
I don’t regret doing that film. When I signed it, I did so based on the script, and not because it was a film being made by Vikas (Bahl; director), who directed Queen (2014). So, now if Vikas comes to me, I am not going to say, “I won’t work with you, as we did a film together, which didn’t work.” That would be wrong on my part. I still stand by my film. Sometimes things work out well and sometimes they don’t. But the experience will always be special.
You recently said that sometimes you feel like “dying” because of the pressure on you.
Someone asked me, “Do you feel the pressure?” And I said, “I do, and sometimes you want to die because there is so much pressure.” Of course, it’s an exaggerated statement. I don’t mean that. What I mean is that sometimes, there’s too much pressure. But now I keep myself away from the constant pressure I was feeling. I want to enjoy this phase of my life.
What made you realise that you needed to do something about it?
I’ve realised that this isn’t the time for me to stress about my work. I have been acting for the past three years, and I have wanted to do this since I was three. So, I should enjoy the fact that I am finally doing it. I should be grateful about it, instead of thinking, “What will happen next?” That’s no way to live.
Looks like people are finally done with the Alia jokes…
Thank God, although I didn’t know that. I think people are a bit bored [of those jokes] now. Probably, they’ve realised that there are other people too. Whenever someone else [from the industry] makes a stupid statement, it’s like, “Oh Alia, don’t worry. You are no longer the dumbest person in the world.” I am like, “Thank you.” But it’s good as that makes them remember me in some way or the other.
It is tough dealing with failure at such a young age?
Even at 30 or 40, if something doesn’t do well, it still hurts. If I pinch someone, the pain is going to be the same whether the person is young or old. The question is, “Do you cry about it, or learn and move on?” It’s the way you take it (failure). I wasn’t explaining, defending or pointing fingers. You can’t be ungrateful. I have to learn from it and keep all those things in mind when I am making film choices in the future.