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Alia Bhatt is one of the most exceptionally talented and versatile actresses we have today. With the recent release, Meghna Gulzar's Raazi, she is earning accolades from all over. She is playing the role of a 20-year-old girl Sehmat, who is a daughter, a wife and a SPY. The film also stars Vicky Kaushal, Soni Razdan and Rajit Kapur.
In a chat with Filmibeat, Alia Bhatt says, 'When you are part a of true story, you automatically feel the sense of responsibility, even we have never ever seen the real life Sehmat ever. For me it was a very big opportunity to portray something like this. I learned what the true patriotism is.'
Excerpts from the interview:
How was it adapting a character like Sehmat?
For me, it was a very big opportunity to portray something like this. When you are part of a true story, you automatically feel the sense of responsibility, even we have never ever seen the real life Sehmat ever. Having said that, it was also a great opportunity for me to create this character from scratch. Even though it was mentioned in the script, how she was going to be. But once you crack the way this girl spoke, everything else is done for you. Because the way you speak is the very much a depiction of your personality.
What's your take-away from the film, or from the character?
Not take-away, but I learned that what we think about patriotism is quite opposite to what actually is true patriotism. Saying I love my country is not enough, you have to do things for your country, you have to participate, add value. That's what I learned from Sehmat and this journey.
How it was working with Vicky Kaushal?
It was great. He is fabulous. Ever since I saw Masaan, I was like, he is someone I have to work with because I can learn so much from him. He is very much essential in the film. His character is very silent, but his silence says a lot. And Sehmat is quite nervous about her connection with Iqbal. I think I would not able to protray the character of Sehmat, if Iqbal was being played by such a strong actor.
You are doing back-to-back films that are very different.. Raazi, Kalank, Brahmastra and Gully Boy. How you are managing simultaneously?
I am just doing it. After the film releases, I will know- Maine Kya Khichdi Pakaya hai (LAUGHS).. I finished Gully Boy now. So now it's just between Kalank and Brahmastra. I think that's where your directors matter a lot. And luckily these two films are very different from each other. Kalank is an epic drama whereas Brahmastra is like a super natural fantasy.
Were you nervous shooting with your Mom in Raazi?
I was nervous. But I was not nervous about what she will think of me, but I was more nervous for her (laughs). Like what if she does not perform well. But as soon as we started shooting I realised that she is way ahead of me; in her personal attitude and language and everything.
You think your stardom helped to get Raazi a solo release date?
I don't know. I just think we got lucky with the dates. Because Raazi is not a film which requires a Eid release or a Diwali release. It's a smaller film, so it requires a good time period, like one week or so. But I believe that a good film will always do well, no matter on what date it releases. For Raazi I am happy that no other films are releasing but there is Avengers (laughs).
Do you think nowadays, the word nationalism is being used as a weapon or a threat?
I don't think we should talk much about what is wrong, talk about how it can be solved. For example, when recently I went with Aamir for Paani foundation, I realised what he is doing is imparting knowledge to the people of our country, to villagers, to the farmers who need it, who can use it for their livelihood and solve the problem of draught in Maharashtra. For me that is what we call real patriotism, for me that is being someone who love the country and wants to bring a change.
How it was working with Meghna Gulzar?
It was great actually. I loved her movies. Especially her last film Talwar really left a big impact on me. In my opinion she is one of the most detailed directors I have worked with, who gives attention to every detail and so her world seems very real. I feel so good that I have worked with Meghna in such an sensitive and extensive story (Raazi).
Are you content with your career graph?
Contentment is very boring. I like to be satisfied taking a task and complete it. I just want to be hard-working and relentless.
Does box office numbers affects you?
I don't even think about box office. I just it does certain amount that producers are happy. But having said that a good film will always do well, and here 'well' means the kind of love you get for your movie. Highway is my least grossing film, but the value it has otherwise has been far better than any other film.
Do you think, it's time when the barrier between unconventional cinema and mainstream cinema is blurring?
I think it's a good time for cinema right now that content became a king. If you have all the superstars, songs and locations, but if content is weak the film will not do well. At the same time, I think one can do good commercial film as well with strong content. For example movies like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Queen, Dangal, Tanu Weds Manu. It's just about finding that film.
Are you looking forward to do a full on comedy film?
Ya, I want to do a comedy film, but no one approach me for a comedy film. They think I like to cry.
Are we going to see your cameo in Student Of The Year 2?
(Laughs) This you have to ask Karan Johar. But yes, I am very happy for this sequel. Karan is launching two new girls Ananya and Tara, both of them are super bright.