We all know Alia Bhatt is an exceptionally talented actress. Her fabulous performances in films like Highway, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Dear Zindagi have established her as a versatile actress in the current generation of Hindi film actresses. In filmmaker Meghna Gulzar’s upcoming film Raazi, Alia is all set to deliver an intensive character of a Kashmiri girl who is married into a family of a Pakistan military. The film also stars actor Vicky Kaushal in a prominent role.
Raazi is an adaptation of Harinder Sikka’s novel Calling Sehmat which is inspired by real events. It is about an Indian spy married to a Pakistani military officer (Vicky Kaushal) during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
In an interview with Cinespeaks, Alia Bhatt speaks about the film.
Q: How was it to adapt a character like Sehmat?
Alia: It was a great opportunity for me to play a character like Sehmat and to develop it from scratch. I payed attention to how she would speak because the way a person speaks depicts your personality heavily. The character and film is inspired by true incidents and there was also a sense of responsibility to portray that accurately.
Q: What was your takeaway from this film?
Alia: I wouldn’t tell you that because the essence of the film will be diluted. But, my learning from Raazi is about patriotism. I think being patriotic is not just about loving your country. We do need to add value to our society. We need to contribute and do something for our country. For example, when I went with Aamir Khan, I understood what he is trying to do for the people of this country. He is educating people and imparting knowledge so as to solve their problems. His association abd work with Paani Foundation will help the farmers eradicate the drought crisis in Maharashtra. For me, this is true patriotism and being patriotic. I believe in actions speak louder than words.
Q: How much does Alia relate with Sehmat?
Alia: I can’t relate to Sehmat. I don’t think we have that ability to do something for our country which Sehmat has. She is extremely selfless. I can empathize with her and understand her. This is what I do when I don’t relate with my characters. In Udta Punjab, I never understood Mary Jane and what she went through. I only understood and empathized with her.
Q: How was the experience of working with filmmaker Meghna Gulzar?
Alia: It was an amazing experience. Her last film Talvaar (2015) had a very big impact on me and I loved that film. I feel she is that one filmmaker who is very specific with detailing. She has a good eye for detailing in her films and that’s why the world in her films looks so real. I have lived my character with his film.
Q: How was the experience of working with Vicky Kaushal?
Alia: Vicky is a fabulous actor. I loved his work in Masaan (2015) and I am glad that I had the opportunity to work with him. I got to learn a lot from him while working on this film. His character in the film is extremely important and his silence speaks so much in the film. We have a sacred and complicated track in the film which I feel can be pulled off when there are genuine actors. So, I am happy to have worked with him.
Q: How is to work in different films like Kalank, Gully Boy and Brahmastra?
Alia: I have finished shooting for Gully Boy which is a supernatural fantasy kind of film. Kalank is an epic drama. So, I am juggling between Kalank and Brahmastra currently. They are two different films. In fact, I shot with Madhuri Dixit for 2 days for Kalank. She is a great actress and made me feel comfortable and normal on set.
Q: Naseeruddin Shah had recently said that Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan are two great actors who aren’t bothered about the number of zeroes in the Box-Office collections of their films. What is your comment on this ?
Alia: I definitely agree with him. I have never given a deep thought on the Box-Office outcome while choosing a movie script. The producers should be happy with the release of the film. I believe a good film will always do well. Highway may be my least grossing fill but the reach it had emotionally us far greater than any other film of mine.
Q: Do you take advice from your Dad (Mahesh Bhatt) while choosing a script? When can we seen you directing him?
Alia: No! I never really take advice from him. I think it is good to go ahead instinctively. I later tell him about my choices and he says, “Hmm…Achi hai!”. On my father directing me, he calls himself as an extinct volcano.
Q: What has been your most daunting and emotionally draining film?
Alia: Udta Punjab has been my most daunting film and Raazi the most emotionally draining film.