‘Dear Zindagi’ is a letter to life – Alia Bhatt
In a short duration, Alia Bhatt has time and again proved her diversity and capabilities as an actor. With Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi, Alia explores a new side of herself as Kaira, a cinematographer dealing with love, life and relationships.
As the audience heads to the theaters to watch the film, we catch up with the vivacious actor for a chat where she opens up about how she could relate to Kaira, working with Gauri Shinde and also her forthcoming film Badrinath Ki Dulhania.
What sets Dear Zindagi apart from your previous films?
Working on Dear Zindagi was an extremely fresh experience and this is not solely because I was working with Shah Rukh Khan or Gauri (Shinde) for the first time. It has been a refreshing experience because of the story of the film. This film is different, it doesn’t fit any genre and is hard to compare it with any other film. That is why working on the film and playing the character of Kaira, made me feel very different and ‘different’ is always a dear experience.
A male director could be a little hesitant while talking to me but Gauri was very clear about what she wanted
Is there a story behind the title of the film?
When you write a letter to someone, you start with ‘Dear’ and then the name follows. When you are writing a letter to life, that is how you will start, basically, Dear Zindagi is a letter to life.
How much of your character could you relate to and how easy would it be for the audience to relate to her?
I would say that I relate to this character more than any other (character) that I have played till now. Though there were some traits that I couldn’t relate to. For example, she is extremely impulsive and says whatever comes to her mind without thinking, but I am not like that. I normally don’t say much and I will think before I say something, yet, Kaira is a lot like me.
I am sure that the audience will be able to relate to the film and the character because the situations are so relatable. It will strongly connect with the youth because it speaks about issues and problems of those in their 20’s.
I choose different roles because that is the way I look at things
How would you describe Gauri Shinde as a director and does having a female director change the way a film is approached?
I think there are female and male actors, but a director is a director regardless of them being male or female. But I would say that it was different working with her as a person, not because she is a woman, women are powerful and strong as well. The thing that I liked best about Gauri is that she is frank; a male director could be a little hesitant while talking to me but she was very clear about what she wanted and that is why we synced so well.
I would say that I relate to this character more than any other that I have played till now
Any memorable moments from the making of the film?
We used to play lot of games on the set and there is this one moment, which is there in the film and the trailer as well. I am sitting on the floor, laughing and playing on my phone, and Shah Rukh Khan is sitting up on a chair and laughing. We were doing this in between shots and Gauri saw this and just rolled the camera. We didn’t realize that we were being shot, so yes, that was a good moment.
After an intense role in Udta Punjab, this is a light-hearted movie, was it a conscious decision to be selective about the genres of films you do?
Nothing is deliberate; I choose different roles because that is the way I look at things. I like being different. I get bored doing the same thing again and again. Moreover, even though this film is light-hearted it was not easy to pull off Kaira’s journey convincingly. Every character comes with its own challenges.
Playing the character of Kaira made me feel very different and ‘different’ is always a dear experience
Can you give us a little insight on how your forthcoming movie, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, is shaping up?
I think it is shaping quite nicely and it is very different. We were in Singapore for a very long time shooting the film, so Badrinath has gone international (laughs). The movie is in the same space as Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, but it’s a very heartland film with all the Indian tadka. I am looking forward to it.