‘I am not scared of risks’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 May 2018 11:30:20


By Subhash K Jha,

Before her triumphant performance in Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi is out for all to see, Alia Bhatt says she prefers to show the vulnerable and unpolished side of the characters she essays rather than shining like a perfect diamond on the big screen.

In an interview, Alia spoke about Raazi, her film journey and what’s on the plate next.
Excerpts:You had a private screening of Raazi. What were the responses like?
I can’t be objective about my own work. This film is different from my others in that it has certain suspense element. All of us associated with the film knew what the surprise element was. So I was looking at the responses of my guests to see how they reacted to the surprise element. And it was all heartening, encouraging.

Does people’s approval matter to you?
Of course it does. There are some people in my life whose opinion is really valuable to me. That apart, I make all my decisions myself. The scripts I read and decide to do are chosen by me. Of course, I sound off the scripts to some people close to me. But for better or worse, the final decision to do or not do a film is mine.

After Highway and Udta Punjab, has it become easier now to pick a risky subject?

At the end of the day, everything is a risk. I’m not scared of risks. You need to see if it’s a fruitful, worthwhile experience. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t. But you need to understand what is working for you at a particular time. That’s also a reason why I’m curious to see how Raazi is going to fare. The trailer has got a widespread response, now, I want to know if the film also gets a similar reaction from the public.

Raazi required more preparation than your other roles?

I’d agree with that, yes. The closest I came to preparing this much was when I did Udta Punjab. For Raazi, I set aside a month before shooting. I cleaned up my Urdu language. I learnt how to drive a jonga (a jeep used by the Indian Army). I learnt some self-defence moves plus some techniques that spies have to learn before they are on their job. It was a lot of hard work and fun. But I think no amount of preparation can really prepare you for that moment when you finally face the camera.

Do you prefer going into a character unrehearsed?

I prefer going into my character without polishing her flaws and imperfections. I don’t want to be this shining diamond on-screen. I like to show the vulnerable, unpolished side of my character.

Speaking of brushing up your Urdu, was that hard for you to do?

It was a new way of working. Normally we don’t pay that much attention to the way we speak our lines. But let me tell you, Ranveer Singh, my co-star in my next release Gully Boys, is very much into linguistic fine-tuning. He actually works on the voice, the tone, the way the dialogues are spoken for his characters. I like that.

You have done some really entertaining ads with Ranveer Singh?
Yeah, I enjoyed doing those with him. Even in those ads you can see how much he works on his voice and accent. But shooting Gully Boys with Ranveer is a different experience altogether. Zoya Akhtar (the director), Ranveer and I had loads of fun.
Also starring Vicky Kaushal, the film is scheduled to release on May 11.