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April 25, 2014
Alia's father, the irrepressible Mahesh, is a writer, director and producer; mother Soni Razdan is an actor and step sister Pooja is an actor and director. Actor Emraan Hashmi and directors Mohit Suri and Vishesh Bhatt are her cousins. But despite being in a film family, Mahesh kept Alia and Shaheen away from filmdom for long. "She is in the driving seat of her life," he says. "Alia is a gift of life to us. We marvel at her. Whatever she is, she's on her own." The admiration is mutual. "I'm proud of the person my father is. He's honest and upfront," Alia says. She often visits her stepmother Kiran to enjoy her biryani. "We have a good and healthy atmosphere at home."
In her family, Alia is closest to Shaheen, her confidante and travel companion on annual getaways to London. "We are inseparable. I may not discuss everything with her but what she knows about me is more than anybody else," Alia says. Shaheen's task is to ensure Alia's feet remain planted on the ground. It was Shaheen who persuaded her to feature in All India Bakchod's "AIB Trolls Bollywood" video, in which stand-up comedians Rohan Joshi and Tanmay Bhatt follow and pester her to the tune of the song 'Ishq Wala Love' from Student of the Year. "A lot of this industry is just a facade. It is easy to change into a different person. I keep telling her to remember who she is and not stray from it," Shaheen says.
Alia shows glimpses of her real self every now and then on Instagram, where she posts selfies with her friends as well as cats Pika and Sheeba.
Sometimes though, the spotlight of fame and success could be harsh, as Alia found out when she appeared, twice, on Koffee with Karan and made headlines for her gaffes. So much so that Johar coined "You had an Alia moment" for his guests who erred on general knowledge questions. But Alia takes the jibes in good spirit. "I pulled a Harmonica," she says, referring to a gaffe-prone character in her favourite TV show, Friends. So long as she continues to impress and entertain audiences with her onscreen exploits, she doesn't have much to worry about.
Alia Bhatt had just started to speak when she declared: "I want to be a star!" Nobody in the family doubted the resolve of the child who loved putting on a show at their Juhu home, recalls her older sister Shaheen, 26. It also did not surprise them when six-year-old Alia described her first acting assignment, playing the younger Preity Zinta in Sangharsh (1999), as a "piece of cake". Four years later, father Mahesh Bhatt recalls, philosopher U.G. Krishnamurti observed Alia and proclaimed that she would become "a star who will light up the silver screen".
Like Kareena Kapoor Khan, whom she is often compared with, Alia is an alumnus of Mumbai's Jamnabai Narsee School. She has had no formal training as an actor, is just three films old and younger than her closest rivals Parineeti Chopra, 25, and Shraddha Kapoor, 26. Alia is demonstrating through her performances that she is here to stay. And three successes have given her the confidence to talk about her future with the same spunk she had as a child. "I don't think anybody says it out loud but I really feel I was meant to do something special and be someone special."
That's a bold assertion to make for someone whose family is brimming with talent.
Alia Bhatt married Ranbir Kapoor on 13 April 2022
Alia prefers dating 50-year-olds to teenagers
The actress du jour, Alia Bhatt, fielded Vogue’s tricky posers with rare, disarming candour in an interview with Vogue India for its February 2017 issue, here are a few excerpts...
Your boyfriend leaves his phone unlocked; what's the first thing you spy on? With this question, you'd think you have stumped Alia Bhatt, but boy can she outwit you. "I know the password to my boyfriend's phone," she responds, matter-of-factly.
The 23-year-old also makes no bones about her favourite sex position - "the classic missionary", since she is "a simple person".
Alia's innocence shines through as she exclaims she would take a selfie as she lands on Mars.
She reserves wry humour for questions that deserve smart, tongue-in-cheek answers: One thing you would tell US Prez Donald Trump if you meet him? "I'd build a wall so I don't have to talk to him".
Alia also confesses she would prefer dating a 50-year-old to an 18-year-old if they were the last living males on earth, because she doesn't get along with younger guys. Incidentally, it is the 50-year-old - well, almost 50 - Akshay Kumar that she considers the most genuine person in Bollywood.
Rumoured to be in an off-on (currently on) relationship with Student Of The Year co-star Sidharth Malhotra, Alia feels Bruno Mars' Just The Way You Are best describes her last relationship. She also reveals she would like to spy on Hollywood hearthrob Ryan Gosling if she was blessed with the power of invisibility for a day.
The actress shares learning how to cook has been on her perennial to-do list and that she wants to master aloo fry, a family dish. "My dad's mother taught it to my mom and it has always been our family favourite. I remember one day my father ate so much aloo fry that he said, 'Okay, I can die tomorrow'. It's that precious to all of us."
More answers to Vogue’s questions…
A prop you stole from a set?
“I asked for a pillow that I really liked from an ad film set. It’s still in my room, actually.” [People like Alia don’t need to steal.]
Most genuine person in Bollywood?
Your house is on fire. Your loved ones are safe. You have time to make a final dash to save one item. What would it be?
“I think I’ll just get my phone.”
An item you stole from your sister’s wardrobe and never returned?
“I’m sure I stole her coin collection. One day I landed up with way too many coins—vintage ones from all over the world. I hadn’t travelled so much then, so obviously they’re hers.”
Your boyfriend leaves his phone unlocked. What’s the first thing you spy on?
“I know the password to my boyfriend’s phone.”
Favourite yoga position?
A hashtag to describe your current state of mind?
What would you like for your 25th birthday?
“A holiday in Greece.”
The one thing you have in your refrigerator at any given time?
“Cheese. Mostly cheddar and goat cheese.”
A millennial you’d like to swap life with for a day?
How many cat breeds can you name without Googling?
“Siamese, Persian… and there’s the cross between Siamese and Persian…”
As an actress
2012: Student of the Year
2014: 2 states
2014: Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania
As a singer
2014 Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania ("Samjhawan")
2016 Kapoor & Sons
2016 Udta Punjab
2016 Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (cameo as DJ at the Silent Disco)
2012: Student of the Year: Lions Gold Awards- Favourite Debut (Female)
2014: Highway: Stardust Awards- Superstar of Tomorrow (Female)
2014: 2 States: BIG Star Entertainment Awards: Most Entertaining Jodi of the Year (shared with Arjun Kapoor), Most Entertaining Actor in a Romantic Film (Female)
2014: BIG Star Entertainment Awards: Star Plus Entertainer of the Year (shared with Sidharth Malhotra)
2015: Highway: Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress
2016: Filmfare Best Actor (Female) for 'Udta Punjab'