Alia Bhatt On Self-Love, Films & Beauty
Elle India|October 2021
Alia Bhatt’s growth as a professional and an individual has been nothing short of inspiring. Kaveree Bamzai decodes the unique combination of style, substance and beauty that makes her irresistible
Kaveree Bamzai

When she chanced upon SS Rajamouli at the airport one day, Alia Bhatt struck a conversation with him about how she’d love to work with him. A few months later, she had the Baahubali director giving her a call—he felt she had the right combination of strength and vulnerability to play Sita in his forthcoming RRR. When Inshallah, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film with Salman Khan and her, fell through, she went away for a month to deal with the devastation. But like a good student, she waited her turn; her patience paid off when Bhansali offered her the titular role in his Gangubai Kathiawadi.

At 28, Alia has already spent many years in the spotlight. She began shooting for her debut film Student of the Year at all of 17, and has come of age in the public eye. From being the butt of all jokes for her answer on Koffee with Karan (yes, that episode where she said Prithviraj Chauhan was the president of India!) to becoming India's sweetheart thanks to stirring performances as the traumatized addict in Udta Punjab (2016), a brave spy in Raazi (2018), and the maverick girlfriend in Gully Boy (2019). Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, one of her closest friends testifies, We've been friends since childhood and nothing, not the career and not the fame have changed anything between us.

After the pandemic hiatus—punctured only by a fairly unmemorable Sadak 2, she will be back on our screens with a series of films. RRR, Gangubai Kathiawadi, her own production Darlings, Karan Johar's Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani with the very “giving and talented” Ranveer Singh, and the long-awaited Brahmastra with partner Ranbir Kapoor. The lockdowns afforded her time to pause and introspect. “Working at a manic pace, you lose a sense of yourself. You tend to work on the auto-mode! But my father always says to me, 'If you can't sit down with yourself, you can't sit down with anyone else,’ she narrates. “Acting on that emotion, I’m spending quality time with myself on a beach somewhere by myself, even as we speak. Four years ago, I would have never been able to do it, I always needed people around me, she adds.

A STAR CHILD LIKE NONE OTHER

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