Chit Chat

Shocked to read, am Pooja-Mahesh Bhatt’s child: Alia Bhatt

There is a commonality between Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt – both of them shoot from the hip, yet they are sorted. In an exclusive chat with Nagpur Times on their visit to the city, the ‘rumoured couple’ spoke about dealing with as diverse emotions as annoyance, indifference and indulgence in their respective short stints in Bollywood.

Alia, you seem to have made your kiss in 2 States the USP of the film by stating that Arjun likes the way you kiss.
Have I? Our kiss can never be the USP of the film. Actually, people ask such questions and we need to reply in similar vein.
Arjun: It stemmed from an interview of mine, where I said I loved the way she kissed and it became the talking point for obvious reasons. There’s nothing more to it.

Considering Alia is just two films old in Bollywood and Arjun, you have had just three releases till date, both of you are handling the marketing and promotions of the film with elan. Whether it’s your selfie that Alia tweeted (in which she looks completely besotted) or your statements on your kiss, you seem to know well what works for the film.
I don’t think so. How long can you pretend? As it is, we’ve acted enough in the film; so, why would we extend our acting skills to promotions as well? There is a lot of comfort between us and that reflects in our behaviour and conversations. Even, that selfie I took was a fun thing as he was giving an interview and I was genuinely getting bored sitting beside him!
Arjun: What happens is that at times you do things on impulse and they get noticed. But, the fact of the matter is whether we do things intentionally or spontaneously, people pick them up as they follow us. The idea is not if 2 States’ release is approaching, we should behave in a friendly manner. We’ve been friends for a while; we’ve put our pictures online earlier as well.

While Arjun has reacted with annoyance towards the rumoured couple tag that has been ascribed to both of you, Alia, you’ve been a bit indulgent towards this tag. Wouldn’t you confess to have created confusion about your relationship status with Arjun?
I agree that I jokingly or casually stated that we are a couple but then when I realised the prospective impact it could have, I immediately retracted.

So, is it your indifferent approach towards the linkup questions?
Alia: Yeah. What else do I do? If I’d got affected, I would get upset. But, I don’t give a damn! So, I tend to get indifferent. But then, they take my indifference also in a literal manner.

Earlier, the grapevine about linkups between actors and actresses used to persist for a long while but now the linkup rumours get refreshed with the launch of every film…
Arjun: I don’t dwell too much on it. We do our job by putting a lot of efforts in a film. But life is not about that film only. One makes friends here and also gets into relationships. We’ve to carry on with our lives, regardless of what inferences people draw. Film promotion is important as the audience’s attention span has got reduced. So, we work sincerely towards it, as we’ve come to Nagpur to spread awareness about the film. But it’s just a means to an end; we are just reminding our consumers about our product. How that happens is a producer’s job because it’s he who invests money. We actors just help him get the returns on his investments.

Arjun, you being a producer’s (Boney Kapoor) son, how good are you with numbers and marketing?
I’m bad at marketing! But I earnestly do whatever I’m capable of to market the film. If they ask me to do something, which doesn’t suit my personality, I decline the same. Marketing is not my forte, but numbers, yes, I’ve grown up observing all that. Being a producer’s son, I know the importance of timeliness, and that makes me punctual. I’m a disciplined actor. Professionalism is embedded in me. I value the producer’s investment and also respect the time of those 200 odd crew members who work with me on a film.

Arjun, You have an emotional connect with this film as you had seen Chetan Bhagat’s book 2 States (on which the film is based) on your mom’s (Mona Shourie Kapoor) shelf before she passed away…
Arjun: I’ve an emotional connect with every film of mine, though the reasons may vary; and with this film, there could be more than one reason behind my emotional connect. The common and underscored reason remains the time I spend on the sets. Also, this role of mine belongs to a genre that is different from what I’ve done till yet; and I’m very keen on showcasing this side of mine to my audience. My mom’s connect with the film is a very subconscious thing for me. I saw that book lying on her shelf, but we never got a reason to talk about the film as she passed away before I signed the film. But, I’m glad that she’s read something that I’ve worked on.

Your mom also wanted you to play a typical romantic hero, which you’ve done in 2 States. But many would say that with your brooding looks and edgy eyes, you are best cut out for intense characters that you’ve aptly played in all the films you’ve done to date – Ishaqzaade, Aurangzeb and Gunday…
That’s what the audience has to decide. I was very happy doing this role as it deals with a different genre and posed a challenge to me. I’m an actor and I should be able to portray characters that don’t gel with my looks. If the film works, it’ll mean that people have accepted me in rom coms as well. Personally, I really relate with my character (Krish Malhotra) in the film as he’s the closest to my personality. I feel Krish and Arjun can be good friends.

Alia, your candid statements make for sensational headlines. Is it Alia Bhatt shooting from the hip or it’s quintessential Mahesh Bhatt’s sorted daughter saying things after dwelling upon them?
I am a very impulsive person and I promptly say things that come to my mind. I don’t see any wrong in speaking my mind. May be, later on that can happen in my life, but I’ve never regretted saying anything till date.

You recently said that weirdest rumour you read about yourself is that you are Pooja Bhatt (your stepsister) and Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter. How did you react to this?
(Looking shocked) Somebody actually said that you are Pooja Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter? It’s really sick! This shows to what extent the level of journalism has really stooped.
Alia: Yes, it did happen. I was shell shocked to read this, but what can you do except for rubbishing it. I was asked a question about my father’s second marriage and I said it’s not something that has affected me as a child or probably I never gave importance to it. Next thing I see is it’s written that I am Pooja and Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter. It’s ridiculous! I think the person who wrote this should get his brains diagnosed; I feel sorry for him.

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