Alia and Arjun – two fresh faces à la Bollywood

Neeru Saluja - alia

Alia Bhatt

Bollywood reporter Neeru Saluja catches up with two young stars that Bollywood has brought forth in an exclusive phone interview for The Indian Down Under…

By Neeru Saluja

They both are in their 20s and come from Bollywood families. Though a few films old, they are grabbing headlines for their dazzling looks and acting skills. Meet stars Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor who come together for the first time in Karan Johar’s next production 2 States.

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Arjun Kapoor

Mind Blowing Films organised interviews with the stars while they were busy promoting their film 2 States. To be released on 18 April, the stars told us about their roles in the film and what means being a star kid.

Arjun Kapoor, the son of producer Boney Kapoor made his acting debut with the romantic drama Ishaqzaade. With Bollywood blood zooming in his veins, this young lad couldn’t stop talking and we couldn’t stop writing.

Tell us a bit about your upcoming film 2 States which you are promoting thesedays.

When most love stories end, this begins. In our culture, marriage is given a lot of importance. This film takes a very interesting angle as why parents let their children get married despite a cultural conflict. It’s a story of two families rather than the story of a married couple.

I play the role of a Punjabi boy and Alia plays the role of a Tamil girl. We meet in college when we are studying together. When we decide to marry, we try to convince our families. Though we both belong to two different States, the common factor is love.

Arjun, you started your career as an assistant director and ended up as an actor. Though Bollywood would have missed out on you (and your good looks) if you didn’t choose acting, what made you make the change?

Honestly speaking, life comes to a full circle. I started as an assistant to Karan Johar’s film Kal Ho Na Ho in 2003 and after a decade I’m working in his produced film.   I always wanted to be a director and was motivated by Salman Khan to take up acting. I was living and travelling with him and he inspired and made me an actor.

You come from the Kapoor Khandan where your dad is a famous producer, uncles Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Kapoor actors, your cousin Sonam Kapoor is an actress. Did you ever feel the pressure?

Being from an illustrated family gets your foot in the door, but you still need to prove yourself. It’s an overwhelming experience. I don’t think the audience would have lots of expectations though, no one in Australia would think me as a Kapoor. When I come on screen they will take me as an actor.

Being brought up in a filmi family, what do you love besides films?

Movies are my passion ”“ being a part of them is my true life. My other passion is Chelsea football club, I’ll be staying awake all night to watch them even if I have shooting the next day.

What message would you like to give to Indians in Australia?

I’ve never been to Australia. I would like to be there for New Year’s Eve. Please do go and watch 2 States, it’s a film that every Indian guy can relate to.

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Alia and Arjun in ‘2 States’ – a film based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel

Alia Bhatt is the daughter of director Mahesh Bhatt and made her debut with the film ”˜Student of the Year’. Her confidence and ease somehow reminded us of her father. With those innocent and pretty looks packed with the passion to prove herself, she definitely is an actress to look out for.

Hi Alia, while you are busy promoting your next film 2 States, we would love to hear about your role in the film.

Basically my character in 2 States is Ananya Swaminathan, a Tam Bram (Tamil Brahmin) living in Chennai. I meet Krish while we are studying in IIM University, Ahmedabad. Ananya is a fierce, spicy, energetic and strong woman who feels she is meant to do something more than just getting married. She wants to do prove herself in marketing. As she still has her traditions in place, the first step she takes is to convince her parents for her marriage, which turns out to be a rollercoaster ride.

Talking about rides, how would you define your Bollywood ride so far?

It’s been a baby rollercoaster so far! I still have a long way to go. Everyday I’m discovering myself as an actor, adding new things to my profile as an actor. My funda is to take each day as it comes, life throws surprises at me and I readily accept them.

Does being a Bhatt girl make the ride easier?

Yes and no. Though I’m Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter, I always wanted to prove myself. When the opportunity came for ”˜Student of the year’, I wanted to audition to be a part of the film. I made it through 400 girls for my first film. When I’m facing the camera, it’s me. On the other hand, I’m proud that I’m Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan’s daughter and I get to learn a lot from them.

In a short span of time, you have delivered hits after hits and impressed the critics raving about your acting skills. How do you portray a different character each time with such ease?

Thanks for the compliment. Though I made my debut in the film industry with ”˜Student of the year’ as a stylish and rich student, Imtiaz Ali’s film ”˜Highway’ was my journey. Playing the role of a kidnapped woman and her journey of life taught me a lot about my own journey. After 2 States, I’ll be playing the role of a Punjabi girl from Ambala in Humpty dumpty Sharma, which again is a different role to my earlier roles.

And what does Alia do when she’s not acting?

Whenever I get time I end up watching movies or catching up with my friends. I love to swim, go for a workout or even just lie down on my bed and watch the TV sitcom with friends!

You have also been called the latest fashion icon of Bollywood.

I have been getting this a lot recently! I’m confused as I don’t think I’m a fashion icon. I dress for myself and I look better when I do that. It’s nothing about the clothes, it’s all about your body language and how comfortable you are in your own skin. There are days when I like to just be in my pyjamas and there will be days when I love to dress up and bring out the red lipstick. But I try to keep my make up to the minimum, that’s how I look the best.

Any message to your fans?

I’m very excited to know I have fans in Australia! If you want to see a film that will relate to you, please come with your family and friends to watch 2 States. I have heard a lot about Australia from my co-star Randeep Hooda who spent a few amazing years there and I would love to come whenever I get a chance.

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North vs the South – Ronit Roy,  Amrita Singh, Revathi and Shiv Kumar Subramaniam as Alia’s and Arjun’s parents make an interesting foursome in the movie ‘2 States’

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