If you are fit and healthy, there is no need to take rest, said Bollywood star Alia Bhatt who hopes to work till she is 100.
From marrying longtime partner and ”Brahmastra” co-star Ranbir Kapoor, starring in blockbuster films ”Gangubai Kathiawadi” and ”RRR”, expecting her first child, shooting for her Hollywood debut ”Heart of Stone” and gearing up for the release of her production debut ”Darlings”, it has been a busy year for the actor.
Asked if she ever felt the need to take a break, Bhatt said Tuesday she would continue to work till the time her health permits.
”If you are fit and healthy, there is no need to take rest. Working gives me peace, it’s my passion. It keeps my heart, mind, soul, everything alive and charged. So, I will work till I am 100,” she told reporters here at the launch of ”La Ilaaj”, a song from ”Darlings”.
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Bhatt, who is making her production debut with the film through Eternal Sunshine Productions, said she is first an actor on set.
”It’s not that my acting process needs to change because I am the producer. The real producer in me woke up much later. I was always an actor. I’ve felt protective about my films before, now I feel even more protective towards ‘Darlings’,” she added.
”Darlings” explores the lives of a mother-daughter duo (played by Bhatt and Shefali Shah) trying to find their place in the city, ”seeking courage and love in exceptional circumstances while fighting against all odds”. Directed by debutante Jasmeet K Reen, the movie also stars Vijay Varma and Roshan Mathew.
The film presents a mother-daughter dynamic like never before, said Bhatt. ”In my opinion, what’s really beautiful is their relationship, how honest and rare this type of dynamic is. Mother is suggesting some odd things, sometimes the daughter is mothering the mother. It’s sort of vice versa.” With OTT, there is a lot of scope for writers to not worry about the day one box office numbers, added Bhatt. ”Darlings” is slated to arrive on Netflix this Friday.
Makers simply need to focus on creating good characters, female or male, it doesn’t matter, she said.
”At the end of the day, the endeavour is to make a good film that touches the heart. Whether it releases on OTT or in the theatre, it really doesn’t matter…” Citing the example of Vishal Bhardwaj, who has composed ”La Ilaaj”, Bhatt said women have always been ”the driving force” in his films.
”It’s not really about gender. Woman, man… Just write good characters, stories first, we’ll look at the gender later,” she pointed out.
She also addressed the social media meme-fest around ”Kesariya”, the song from ”Brahmastra”.
”The song is number one, so why should I complain?” she said.
Bhatt, who recently shot for ”Heart of Stone” in the UK, said working on the Netflix movie was a lovely experience.
”I was nervous because it was all new. It was also my first action film, but they took great care of me and made me feel at home. I learnt a lot. At the same time, I felt it was not all that different from what we do here. It’s just that the language was different.
”Gal Gadot is such an icon, inspiration. The way she does action, she is also a producer on that film. So, we had a lot to talk about. She was possibly the most beautiful energy that I’ve ever come across,” the actor, who completes a decade in films this year, added.
Reen, whose writing credits include films such as ”Force 2” and the ”Pati Patni Aur Woh” remake, said seeing the 140-strong cast and crew on the first day of the film’s shoot was a memorable moment for her as a first-time director.
”All of them had more experience than me. But I told myself that I know my script and characters best. When I saw it coming to life for the first time… That was really special for me,” she said.
Mathew, who has previously starred in Anurag Kashyap’s film ”Choked” which was also released on Netflix, said he is unable to distinguish between projects made for OTT platforms and theatres.
”I’ve been noticing this interesting trend in conversations while the project is being planned as to whether this belongs on an OTT platform or theatrical release,” he added.
The actor, who predominantly works in Malayalam cinema, said all sorts of films work in theatres there.
”You could be running a feel-good film with five-six newcomers and it could be playing next to Mohanlal’s biggest action entertainer of the year. Both these films can parallelly be doing well.” Shah said she was sold on the script of ”Darlings”, penned by Reen and Parveez Sheikh.
”There was no way I could say no (to the film). It’s a terrific script. It was really very simple and quick,” she added.
Varma said he sought the director’s inputs while preparing for the role of an alcoholic and abusive husband.
”There are a lot of broken people around. Jasmeet and I spoke at length about it, the script is complete in itself. If the actor has a decent imagination, he can create a universe out of it. The tough part is to play it out and for that you require building of trust, respect and comfort with the crew members. Alia and I have that regard with each other,” he said.
According to him, it was important for writers to address important social issues in a ”responsible” manner.
”… Sometimes everything needs to be represented on screen for people to see that it exists. No one will come to know about it if we don’t talk about it. It’s important to talk (about issues).”