You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Bollywood Star Alia Bhatt Is About to Be Everywhere

Glamour [Articles and Slideshows] logo Glamour [Articles and Slideshows] 8/15/2022 Monique Wilson
© Glamour

The British-Indian actor Alia Bhatt is one of the highest-paid movie stars in India. The 29-year-old comes from a family of filmmakers (her dad, the Hindi film director Mahesh Bhatt, gave her her first acting job at just 5 years old), and has starred in more than 25 films during her two decade-long career.

But Bhatt is just getting started.

Despite her extraordinary achievements, she’s still a bit lesser known in America. That's about to change following the release of the dark comedy Darlings, about a mother-daughter duo seeking revenge on an abusive husband, which premiered on Netflix on August 4 with the highest global opening for a non-English language film. Bhatt also received her first producer credit on the film.

This fall, she will star in Disney’s Brahmāstra trilogy, which features an Indian cinematic universe for the first time, called the Astraverse. In the first film, Brahmāstra Part One: Shiva, Bhatt plays Isha opposite her real life husband, Ranbir Kapoor, as Shiva. The film will premiere globally on September 9. 

According to Bollywood Hungama, the story is inspired by Indian mythology, and set in the modern world “with epic storytelling," and themes of love and hope. Deadline reports that it's one of “the most expensive Bollywood productions of all time.” And, as if a groundbreaking franchise wasn't enough, next year Bhatt will work alongside Gal Gadot in Netflix's American spy thriller Heart of Stone, also starring Jamie Dornan.

She manages all of this just weeks after announcing to her 70 million followers on Instagram that she’s expecting her first child with Kapoor. Nonetheless, during our Zoom interview, which takes place at 9:30 p.m. Mumbai time, she is sweet and professional, if not a little understandably tired, and wearing her husband's oversize T-shirt. She's as relatable as any global superstar can be.

Here, Bhatt opens up to Glamour about representation, her love of napping, and more.

Glamour: What’s your favorite way to spend a day when you’re not on set?

Alia Bhatt: I love napping. So whenever I get an opportunity to nap, I take it. And if I'm not feeling too nappy, then I get into bed and watch a TV show. 

You’re starring with Gal Gadot in Heart of Stone next year. How did you celebrate getting the role?

It was early in the morning and I was so exhausted, but as soon as I got the call [from my management team], all my exhaustion went out the window because I was so excited. I was also in the middle of a shoot, so I said, “Guys, please have a glass of champagne on my behalf because I can't do that.” I'm not sure whether they actually did, but that was kind of my cute way of celebrating.

What was it like working with Gal Gadot?

She has one of the kindest energies that I've witnessed because she's so hardworking and so warm. You meet her and you feel like you've known her all your life. I can see why people connect with her so much because she just has the most illuminating, kindest eyes, which translates in front of the camera.

Darlings touches on domestic violence and marital issues. How did you channel such a dark character?

[My character] goes through one of the most interesting arcs in the film because she goes from naïve to almost devious—which is so opposite to who she is. It just goes to show that sometimes if you're pushed against the wall continuously…it can really bring out the worst in you. You cannot see that coming. I enjoyed discovering that within this character and then eventually also overcoming it.

What has been the greatest lesson that you’ve learned on set?

My mom said this to me before I started working, which is, “you have to be very patient as an actor.” You have to be patient to get parts and roles. Then you have to be patient on set when you're waiting for your scene. Then you have to be patient for the film to release. Then you have to be patient for you to get recognition. Then you have to be patient with several other things. So many things get delayed or pushed or don't happen. So patience, patience, patience, patience. I think it's one of my strongest lessons.

You play Isha in Brahmāstra: Part One, Disney’s first film in an original Indian cinematic universe. Talk to me about the value of representation of different cultures and languages in Hollywood.

I mean, it's taken long enough to get here, but we're finally here. I think it's really important because India is such an important part of culture and history globally. The Marvel universe is so popular here in India, but we've not had a film of our own, a story of our own. I think what’s extremely exciting about Brahmāstra is that it's a purely original screenplay, original story.

What can the audience expect when entering the Astraverse for the first time?

It's gonna be a rollercoaster ride…it's an experience when you watch the film. I don't think they really will ever know what they're in for, because there's so much that we've kept hidden and there's so much that is still going to be a surprise. I think what they should come in expecting is an experience.

What’s your favorite beverage and snack while on set?

A lot of water; sometimes I have coconut water. My go-to snack is called makhana, which is basically fox nuts–like a dip.

Your parents are both successful in the film industry. What was your idea of being a successful actor when you were younger? And what does “success” mean to you now?

When I was younger, success was having the best films, the best directors, working with these people, X number of awards, X number of hit films at the box office. And yes, while that is a barometer of your professional success, I think true success is just being at peace with the person that you are today and the person that you are in life. That's something that I have discovered over the last year.

What is one cause or platform that you are an advocate for or would hope to be an advocate for?

I feel very, very passionately about the environment. I've started my own children's clothing brand called Ed-A-Mamma, which is a sustainable clothing brand. It is basically to nurture in children a love for nature because I feel if you build a generation of young planet activists right now, then the future will be safe.

What’s your favorite role so far, and what kind of character would you love to play in the future?

It's difficult for me to pick between my roles so I always say the next one is my favorite one. I'm dying to play an investigative journalist or an investigative officer. I wanna investigate something. I don't know why. I just feel like this is something that I really wanna do.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! How do you play with your outfit choices now that you’re pregnant?

I always love wearing oversized clothes so I will indulge in a lot of that, but I also want to embrace my body and embrace the change that comes along with it. I'm going for all these really distressed jeans and oversized blazers and very colorful balloon dresses. It also just really depends on my mood and the day and my comfort level because being comfortable is most important.

What’s next for you?

I'm very excited about this film that I'm doing next year with Priyanka [Chopra Jonas] and Katrina [Kaif]. They are two of my good friends and great actresses. We're doing a film called Jee Le Zaraa, which is basically a girls road trip. One of my favorite directors, Karan Johar, whom I made my debut with…he's coming back with his next film that I'm in called Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, which is this fun song and dance love story.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Monique Wilson is an editorial assistant at Glamour. You can find her on Instagram at @moneeeeekk.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Glamour

Glamour [Articles and Slideshows]
Glamour [Articles and Slideshows]
AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon