Won’t deny or accept: Alia Bhatt on dating Sidharth Malhotra

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She had an impressive string of hits last year, and was termed one of the top actors in Bollywood, but Alia Bhatt doesn’t want to rest on her laurels. She says she doesn’t feel like she has become a “star” just yet. As she turns 22 on Sunday (March 15), we caught up with the young actor to discuss her upcoming film, rumours of a relationship with Sidharth Malhotra, and more.

What are your plans for your birthday?
There are no major plans. I worked on my last two birthdays. This time, too, I’m leaving for a shoot (for Abhishek Chaubey’s film) a few days after my birthday, so I don’t want to party as such. Still, I plan to go for a brunch with family and friends. I will celebrate, but I won’t take a break. I feel very guilty if I take the day off closer to my shooting dates.

Has stardom changed the way you look at birthdays?
I have been brought up by a father (filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt) who is a firm believer that birthdays aren’t really ‘great’ days to celebrate. I love the attention, but I have never been one to go crazy about it. Now, the amount of love and the number of wishes have increased, but I still like to do basic things like eating cake (smiles). Birthdays are also a great excuse to spend time with friends and family.

There’s a lot of buzz about Sidharth and you being a couple. Is there any truth to the rumours?
When I am asked about who I am dating, who I am going out with, who my best friend is, or who I hate, I find all of it very personal. If I am talking to my best friend, my sister or my father, I will tell them everything. Actually, maybe I won’t tell them either. When the time is right to talk about something, I will. Still, it remains my choice. Let people speculate; I am not going to deny, accept or deflect anything. This is my space, and I want to guard it.

You recently lost your cool on the red carpet at an event, when the media started asking you general knowledge questions.
I was not upset or angry at all. In fact, I had a smirk on my face. I’ve always laughed them off, but that was the first time I said something. I don’t lose my cool unless it’s something extremely personal. I am just bored of these general knowledge questions and jokes now.

Your next film co-stars Kareena Kapoor Khan, whom you have constantly been compared with. Are you excited?
Whether Kareena and I will have scenes together or not, just being in the same film with her is special for me. Our parts are different, but I am really kicked to know that I am in the same film as her.

Some time back, it was reported that you had a crush on Ranbir Kapoor, now, you have apparently said the same about Shahid.
Thanks to such reports, I come across as a crazy person, who has a crush on so many people (laughs). My childhood crushes were special and they have been the boys from my school. ‘Crush’ is a very special  word, so let’s not use it so flippantly. As for Shahid, what I meant to say is that when you grow up watching someone, you become fond of that person. As a youngster, I was very impressed with him since Ishq Vishq (2003).

We heard your part in Abhishek Chaubey’s film is quite tough.
This role will be the toughest I have done yet. I have been working extensively on the film for the past couple of months. It’s that kind of role where I don’t know what is going to happen, but I am very excited to do it.

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