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Jio MAMI Film Festival: Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor on Their Fathers, Nepotism, Paparazzi Culture and More

The most versatile and talented actors, Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor, talk about their similarities in handling the craft, their active fathers on social media and their different takes on stardom and paparazzi.

Sameeksha | News18.com@s_dandriyal

Updated:October 8, 2017, 12:31 PM IST
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Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are probably two of the most versatile and successful actors in the current time who are admired greatly both by critics and audience. While the actors amused and entertained fans with films like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani or Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, they also balance their artsy part doing a Jagga Jasoos or Udta Punjab. Ranbir and Alia who are all set to star together for the first time in Ayan Mukerji’s yet to be titled sci-fi, recently came on the stage of Jio MAMI Movie Mela ahead of Jio MAMI Film Festival, to talk about their similarities in handling the craft, their active fathers on social media and their different takes on stardom and paparazzi.

alia-ranbir02Image: Yogen Shah

On their fathers’ activities on social media

Alia: It’s exhausting to sit in front of my father. He’s fabulous, but he’s too fabulous.

Ranbir: My father is very vocal about his opinions and he likes to share them. I’m not ashamed of his ability to voice his opinions.

On balancing the star and the actor within

Ranbir: We are all critics and very few are artists. As artists we start to take different routes, I, of course, wanted to choose the route of an actor and to be honest when I tried to be a star, it felt much harder than to be an actor.

To be a star in a country like India you really need to give and open yourself to the public.

You can’t chase to be a star. Opportunities, timing, luck and everything comes together. There is no formula to become a star.

On maintaining an image

Ranbir: To be honest, I have a rotten image. To people, I am a loose character cad running around. Thankfully I have a couple of good films and performances that will call me on a stage like this. However, whenever I’ve been to a media platform, my personal life has been a bigger talk point. So I don’t understand ‘Image’. I believe that let people take what they want to take as it’ll take a long time to understand me. It’s important to me to build an image for myself.

Alia: Ayan recently told me that you need to be passionate about art but you also need to be passionate about success. So there will be those film that I do for myself and if they are successful that’s great. And, there’ll be film that I’ll do for my audience.

Art films don’t reach out to large people. Large audience like a Badrinath Ki Dulhania or a Judwaa 2. So you need to strike the balance where you reach out to larger audience and you also do those films for yourself like I did with Udta Punjab or a Highway.

On nepotism

Ranbir: It’s a sensitive conversation. They worked hard to make a place in the industry and give something to their children. And slowly it reached me. If I have a son or a daughter I will give them an opportunity that I worked hard for and now it’s their talent that’ll determine how good they’d do.

My father also said that politicians and actors are chosen by the public. You may get your first film or campaign but the public has to like you to grow.

I am a product of Nepotism. I don’t shy away from it. I know I have had better opportunities many don’t get but I am just taking its advantage to better my craft. I’ve earned my position not by taking somebody else’s position but by making my own.

Alia: I am very grateful because honestly this has been my dream. I am aware that the connection with my family has made it way easier but I also have to not feel apologetic about it. Yes Nepotism exists in this industry and many other industries. Is it a good thing or a bad thing I don’t know but I know that I work very hard to be where I am today and I don’t need to feel apologetic about being my father’s daughter.

On competition

Alia: Competition inspires. When I saw Deepika’s look in Padmavati I was jumping in my room because it looks so exciting. But initially I wasn’t like that. I am a very competitive person but I feel that we’re in a space where we can actually be inspired by each other’s work.

Ranbir: You feel bad but you feel inspired as well. This is my 10th year. Probably earlier on I was more competitive and jealous but then you reach a point where it’s about your survival, your choices and how good you are. Now when I see Varun doing Judwaa I feel happy because so early he has learnt the art of pleasing the audience. When I see the looks of Deepika, Shahid and Ranveer from Padmavati, I’m dying to watch the film.

On being chased by paparazzi

Ranbir: You can’t complain. People are interested in your life and you should be happy. One day when they’re probably not interested will be a problem. I’m playing a game with them. It’s not like I’m hating on them or they’re hating on me. It’s just that they try their best to take pictures and I try my best to hide.

Alia: When I was a kid every time on my father’s birthday, the house used to be full of flowers and every time he used to say that ‘One day the flowers will stop coming’. So I used that as my motivation weather its good press or bad press as long as they are talking about me or thinking about me it’s fine.

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