The gorgeous Alia Bhatt and the immensely talents Imtiaz Ali made an almost last minute visit to London to meet the press and their fans for ‘Highway’ which releases today. The movie is about a road-trip which takes the main characters Veera (Bhatt) and Mahabir (Randeep Hooda) on an unlikely journey which sees them share some magical and some tense moments together. BizAsia had the chance to catch up with the duo about the movie a week before its official release. With questions from their fans thrown in, check out what Ali and Bhatt had to say…
Welcome to London. You’ve come here straight from the Berlinale Festival where ‘Highway’ saw it’s premiere, how does it feel being here?
Imtiaz: It feels great being here for Highway. Now that the film has been received well in Berlinale and now in London it’s also getting a great reception, it feels good.
Alia: Well, I always love London and it feels good being here for my film. There’s always a lot of love here and I’m glad the screening has gone well.
How was Berlinale?
Imtiaz: I was a little worried to take my film there but I’m glad it has done well and people have liked the film.
Alia: I am happy that the audiences there, most of who didn’t understand Hindi, were reacting in the right places and in places that I expected them to. This means the film has had the right impact in the right places. It was great.
Alia, what made you sign ‘Highway’? Weren’t you scared of such a role after a glamorous Radha in ‘Student of the Year’ (2012) in your debut? (Question from Mansi)
Alia: No, it wasn’t an issue for me. I don’t think I really thought about that kind of thing. I did as the role required. In ‘Student of the Year’, I needed to be a certain way and in ‘Highway’ I needed to be like this.
��Alia, how much did you relate to your character? (Question from Maryam)
Alia: Very much, It might sound a little odd but even when I was younger, I would always want to be by myself, away from the crowds and friends at a party. Veera is a bit like that as well, always wanting to be alone. I could relate to her like that and also that I haven’t seen much before shooting for this film but I can now say I have.
Imtiaz, one of your fans asked why you’re not on social media sites like Twitter? (Question from Samrat)
Imtiaz: Well, I don’t think I can fulfil all the responsibilities I need to in my life even without that. (Looks at Alia) Alia is on there because she is able to take out the time to do that. I am sorry for that to the fans that I am not able to be on there.
Alia, you’ve sang one of the songs in the film, the music for which is composed by AR Rahman, how did this come about?
Alia: Well, it wasn’t planned. Imtiaz heard me singing once and he pushed for the song with Rahman sir. I have sung the song which is the only lip-synced song in the film. I like singing so it was nice working on that and that too in my second film.
Would you ever take up singing as a profession?
Imtiaz: I hope she does! (smiles)
Alia: No I don’t think I would take it up like that but to sing in this way then yes maybe.
How does it feel taking a film to Germany and then London before it’s release with an AR Rahman having composed the music?
Alia: It’s great. Everyone knows the talent that he is and the music of the film… well you can hear for yourself.
Imtiaz: For me, it wasn’t always AR Rahman. I didn’t think it would be him who would do the soundtrack until I had a conversation with him over Skype and he said he wanted to be a part of the film.
Imtiaz, there was a rumour that Ranbir Kapoor wanted a role in ‘Highway’. Is this true? (Question by Natasha)
Imtiaz: Ranbir? In Highway? Or no. Just just any other friend, he encouraged me to make it but in the 15 years I’ve wanted to make this film there have been many actors I’ve wanted to make it with. It’s only when I thought of Alia did it start moving forward but no, Ranbir, didn’t demand a role.
Alia, would you have been happy if Ranbir was in the film? You’ve gone on record recently to say you’re a fan of his. If you got the chance to be in a movie with him, would you want it to be a love story?
Alia: No not really. I love Ranbir’s work and I think I would like to work with him but it doesn’t need to be in a love story. I think just working with him would be amazing.
The buzz surrounding ‘Highway’ is definitely there for all to see. The movie releases today so it’s fate will be sealed. We wish team ‘Highway’ all the best with the film which is produced by Imtiaz Ali’s Window Seat Productions along with Sajid Nadiadwala. It is presented by UTV Motion Pictures.
Photos courtesy: Shyama Sudra