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'There is one scene I'd have done better'

June 28, 2016 15:55 IST

Alia Bhatt'I could never really relate to my character Mary Jane. She belonged to a completely different world but I could empathize with her plight.'

Alia Bhatt gets candid about her Udta Punjab character.

Alia Bhatt, who has garnered rave reviews for her performance in Udta Punjab, talks to Subhash K Jha about the trauma she went through to play a ravaged migrant and the satisfaction of being praised so lavishly for her act.

Read on.

You performance in Udta Punjab is being hailed as monumental?

(laughs) I don’t know about that. But I do know there are no false notes in that performance.

Every moment is real... well, almost every moment. There is one scene I’d have done better.

Which one is that?

My scene at the end of the film, on the beach in Goa. Given another opportunity, I’d do that in a different way. I should have had a different expression there.

Having said that, I still like my performance.

Shahid Kapoor says you should get a National Award.

That’s sweet of him but there are many other performances coming up this year.

If it happens, it will be great. It is one of my biggest dreams to win awards for a performance. Right now, I feel happy and blessed. My family -- my father, mother and sister Pooja -- were there to watch the film with me.

They were so happy for me. My sister Shaheen has not seen it as yet.

How come?

She is a bit scared, I think. To see me go through all that pain in the film.

Don’t you think everything is happening too fast for you?

Yeah, sometimes I wish things would slow down a bit. I don’t want to burn myself out. But I am an opportunity-grabber, and when I am getting these opportunities now, why should I let them go? Who knows what will happen later?

How difficult was it for you to play the Bihari girl, who gets traumatised in Punjab?

I could never really relate to my character Mary Jane. She belonged to a completely different world but I could empathize with her plight.

I didn’t imagine myself in the situation. I couldn’t be in that situation. She belonged to a completely different cultural and economic background from me.

I don’t approve of a hierarchy but we can’t deny its existence.

Did the difference between the life of a poor Bihari girl and the life that you lead, trouble you?

It did bother me. It was traumatising to play her. I just thought of her in that situation. The only way I could portray her character is by trying to share her pain.

While she was going through this unbelievable pain, I asked my director what she must be feeling. He told me it was desperation, desperation to escape.

At one point, she even runs to the edge of the roof to escape her plight. I remember when I did that sequence, my hands were shaking uncontrollably. I was shivering for about an hour.

Subhash K Jha