Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt spoke about his daughter Alia Bhatt’s ‘astounding’ performance in the film Gangubai Kathiawadi, and revealed that Amitabh Bachchan wrote her a ‘generous’ letter after watching the film. He also said that he went to Bachchan with a concern that he has harboured about Alia’s future, and what he told him.
In a conversation with journalist Barkha Dutt for Mojo Story, the filmmaker and his wife Soni Razdan dropped in with a pre-recorded segment in which they spoke about their daughter.
“I think what is unique about Alia is… She has an unquenchable thirst to go higher and higher. She realises that the talent comes from a different part of herself. So she has been able to do this tightrope walking of keeping the locomotive of going ahead and fuelling that but also tremendous empathy and a heart as open as a child. She soaks in life,” he said, adding, “What astounds me about her in Gangubai is that she is a Juhu girl who was hardly exposed to the film culture. Where did she pick all this up?”
But he also said that he is concerned about Alia becoming ‘power drunk’. He said that she experienced instant stardom after her first film, Student of the Year, and has somehow navigated success without letting it go to her head.
“I asked this question to Mr Bachchan. He had written a very generous letter to her after he saw some film of hers. I was very moved by it. Even after Gangubai, he wrote a very generous letter. I think it is the kind of letter that only actors who would make it in the movies dream about. I asked him, ‘Sooner or later, we all peak and burnout. Don’t you think Alia will inevitably reach there someday at that crossroad?’” Mahesh Bhatt continued, adding, “Mr Bachchan said, ‘I don’t think so. Because she doesn’t know how she does it. She doesn’t know yet from where she gets it’. She is a natural and let her be an enigma, a mystery.”
Gangubai Kathiawadi, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, opened to positive reviews and major box office success last month. The biographical crime drama, about a brothel madam’s rise up the ranks in Mumbai’s underworld, has made more than Rs 100 crore internationally.
It was announced on Tuesday that Alia will make her Hollywood debut with a Netflix thriller titled Heart of Stone, which stars Gal Gadot and Jamie Dornan.