At the Jio MAMI Movie Mela on Sunday the 13th, there were two more surprises. Kareena Kapoor and her newfound partner-in-crime Alia Bhatt. Who was in the interviewer’s chair? None other than the man who has been a great friend, mentor and love guru to both of them. Johar doesn’t hide his affection for these two leading ladies, one of whom he helped nurture and train for stardom...Alia Bhatt.
The talk between the three to audiences who were climbing over each other to just be in the same room as Bollywood royalty was its usual best. Gossipy, garrulous and sublime.
It really is great to be a fly on the wall when the stars are engaged in a chat – the kind where they talk about the inner process that makes them do a movie, to which their preferred perfume is, to how they like their coffees.
The kind of conversation which unmasks the people behind the movies, and their shifting on-screen personas. The audiences wanted the smallest information that could take them beyond what was superficial.
Said the svelte Kareena Kapoor Khan, about Festival Director Anupama Chopra, “Anu is very difficult to please,” showing off her fondness for the film journalist, and wife of the Sanju producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra.
To which Alia chimed in, “One must chase the process of doing the film.” When her film Kalank bombed, she realised even though that had smashed her heart, she still needed to learn to take failure in her stride, because “hard work would eventually pay off”. “Strangely, I was really ok the day it happened.
I had seen the film a day before and I knew in my head what was going to happen. Though I didn’t think it was going to be hit by a truck. The hard work doesn’t have to pay-off immediately. It’ll pay off in your life, someday. That’s what it means to be a hardworking actor or a person. I felt bad about it for a few days but I had to focus on my next.”
Currently, Alia is working with her ingenious, outspoken dad, Mahesh Bhatt, who sits in the director’s chair after eons for, Sadak 2, which is a sequel to Bhatt’s 1991 drama romance.
Alia brought out the father-daughter relationship as she spoke about an emotional time on set when her father began to sob, which practically pushed her to tears. She couldn’t bear the sight of her dad crying and spoke about how it was a very sensitive time for everyone on the set.
To lighten the mood Karan brought out Kareena and her cousin Ranbir’s shadowy social media personalities. They both had a lot in common since not one of them was on Facebook or Twitter but, stupefyingly they knew everything that was trending, thanks to their ghost accounts which they use to stalk friends.
“You both know what’s happening even before it happens!” attacked Karan. To which Kareena replied, because of this growing availability of info through social media and so much access to the stars, “that persona and aura are not there anymore”.
“Everyone knows everything about the stars by now. They probably even know what mine and Alia’s answers will be in this interview, they know so much about us today.
Everything is out there. There’s nothing left to reveal,” she said. Kareena obviously was dejected by the age of over-information and the lack of mystery to a celeb’s life today.
In contrast to Kapoor’s fear and condescension to social media, Alia who is very active on social media, spoke about having started a YouTube channel called AliaBe, to give her fans a peek into her life.
The conversation evidently shifted to the biggest celebrity today, who was not even present, Kareena’s son, Taimur. “He thinks the paps are his friends!” she said amusedly.
Once again the conversation veered towards how taking pictures had disturbed the social equilibrium and Kareena spoke about Saif, who she thinks of as the “sexiest man alive”.
“Saif would say take a mental picture.” Johar remarked, “Of course, that’s such a Saif thing to say.” Kareena also made no bones about the fact that if her first cousin and Alia were to marry, “she would be the happiest girl in the world.” “We’ll cross that bridge when it comes,” was Alia’s lightning-quick response.
No one was in the mood to go into details about today’s most talked about couple: Ranbir and Alia. Kareena revealed how the stars had been correctly aligned when she was building her career. “I was lucky to get some good scripts, and great content quickly.”
The nepotism debate which has riled Johar in the past was not even on any of the three people’s minds that evening, because they seemed interested in making their conversation a celebration of life and all the great luck they had been bequeathed with.
Alia is known for her goofy ignorance, not having a clue about current affairs. To which Kareena said, “Any more boo boos and we’ll be thrown out of here girl!”