Twenty-three-year-old Alia Bhatt and fifty-one-year-old Shah Rukh Khan are coming together for the first time in Gauri Shinde’s slice-of-life film Dear Zindagi that releases in the UAE this weekend. The film revolves around Alia’s character who is grappling with heartbreak whereas SRK plays her shrink. Alia brings her youth and vulnerability to the movie, whereas SRK brings his stardom in a small but important role. In an interview with City Times, they discussed therapy, success and why it is stupid to be happy all the time.
What kind of wisdom or learning did you take away from each other?
Alia: In spite of being in the industry for over 25 years, there is a lot of warmth and affection in him. One would be like, ‘Oh, he is Shah Rukh Khan,’ but he doesn’t give that vibe or baggage of being SRK on set. What I learnt from him as an actor, I will not tell anyone because I genuinely believe that’s for me to know.
SRK: I have taken all her innocence and freshness from her (laughs). I truly believe that actors cannot be judged by the number of years or work that they have done. Yeah, we respect each other having known the kind of work we have done as an actor. But what you respect each other more for is the fact that we all have a different way of leading up to a scene or the amount of life that we have dealt with.
As an actor, I always believe that if I am able to imbibe some part of that experience and Alia comes with loads of experience, even at a young age… There is lot of innocence, gentleness and straightforwardness – also there is a lot of care-a-damn-attitude – I like that a lot. I am not just praising her because we are sitting together right now. In the next two years, I am going to try to imbibe whatever I have learnt from her.
Shah Rukh plays a counsellor in this film. Have you guys ever felt the need to go a therapist?
Alia: Everybody has a need to find answers to their issue. Do I need somebody to help me? Yes. Every third day maybe! At times, I am confused about something or I need somebody to fall on. It’s just that sometimes you fall upon a stranger in life and that stranger can help you through your issues. I haven’t done that as yet.
But, I have a couple of people in my life with whom I can talk about whatever I want. I am a very secretive person. So I keep a lot to myself. Which is why I haven’t gone for therapy.
SRK: When I was talking to Alia while doing the film and I am kind of a counsellor to her in the film, I asked her the same thing and she had these criteria for a counsellor – he should be sexy, smart and successful. Now, finally, she has found one. I am counselling her for free!