Her first film was a dream debut – a film with Dharma Productions that managed to score big at the box office. It’s none other than the gorgeous Alia Bhatt whose second film is a complete contrast to the glimmer and shine of ‘Student of the Year’. On a nippy Mumbai afternoon, Alia Bhatt looks like a teenager in an over-sized ‘Highway’ jacket. She exudes a rare vulnerability, as she takes on professional and personal questions asked by JAM. Randeep Hooda is one of the most versatile actors in Bollywood who has rugged good looks to die for along with a deep baritone voice and impeccable acting prowess. JAM presents to you this exclusive candid interview with Randeep and Alia.
Excerpts from interview:
After ‘Student of the year’ you had a completely different avatar in Highway. So, how challenging was it for you?
It was definitely challenging for me even at that time for Shanaya’s character. I didn’t know how to walk in heels and how to be glamorous. In Highway, it was a different involvement altogether. It was physically and emotionally exhausting. I had to really push myself for it. There were a lot of things wherein I had to be strong because we were travelling extensively throughout 6 states. So I learned a lot and it turned out to be a wonderful experience.
Randeep, how did you feel when you were offered this film which becomes one of your stepping stones to your successful career?
I got a call from Imtiaz’s assistant director but I thought it was a joke and didn’t bother to follow up or call back. But after few days, I was approached by the film’s casting director. That was when I realised that I was being offered the film for real.
You have done your debut as a singer in Highway. How and what got you into singing Alia?
It was one of the first songs that were composed in the film. It’s a lullaby called ‘Suha Saha’ which means a little red rabbit. Randeep has a strong connection with this song in the film. Imtiaz heard me singing one day and then he decided that he might as well ask me to sing the song myself.
What do you prefer being called Randeep- one of the sexiest men in the world or one of the best actors in the world?
I’d like to be one of the best actors in the world because that’s something that I would have earned. Being sexy is in my genes (winks). Sexiest man and all such appreciations only talk about my genetics and something that I’m born with, not earned it.
Alia, has the movie changed your perception about traveling since you’ve never traveled so much before? Does travel mean romance for you now?
Well, traveling did make me quite exhausted than feel romantic about it. But every location was special to me for different special reasons. Even though I got to explore a lot, with different people, different locations, different food, different issues I am quite sure that a truck-drive isn’t all that romantic.
Randeep, you are a sportsman yourself and you are so attached to your horses. So, how professionally involved are you in polo?
In polo, I’ve forted my own team but we are not functional yet. It’s turning out to be far more expensive than I had thought. I have got 6 horses now and I bought a seventh one recently..actually I have too many horses. I get them either for a good home or I just like them. Then they grow old in my stable and I get attached to them, can’t let them go. Meanwhile I like some other horse and I cannot resist myself. So, basically that’s where I dump all my money.
What drove you towards horses?
I watched The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and became a fan of Clint Eastwood and the horses he rode. Since then, I wanted to ride horses. Though there was a gap in between but I am glad I have got back.
Isn’t Alia too young to be cast opposite you?
Oh! Come on. She is not that young also. She has crossed her teens and is 20 plus (laughs) though she looks very young. However, she is very sweet and has done a great job. I am very fond of her.