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After a point, you become shameless: Imtiaz Ali

Filmmaker Imitiaz Ali and actress Alia Bhatt in a freewheeling chat

From scaling snow-capped mountains to sipping cutting chai by roadside tea stalls, shooting for the film Highway has been one roller coaster ride — both for director Imtiaz Ali and his lead actress, Alia Bhatt.

Imitiaz Ali and Alia Bhatt
Imtiaz Ali (left) and Alia Bhatt. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

The duo, who recently visited the MiD DAY office, sounded excited about their film that hits the marquee tomorrow. Excerpts: 

From the trailers of Highway, it appears you have had a gruelling shoot. How different was it when compared to your debut film?
Alia Bhatt (AB): It was quite adventurous. We travelled across six states and ventured into remote, isolated places. We did physically exhausting things like running, climbing trees and mountains. Going de-glam was very refreshing for me. I didn’t have to worry about make-up and my clothes. That helped me focus on my performance. I asked my mother and sister not to join me at shoots because I wanted to be alone and put my capabilities as an actor to test.

Imtiaz, why did you choose Alia for the role? It came as a surprise...
Imtiaz Ali (IA): It came as a surprise to me as well! I was looking at someone with more life experience. But when I met her, I realised she has an emotional insight into things and since she has never been on the road before, she would do an honest job of it.

Alia, how was working with Imtiaz different from your film with Karan Johar?
AB: Karan likes to sit before the monitor, but Imtiaz prefers to get physically involved. So much so that you could see his hair or arm in the frame! Sometimes, he would even drive the truck.

Was shooting in Kashmir tough?
IA: That was, in fact, the easiest schedule. My crew comprised travel enthusiasts and this made shooting in Himachal Pradesh so much fun.

Imtiaz, Rockstar received mixed reviews. Are you tense about Highway’s prospects?
IA: No, not at all. In this business, there is so much pressure to perform that after a point, you become shameless. Luckily, I was born that way (laughs).

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