To prepare for her look and diction in the pre-Partition drama "Kalank", actor Alia Bhatt turned to classic films such as "Mughal-E-Azam", "Umrao Jaan" and hit Pakistani drama "Zindagi Gulzar Hai".
Alia said her director, Abhishek Varman told her to watch the show, which featured her "Kapoor & Sons" co-star Fawad Khan and Sanam Saeed.
"I watched a lot of old films like 'Mughal-E-Azam' and 'Umrao Jaan' to get an understanding of grace and body language. (And) I had to clean my Hindi as I am speaking Urdu (in the film). Abhishek asked me to watch 'Zindagi Gulzar Hai'. The character of the girl in the show is very much how Roop will deal with the situation.
"She has responsibility on her shoulders so she is not always a happy person. She is vulnerable yet strong. It is difficult (to bring so many) layers - unhappy, vulnerable and strong to a character. Abhishek kept saying that I should not be irritating," Alia told PTI in an interview.
Sanam Saeed later responded to Alia Bhatt's revelation that she took inspiration from the popular Pakistani actor's hit TV show "Zindagi Gulzar Hai" to prepare for her upcoming film "Kalank", saying she was "tickled pink".
The 34-year-old actor took to Twitter Monday reacting to a PTI interview in which Alia said director Abhishek Varman told her to watch the drama, which starred Sanam and her "Kapoor & Sons" co-actor Fawad Khan.
"@aliaa08 if this isn't made up news, I'm tickled pink. Best wishes," Sanam tweeted sharing a link to the story.
"Zindagi Gulzar Hai", aired on Pakistani channel Hum TV from 2012 to 2013, also emerged a huge hit in India when it premiered on Zindagi channel in 2014.
Alia first heard the story of "Kalank" from Karan Johar while she was promoting her debut film, "Student of the Year" in 2012.
"He had mentioned about the story in passing when we were promoting 'Student of the Year'. But the story was different at that time.
"Later, I heard it from Abhishek and he said he was adapting the film in his own way. After many months, I realised Abhishek had written this role keeping me in mind. The process of this film coming to me was very organic," she said.
The film has an ensemble cast that also includes Varun Dhawan, Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditya Roy Kapur and Kunal Kemmu.
Alia said working on a multistarrer like "Kalank" was a learning experience for her.
"I was excited to be a part of this film as I (thought I) would get an opportunity to work with so many different actors and I would pick something up from everybody. "I used to chat with Sanju sir and talk about my dad (Mahesh Bhatt) and with Madhuri ma'am about diet. With Sonakshi, we used to talk about random things and Aditya was very quiet initially. He opened up later."
The film is set to be released on April 17.
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