Alia Bhatt

British actress (born 1993)

Alia Bhatt

Bhatt at the 2022 Berlinale
Born (1993-03-15) 15 March 1993 (age 29)
Citizenship British
Occupation Actress
Years active 2012–present
Spouse
Ranbir Kapoor

(m 2022)

Children Raha
Parent(s) Mahesh Bhatt (father)
Soni Razdan (mother)
Relatives Bhatt family
Kapoor family (by marriage)
Awards Full list

Alia Bhatt (/ˈɑːliə ˈbʌt/; born 15 March 1993) is a British actress of Indian descent who predominantly works in Hindi films She has received several accolades including four Filmfare Awards One of India’s highest-paid actresses, she has appeared in Forbes India's Celebrity 100 list since 2014 and was awarded the TIME100 Impact Award in 2022

Born into the Bhatt family, she is the daughter of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and actress Soni Razdan After making her acting debut as a child in the 1999 thriller Sangharsh, she played her first leading role in Karan Johar’s teen film Student of the Year (2012) She won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for playing a kidnapping victim in the road drama Highway (2014), and went on to establish herself with starring roles in several films produced by Johar’s studio Dharma Productions, including the romances 2 States (2014) and Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017), and the coming-of-age drama Dear Zindagi (2016)

Bhatt won three Filmfare Awards for Best Actress for playing a Bihari migrant in the crime drama Udta Punjab (2016), an undercover spy in the thriller Raazi (2018), and the volatile girlfriend of an aspiring rapper in the musical drama Gully Boy (2019) Following two poorly received films, she gained praise for playing the titular role in Gangubai Kathiawadi and starred in the top-grossing fantasy film Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva (both 2022)

In addition to acting in films, Bhatt has launched her own line of clothing and handbags, and is the founder of the ecological initiative CoExist She has sung seven of her film songs, including the single “Samjhawan Unplugged” in 2014 Bhatt is married to the actor Ranbir Kapoor, with whom she has a daughter

Early life

Bhatt (right) and Sara Ali Khan in 2006

Alia Bhatt was born on 15 March 1993 into the Bhatt family to Indian film director Mahesh Bhatt and actress Soni Razdan Her father is of Gujarati descent and her mother is of Kashmiri Pandit and British German ancestry She holds British citizenship She has an elder sister, Shaheen, and two half-siblings, Pooja and Rahul Bhatt Actor Emraan Hashmi and director Mohit Suri are her paternal cousins, while producer Mukesh Bhatt is her uncle Bhatt was educated at the Jamnabai Narsee School but dropped out from her 12th to pursue a career in acting

Describing her childhood, Bhatt has said, “I had a rather grounded and modest upbringing I didn’t get the pleasures that people assume I would’ve got because I am Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter” Growing up, she did not share a close bond with her father; Razdan has said that she raised her children mostly as a single parent as her husband did not take much interest in their lives Bhatt aspired to be an actress from a young age, and has said that she first realised it while rehearsing for the school choir in kindergarten She soon began dance lessons at Shiamak Davar’s institute Her first acting role was at age five in her father’s production venture Sangharsh (1999), in which she briefly played the younger version of Preity Zinta’s character Talking about her experience, Bhatt later said, “I don’t remember much of the shoot I would go to the sets only for the food”

Acting career

Early work (2012–2014)

Bhatt at an event for Student of the Year in 2012

Bhatt had her first leading role in 2012 with Karan Johar’s teen film Student of the Year, alongside Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan She auditioned alongside 500 girls and was cast after losing 16 kg She played a sophisticated teenage girl involved in a love triangle Anupama Chopra of Hindustan Times mentioned similarities between her character and Kareena Kapoor’s role in Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), but noted that her performance was “without the killer attitude” Lisa Tsering of The Hollywood Reporter dismissed her as “a washout Not only is she inelegant in the dance numbers, but her expressions are limited; and the digital retouching of her face throughout the film is a distraction” Student of the Year grossed 960 million (US$12 million) at the box office, becoming a commercial success

Dismayed by the critical response to Student of the Year, Bhatt was keen to play a better role She found it in Imtiaz Ali’s road film Highway (2014), in which she starred as a lonely teenage girl who develops Stockholm syndrome after being abducted She took diction lessons to improve her Hindi, and was challenged by the emotional and physical requirements of the part Ali shot the film sequentially and several scenes were improvised on set based on Bhatt’s reactions She has said that several aspects of her character’s journey mirrored her own, as it was the first time she experienced situations that were different from her own privileged upbringing Ronnie Scheib of Variety took note of her “endearingly cockeyed perf” and commended her for “bringing an underlying sadness and wistful intelligence” to her part The film underperformed at the box office, though Bhatt won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress and also gained a Best Actress nomination at the ceremony She next appeared in Vikas Bahl’s short film on women’s safety, entitled Going Home

Continuing her collaboration with Johar’s company, Dharma Productions, Bhatt starred in the romantic films 2 States and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (both 2014) The former was an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel of the same name, and is about two management students who have trouble convincing their parents of their relationship For her role as a headstrong Tamil girl, she learnt to speak her lines in Tamil with help from a tutor Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express was appreciative of Bhatt, labelling her a “surprise” and “easy and fresh and natural” She played the titular Punjabi girl who has an affair before her wedding with a flirtatious Punjabi boy, Rakesh, in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, directed by Shashank Khaitan, which was described as a tribute to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) by Johar Writing for India Today, Rohit Khilnani thought that Bhatt had pitched in “one of her best performances so far”, though Nandini Ramnath of Mint found her lacking in subtlety, writing that she was “more comfortable acting out her feelings through dialogue and actions” Both films were commercially successful, each earning over 1 billion (US$13 million) worldwide Her accomplishments in 2014 established her career

Career progression (2015–2018)

Bhatt at an event for Udta Punjab in 2016

Bhatt reunited with Bahl for the romantic comedy Shaandaar Released in 2015, the film features Shahid Kapoor and Bhatt as insomniacs who fall in love during a destination wedding Kunal Guha of Mumbai Mirror criticised the film and wrote that Bhatt “socks life into her character but fails to pump any into this film” Shaandaar did not perform well commercially She began 2016 with a supporting role in Shakun Batra’s ensemble drama Kapoor & Sons, starring alongside Malhotra and Fawad Khan, which was a critical and commercial success

Bhatt next took on the part of a poor Bihari migrant in Udta Punjab (2016), a crime drama about substance abuse from writer-director Abhishek Chaubey The intense role marked a departure from the mostly light-hearted parts she had played before, and in preparation, she watched documentaries on drug abuse and learned to speak a Bihari dialect The film generated controversy when the Central Board of Film Certification deemed that it represented Punjab in a negative light and demanded extensive censorship before its release The Bombay High Court later cleared the film for exhibition with one scene cut Bhatt’s performance was critically acclaimed Raja Sen of Rediffcom wrote that she “commits to her accent and deals with the film’s most unsavoury section, and is stunning during an incendiary speech that elevates the entire film to a whole other level” Bhatt next played a troubled young woman who consults with a therapist (played by Shah Rukh Khan) in Gauri Shinde’s coming-of-age film Dear Zindagi (2016) Writing for IndieWire, Anisha Jhaveri commended her for providing millennial angst with “a three-dimensionality” Udta Punjab and Dear Zindagi gained Bhatt awards attention; for the former, she won the Screen Award and the Filmfare Award for Best Actress, and for the latter, she received an additional Best Actress nomination at Filmfare

The series of successful films continued with Bhatt’s next project—the romantic comedy Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017)—which reunited her with Khaitan and Dhawan It tells the story of an independent young woman (Bhatt) who refuses to conform to patriarchal expectations from her chauvinistic fiancée (Dhawan) Rachel Saltz of The New York Times took note of the film’s statement on gender equality and wrote, “Without ever falling into the clichés of spunky Bollywood heroine, effortlessly embodies that admirable thing: a modern woman” She received another Filmfare nomination for Best Actress Meghna Gulzar’s espionage thriller Raazi (2018) starred Bhatt as Sehmat Khan, a Kashmiri spy married to a Pakistani army officer Set during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the film is an adaptation of Harinder Sikka’s novel Calling Sehmat Anna M M Vetticad of Firstpost found Bhatt to be “stupendous” in the role, adding that “the young star once again displaying the maturity and confidence of a veteran on camera” Raazi proved to be one of the highest-grossing female-led Hindi films, and its success led Box Office India to credit Bhatt as the most successful contemporary actress of Hindi cinema She won another Best Actress award at Filmfare

Gully Boy and beyond (2019–present)

Bhatt in 2019

Bhatt launched her own production company named Eternal Sunshine Productions in early 2019 Her first appearance that year was opposite Ranveer Singh in Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy, a musical inspired by the life of the street rappers Divine and Naezy She attended acting workshops to learn a ghetto dialect to enable her to improvise on set The film premiered at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival Writing for Screen International, Lee Marshall opined that “it’s Bhatt’s sharp performance that carries most successfully the mix of wry humour, romance and social comment that Gully Boy essays” With global earnings of over 237 billion (US$30 million), the film emerged as Bhatt’s highest-grossing release to that point Gully Boy won a record 13 Filmfare Awards, and Bhatt was awarded with her career’s third Best Actress trophy

The ensemble period drama Kalank (2019) marked Bhatt’s biggest-budget film to that point Set in the 1940s prior to the partition of India, it featured Dhawan and her as star-crossed lovers She watched the films Mughal-e-Azam (1960) and Umrao Jaan (1981) to learn the body language of women from the era; to better her Urdu-speaking skills, she watched the Pakistani television series Zindagi Gulzar Hai Shubhra Gupta bemoaned that she was “watchable, if increasingly, exasperatingly familiar” The film did not perform well at the box office Bhatt next starred in Sadak 2 (2020), a sequel to her father’s crime film Sadak (1991), which due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India could not be released theatrically and instead streamed on Disney+ Hotstar The death of Sushant Singh Rajput sparked a debate on nepotism in the Hindi film industry; his fans blamed Bhatt for being one of the beneficiaries of nepotism and for once speaking dismissively of Rajput on Johar’s chat show Koffee with Karan This led to vote brigading on the film’s trailer on YouTube, on which it became the second most-disliked video The film received negative reviews, and Pallabi Dey Purkayastha of The Times of India dismissed Bhatt’s performance “by her own high standards” to be “strictly average”

Bhatt promoting Gangubai Kathiawadi in 2022

Bhatt next starred as the titular prostitute in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s crime drama Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022), which premiered at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival In preparation, she studied the work of actress Meena Kumari, and watched films about prostitution such as Mandi (1983) and Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) Commenting on media speculation that she had been miscast in such an assertive part, Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV opined that “the actress puts all doubts to rest with a marvellously lively performance” Additionally, Stutee Ghosh of The Quint commended her for playing the part with a “rare mix of innocence and jaw clenching seething anger” It emerged as her third release to gross over 2 billion (US$25 million) worldwide The Guardian featured her portrayal in their listing of the best big-screen performances of all time

In the same year, Bhatt took on a brief role in the Telugu-language period film RRR, starring NT Rama Rao Jr and Ram Charan It emerged as the fourth highest-grossing Indian film She next starred as a victim of domestic abuse in the Netflix black comedy film Darlings, which marked her first production venture under her company Eternal Sunshine Productions Namrata Joshi found her to be “perfectly at home in the role of an ordinary Mumbai chawl girl” The film became the most watched Indian film globally in its opening weekend on Netflix In her final release of 2022, Bhatt starred opposite Ranbir Kapoor in Ayan Mukerji’s fantasy film Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva The first part in a planned trilogy, the film took five years to film Made on a production and marketing budget of around 4 billion (US$50 million), the film is one of the most expensive Indian films Simon Abrams of the TheWrap bemoaned that Bhatt had been underused in a poorly written part, and disliked her chemistry with Kapoor It earned 425 billion (US$53 million) to rank as the highest-grossing Hindi film of 2022

Bhatt will next reunite with Johar in his directorial, the romantic comedy Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, co-starring Ranveer Singh She will also appear alongside Gal Gadot and Jamie Dornan in the Netflix spy film Heart of Stone, which will mark her first Hollywood film release

Other work

Bhatt has performed playback singing for the song “Sooha Saaha” in Highway (2014) A R Rahman, the composer of the film, invited her to his music school to undergo training In 2014, she sang the unplugged version of the song “Samjhawan”, for the composers Sharib-Toshi, in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania In 2016, she sang an alternate version of the song “Ikk Kudi”, for the soundtrack of Udta Punjab, with her co-star Dosanjh

Bhatt has performed on stage at the Filmfare, Screen and Stardust award ceremonies, and has also participated in a stage show in Hong Kong alongside Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra In 2013, she performed at a charity event with Dhawan, Malhotra, Aditya Roy Kapur, Shraddha Kapoor and Huma Qureshi to raise funds for the flood-affected victims of Uttarakhand In August 2016, she performed in various cities of America for the “Dream Team 2016” tour, alongside Johar, the actors Dhawan, Malhotra, Roy Kapur, Katrina Kaif, Parineeti Chopra, and the singer Badshah

In 2013, Bhatt took part in a campaign for PETA to raise awareness on homeless animals In 2017, she launched an ecological initiative named CoExist to raise awareness about the welfare of street animals The following year, she collaborated with Facebook Live for a campaign named Find Your Green, to campaign for environmentalism Bhatt designed her own clothing brand for women in 2014 for the online fashion portal Jabongcom and in 2018, she launched her own line of handbags for VIP Industries In 2022, she launched her own line of maternity wear, named Edamamma

Personal life and public image

Bhatt and her husband Ranbir Kapoor, pictured in 2021

In 2018, Bhatt began dating actor Ranbir Kapoor, her co-star in Brahmāstra (2022) She married him on 14 April 2022 in a private ceremony at their apartment in Mumbai On 6 November 2022, she gave birth to their daughter

Forbes Asia has featured Bhatt in their 30 Under 30 list of 2017 and in their 100 Digital Stars list of 2020 She has appeared in Forbes India's Celebrity 100 list since 2014, peaking at the eighth position in 2019 That year, the magazine estimated her annual income to be 592 million (US$74 million) and listed her as the highest-paid actress in the country

In 2018 and 2019, the Indian edition of GQ featured her among the nation’s 50 most influential young people and credited her for “striking a balance between big-budget, all-star blowouts and more script-oriented films” Bhatt was listed in first place in The Times of India's “50 Most Desirable Women” list of 2018 In the same year, the market research firm YouGov named her India’s ninth most influential celebrity The magazine Femina has featured her in listings of women achievers in 2019 and 2021 In 2022, she was ranked in the 97th position in The Indian Express's listing of the most powerful Indians In the same year, Time magazine awarded her with the TIME100 Impact Award

Bhatt is also the celebrity endorser for a number of brands and products, including Coca-Cola, Garnier and Maybelline Duff & Phelps estimated her brand value to be US$365 million, in 2019, the eighth-highest of Indian celebrities She occupied the seventh and sixth positions in the next two years, respectively, and in 2022, she peaked in the fourth position, with a brand value of US$681 million

Filmography

Films

Key
Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes Ref
1999 Sangharsh Young Reet Oberoi
2012 Student of the Year Shanaya Singhania
2014 Highway Veera Tripathi
2 States Ananya Swaminathan
Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania Kavya Pratap Singh
Ugly Young Shalini Cameo appearance
Going Home Herself Short film
2015 Shaandaar Alia Arora
2016 Kapoor & Sons Tia Malik
Udta Punjab Bauria/Mary Jane
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil DJ Cameo appearance
Dear Zindagi Kaira
2017 Badrinath Ki Dulhania Vaidehi Trivedi
2018 Welcome to New York Herself Cameo appearance
Raazi Sehmat Khan
Zero Herself Cameo appearance
2019 Gully Boy Safeena Firdausi
Kalank Roop Chaudhry
Student of the Year 2 Herself Special appearance in song: “The Hook Up Song”
2020 Sadak 2 Aarya Desai
2022 Gangubai Kathiawadi Gangubai Kathiawadi
RRR Sita Telugu film
Darlings Badru Qureshi Also producer
Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva Isha Chatterjee
2023 Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani Rani Filming
Heart of Stone Keya Dhawan Post-production

Music videos

Year Title Performer Ref
2019 “Prada” The Doorbeen (featuring Shreya Sharma)
“Smile Deke Dekho” Amit Trivedi feat Sunidhi Chauhan, Nakash Aziz
2020 “Kudi Nu Nachne De” Vishal Dadlani, Sachin–Jigar

Discography

Year Track Album Ref
2014 “Sooha Saha” Highway
“Samjhawan Unplugged” Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania
2016 “Ikk Kudi (Club Mix)” Udta Punjab
“Love You Zindagi (Club Mix)” Dear Zindagi
“Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le – 2”
2017 “Humsafar (Alia’s version)” Badrinath Ki Dulhania
2020 “Tum se hi (Reprise)” Sadak 2

Accolades

See also: List of awards and nominations received by Alia Bhatt

For her role in Highway (2014), Bhatt won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress She also received the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her roles in Udta Punjab (2016), Raazi (2018) and Gully Boy (2019)

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