Imtiaz Ali: Alia Bhatt became nomadic for HIGHWAY

By Rachana Sheth, Glamsham Editorial

One look at Imtiaz Ali's upcoming film HIGHWAY diaries and you can make it out how extensively the filmmaker and his cast and crew must have travelled to capture the picturesque locales, breathtaking slides, snow-clad mountains, entrapping gorgeous scenic beauty, et al for the film. From rough terrain to bumpy roads to dangerous under-constructed ghats to local roads twisting away between steep drops and barren canyons, HIGHWAY appears to be the most exhausting film of Imtiaz.

Under such scenario, ask Imtiaz how was it cast Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan's youngest daughter Alia Bhatt, who debuted with Karan Johar's STUDENT OF THE YEAR last year, who is at the tender age and comes across as a very soft-spoken pampered child, for HIGHWAY and the filmmaker tells, "Alia had never been on this kind of a journey before. She has been a Juhu girl all her life and not travelled much out of the city except for other equally big cities or other first world countries or foreign lands. So this was a very moving experience for her....Initially everyone was apprehensive whether she would be able to adjust with it or not. But trust me it was fun to see her there."

So we asked what ultimately convinced him about Alia being a perfect choice for the film and Imtiaz said, "One fine day when I saw Alia shooting along with the local people including shepherds, nomadic and tribal people, a thought occurred to my mind. I went to Alia saying 'What is the difference between you and them? At the end of the day you are going to come along with us and will be back to Mumbai and these people will move to snow-clad mountains or to forest areas or greener zones, where they essentially reside. But if you can just go with them you can also be like one of them'...So, she became like any other nomadic person roaming on the streets of Kaza in Himachal Pradesh, lying down on the roads, eating carelessly at dhabas in the snow-clad barren roads, soaking in the sun, enjoying the lush fields of Punjab or lying around in hot and dry desert."

Also starring Randeep Hooda, HIGHWAY, directed and produced by Imtiaz Ali and presented by Sajid Nadiadwala, is up for release early next year.

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