Alia Bhatt needs no introduction when it comes to her acting prowess. The 24-year-old actress received her maiden Filmfare Award for her role of a Bihari migrant labourer Bauria in last year’s Udta Punjab. Just five years since her acting debut in Karan Johar’s Student Of The Year, she has already made a mark for herself for doing versatile roles. After all, cinema runs in her blood as Alia hails from the influential Bhatt family.
Alia happens to be the daughter of iconic filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who is known for films like Arth, Saransh, Duplicate, Zakhm and Sadak. The Bhatt family owns Vishesh Films, a production house which has earned accolades for churning out films that revolve around unconventional subjects and boast of brilliant music. If you only know about Alia or her cousin Emraan Hashmi, here we will tell you some really interesting facts about one of the prominent families of Bollywood:
Alia Bhatt was born on March 15, 1993 to Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan. Her mother has acted in films like Saaransh, Mandi, Sadak, Sir and others to her credit. She also acted in popular TV serial Buniyaad. Here is a scene from Saaransh wherein she fights with her boyfriend while searching for a house.
Alia’s German great-grandfather
Alia’s maternal grandmother is a German named Gertrud Hoelzer. Her great-grandfather ran an underground newspaper against German dictator Adolf Hitler. He was caught by the Nazis and imprisoned for two years, forcing his wife and daughter to seek refuge in England via Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) in 1937. Eventually, Gertrud married a Kashmiri Pandit named N Razdan. The information about Alia’s great grandpa was confirmed by none other than her father Mahesh Bhatt in 2014.
Alia’s great grandfather, was running an underground newspaper against Hitler.He was found out and imprisoned for two years.
— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) February 12, 2014
Mahesh Bhatt was born to prominent filmmaker Nanabhai Bhatt and Shirin Mohammed Ali. His father directed and produced Hindi and Gujarati films. His father was born as Yeshwant Bhatt in a Gujarati Brahmin family but directed Muqabla, Hunterwali Ki Beti and other films under the name of Batuk Bhatt. Mahesh Bhatt made his critically acclaimed film Zakhm, believed to be closely based on his parents’ lives. The 1999 film fetched him the Filmfare Award for Best Story while Ajay Devgn won a National Award for Best Actor. In fact, he wrote Hamari Adhuri Kahani, a 2015 film featuring Emraan Hashmi, Vidya Balan and Rajkummar Rao that was based on his mother’s life.
Mahesh Bhatt began his career as an assistant to yesteryear director Raj Khosla in 1969. The latter is known for films like CID, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Do Badan, Mera Saaya and others. In conversation with Anupam Kher for Republic TV’s People, Bhatt recalled his first encounter with the filmmaker who had assisted Guru Dutt. According to Bhatt, Khosla asked him whether he knew anything about filmmaking. To which a 20-something youngster replied,”No Sir, nothing.” An amused Khosla replied,”Very Good, zero is the brilliant figure, to begin with.”
Mahesh Bhatt married Lorraine Bright who later changed her name to Kiran. It is believed that his 1990 film Aashiqui was based on his relationship with her. The couple had two children Pooja and Rahul. In fact, Pooja made her Bollywood debut with her father’s film Daddy. She acted in films like Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahi, Sadak, Junoon, Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad Aayi and Zakhm. She later ventured into direction and helmed Jism, Jism 2, Holiday and others. Pooja’s brother Rahul Bhatt gained notoriety for having links with 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind David Coleman Headley. The sibling duo’s parents separated after the director got involved with actress Parveen Babi.
Mahesh Bhatt co-owns Vishesh Films along with his brother Mukesh Bhatt. The production house is named after the latter’s son Vishesh who is known for having written 2008 hit Jannat. He later directed Murder 3 which featured Randeep Hooda, Sara Loren and Aditi Rao Hyadri. Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt have another brother Robin who is a screenplay writer. He is known for films like Baazigar, Omkara, Shivaay, Hum Hain Raahi Pyaar Ke and many more.
Another popular member of the Bhatt clan is Emraan Hashmi. Popularly known as Bollywood’s serial kisser, he is the nephew of Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt. Having gain accolades for roles in films like Jannat, Murder, Jannat 2, Shanghai, Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai and Azhar, Hashmi surprisingly does not watch Hindi films. His mother Maherreh was married to businessman Anwar Hashmi, who is the son of Shauqat Hashmi and Meherbano Mohhamad Ali. Emraan’s grandmother is the sister of Mahesh Bhatt’s mother Shirin, meaning he is the filmmaker’s nephew and Alia Bhatt’s cousin.
Known for films like Aashiqui 2, Woh Lamhe, Aashiqui 2, Ek Villain, Mohit Suri happens to be Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt’s nephew as well. He has a sister Smiley Suri who acted in Kalyug. Suri married actress Udita Goswami who worked in his 2oo5 film Zeher.
— Mohit Suri (@mohit11481) February 9, 2015
Not many of you know that it is Mohit Suri’s sister Smilie Suri on the poster of Aashiqui 2. The director considers her as his lucky charm. “Yes, it’s me in the poster. When Mohit decided to make the film, he didn’t have a face for the film, so he requested me if I could pose for the poster. So the poster where the girl is wearing a dress, it’s me,” she had told IANS.
Last but not the least, Mahesh Bhatt has another sister Sheila Bhatt Darshan who is the mother of directors Suneel Darshan and Dharmesh Darshan.
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