Alia Bhatt was all of nine, when Sanjay Leela Bhansali saw “the spark” in her eyes and declared that she was destined for better things.
Soon, Bhatt will be starring in Bhansali’s Inshallah, along with Salman Khan. Most of us were baffled because the film was announced as a love story, and Salman is 53 while Alia is only 26. However, Bhatt revealed in a tweet that she had walked into Bhansali’s office when she was only nine, in the hopes of landing a role in one of his films, but it didn’t work out then. This is essentially a 15-year-old dream coming true for her. But, the real reason behind her rejection is more a tale of success than failure.
I was 9 when I first walked into Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s office, all nervous and hoping and praying that I would be in his next film. It’s been a long wait.
— Alia Bhatt (@aliaa08) March 19, 2019
In an interview to Mumbai Mirror, Bhansali revealed why he had refused to even audition Bhatt for the role of a younger Michelle McNally, which later went to Ayesha Kapur, “When she was nine, she’d come with her mother (Soni Razdan) to audition for Black. I saw the sparkle in her eyes. I told Soni (Razdan) I wouldn’t audition her for a child’s role because I knew she was a Hindi film heroine.”
Before you go feeling too sad for Bhatt, remember that even though she missed out on Black, she had already made her acting debut as a child artist a few years before. She played the younger Reet Oberoi (played by Preity Zinta as an adult) in the 1999 thriller film Sangharsh.
While we’re happy for Bhatt, we will have our reservations about Inshallah till we find out more about it. While some of us are hoping the situationship between Bhatt and Khan will be more like Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi and less like Bhansali’s Saawariya, we have our doubts.