New star of the new decade. That’s how the poster of Jawaani Jaaneman describes its debutante, Alaya F. Is the 22-year-old facing the burden of expectation with such a tag? I already put so much pressure on myself I don’t think anyone else’s pressure matters, says Alaya. I am flattered. “It is the pressure that makes me want to work hard and live up to it.
Daughter of Pooja Bedi and Farhan Ebrahim, Alaya describes her entry in Bollywood as more of a break than a launch. In the start, it’s a little frustrating. I thought my film is going to come next and then someone else gets launched and you are still giving auditions and tests, she says. My privilege took me as far as getting me meetings along with auditions. I am glad I had to test. It made me a better actor and more confident.
Alaya adds that she understands it’s not easy for others. I know of people who have it much harder than I do and there are people who have it easier than I do.
In Jawaani Jaaneman, a middle-aged man’s playboy lifestyle (Saif Ali Khan) is halted with the entry of a daughter (Alaya F) he didn’t know he had. One reason I love this character because she’s very similar to me. I like that because people get a glimpse into who you are, says Alaya. It’s quite hard to act like yourself.
The 22-year-old admits to initially being intimidated in the presence of Saif, Tabu, Kumud Mishra and Farida Jalal. I was quite scared on day one with Saif Sir, she says. After a few shots, he makes you feel so welcome and easy. It’s a very collaborative process. Talking about Tabu, who plays her hippie mother, Alaya said, She is such a warm person and so good at what she does.
Alaya is hopeful to make a first good impression. Hopefully in the film, I will be able to stand my own and not look like a lost lamb. I think I have put enough work in.