Karan Johar’s heartfelt note spotlights Imtiaz Ali’s influence on Alia Bhatt’s iconic career

He said that Imtiaz Ali played a pivotal role in moulding Alia into the artist she is today adding that 'Highway' was a turning point, and it was evident that Alia Bhatt was destined for greatness

Mumbai: As Bollywood sensation Alia Bhatt commemorates a decade in the film industry, her mentor and director of her debut film “Student of the Year,” Karan Johar, praises the actress’s growth and credits Imtiaz Ali for shaping her into the versatile artist she is today.

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In an emotional appreciation note shared by Johar on Instagram, the filmmaker acknowledged the success of “Student of the Year” and the collective room for improvement left by the film’s debutants—Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra, and Varun Dhawan. However, Johar emphasized that it was with her second film, “Highway,” directed by Imtiaz Ali, that Alia truly showcased her immense potential and marked her evolution as an actress.

Johar said that Imtiaz Ali played a pivotal role in moulding Alia into the artist she is today adding that ‘Highway’ was a turning point, and it was evident that Alia Bhatt was destined for greatness.

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Karan Johar wrote,”Before the years wraps I felt like sharing this with all of you… I hadn’t directed Alia since 2012 and the day she walked onto set In her @manishmalhotra05 plus @mickeycontractor plus #flavian look I knew we had the Rani I had always envisaged …. What followed was an actor I wasn’t prepared for…. And I can take zero credit … will always be grateful to Imtiaz ali for taking her on a highway of life and moulding her into the actor she finally became …. SOTY is technically her launch but her true launch as an artist will always be highway…”

The filmmaker further praised Alia’s recent performance in the upcoming film “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani,” where she essays the role of Rani. He further wrote, ” “Alia is such a pride and pleasure on a film set…. She had a ticking kind constantly questioning Rani and trying her best to make her strong and yet identifiable and likeable … again for that I take no credit that is her evolution as an artist! Was blessed to have her as Rani Chatterjee and I do hope her character keeps resonating …. Love you @aliaabhatt.”

As Alia Bhatt celebrates this milestone, fans and industry peers eagerly anticipate her future projects, recognizing her as one of the industry’s most accomplished and versatile talents. The actress continues to win hearts with her impactful performances, solidifying her position as a powerhouse in Indian cinema.

Karan also thanked Ranveer Singh, who has won hearts with his role of Ricky Randhawa in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. He wrote, “Ranveer Singh! The irreplaceable force of nature…. The actor prepares and never comes in your way … he never ever let me know the extent he was prepping to play Rocky Randhawa… he planned his prep with my team, spent months in Delhi, hung out in west Delhi, met the West Delhi gram boys , worked on his dialect like an obsessed artist ! Kept improvising dialogues till it reached perfection for him … I saw this as a bystander, a filmmaker in awe and was blown away by his process ( which initially can be daunting but when you see the dailies you’re sold and he’s won your heart)”

He added, “I feel like the perception of RS is so different from his labour and passion as a true artist! You see designer clothes on magazine covers I see a hungry actor only seeking love and validation from his audiences! ROCKY RANDHWA and RANVEER were irreplaceable! ( styled impeccably by @ekalakhani )No one could have done what he did! Absolutely No one and I feel grateful for him and Alia ! The three of us also built a friendship for the ages as a trio! This is not just an appreciation post as a filmmaker but a post of gratitude to the universe that bought these blessed artists to play my leads! Karan Johar this side … signing off! @aliaabhatt @ranveersingh #rockyaurranikiipremkahaani”.

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