MUMBAI — Actress Alia Bhatt, who plays a migrant Bihari laborer in Abhishek Chaubey’s film “Udta Punjab,” says she was avoided on the sets of the film, as she was unrecognizable in her look.

“When we started shooting, I walked on to the sets, and I was avoided by all. Nobody realized that it was me. Suddenly when I spoke to Chaubey, everybody realized and took five steps back. They felt they had made a blunder,” said Bhatt at the launch of the song “Ikk Kudi” from the film.

Composed by Amit Trivedi, “Ikk Kudi” is a slow Punjabi song that directly touches the heart. The video of the track shows Bhatt, who plays an aspiring hockey player, striving to get her first chance to display her talent and how she eventually gets one.

Speaking about her character, Bhatt said: “If a character is angry or upset or distraught, Alia doesn’t have anything to do with it, because it is the character. I am comfortable doing whatever my character wants me to do.”

Bhatt’s role of a Bihari migrant has drawn mixed reactions. In response to this, the actress says people shouldn’t make assumptions before watching the film.

After the trailer of “Udta Punjab” was released, actress Neetu Chandra wrote an open letter criticizing Bhatt and Chaubey for carrying out typical Bihari stereotypes through the former’s character in the film.

“Anybody who makes assumptions after watching the trailer, it is better for us to keep quiet. Because whatever people are assuming, especially the person in question over here, could also possibly be untrue,” Bhatt told reporters at the launch of the film’s song “Ikk Kudi” here. 

“We always make assumptions before seeing the full and final project. The trailer is just a hint, whereas the film is the real content. After seeing the film, if people have the same thought, then it is correct to justify. Before that we want you to wait,” the “Kapoor and Sons” actress added. Chaubey also supported Bhatt’s opinions. 

“Udta Punjab” is a neo-noir drama thriller. Co-produced by Phantom Films and Balaji Motion Pictures, the movie tells the story of substance abuse in the Indian state of Punjab. The film, set to release June 17, also stars Shahid Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh and Kareena Kapoor Khan. 

Watch the "Ikk Kudi" music video:

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