Alia Bhatt had been weighing her Hollywood options for a few years. A popular star of Hindi films for over a decade with nearly 79 million Instagram followers, she’d been interested in making an English-language film, but nothing had been working out. Then Bhatt got word of a new action franchise led and produced by Gal Gadot and within a week of reading the script, the deal had closed. It was, she concluded, fate.
“Your first film chooses you,” Bhatt said in an interview with The Associated Press in June. “Technically, this is my first English-language movie. It chose me and I’m so happy it did.”
“Heart of Stone,” a globe-trotting spy thriller co-starring Gadot and Jamie Dornan, debuts globally Friday on Netflix. Bhatt’s role as a tech prodigy named Keya is one that’s hard to describe without spoiling the twisty plot, but it’s an important one. In India, the actor had grown accustomed to being a lead, but here she was happy to delve into a more supporting part — as long as it had substance to it.
In reading the script, she wanted to make sure that her character wasn’t just there to fill a “South Asian” slot, and that she was involved in — and impacting — the storyline.