From behind cameras

In conversation

From behind cameras

From his filmmaking and reality show assignments, it seems Karan Johar has another priority that’s high on his list. The director is all set to debut as an actor in a negative role with Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet.

The director has undertaken some intense work-out sessions to lose weight for the role. Apart from this, he’s also judging the fifth season of India’s Got Talent and is busy with his own show Koffee With Karan.

Apparently, Karan wants to keep the mystery of the film intact, and refuses to answer questions on his acting debut. However, the director reveals that his acting abilities come from amateur stage performances that he handled in childhood. “I have participated in elocutions in college, but it was amateur and it helps me as a director. I have not done a full-fledged role or serious theatre,” he jokes.

The actor says that be it his films or reality shows,  they are always a huge learning process for him. “I started my career at the age of 23 with a breezy love story like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge. Over the years, I managed to do a lot of movies, which are influenced by my life. Be it Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, My Name Is Khan or Student Of The Year. When I was young, my love for cinema was different, hence I made a film like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. There was a glimpse of every director in me.

The heroine in chiffon sarees singing in the Alps, I took from Yash Chopra films. The top angle shots were influenced by Raj Kapoor’s Prem Rog. After I got the first taste of success, my parents influenced my films and I wanted to thank them for what they had done for me, so I made a film like Kal Ho Na Ho. Ironically, my father was diagnosed with cancer at that time. My papa’s comic sense was strong even then. He told the doctor I was doing a film based on cancer.”

Speaking about his reality show assignments, Karan says, “Reality shows have been enlightening. I had no idea that our country had so much talent. The most touching aspect is the human story behind every contestant. The hardships they have to endure to reach this platform are things that I had not seen or experienced. India’s Got Talent has opened my eyes to everything.”

The director says that for him, talent not only needs to inspire, but also shake the preconceived notions of excellence. “Whether it is dancing, singing or any other creative act, I will look for talent that enthralls and entertains me. This year, competition will be exciting. I don’t judge, but I offer my creative opinion as a director. For me, to judge the talent, I have to be better at that myself.”

Karan adds that reality shows have brought a new brigade of talent into the industry. “I have introduced three new actors. There are composers and singers and a lot of new artistes whom we all know now. They are all wonderful and they are doing well for themselves.”

However, Karan says that he does not understand the business of television shows. “I don’t understand TRPs. I am not interested. I have had enough of box-office ratings to deal with. I think Ekta Kapoor is the only person who can handle both perfectly,” he explains. 

But the director-turned-actor adds that he is disillusioned by one thing in the industry, and that is the money stars demand for films. “I have no choice but to pay them. My father had advised me that we have to pay our stars their market price, so I have never questioned them.”

Karan believes that every film is a dream that also has a potential to turn into a nightmare. The director says that he now dreams of making a bio-pic. “It’s something I am excited about, and it will be a challenging task to portray someone’s life on the big screen. I would love to make a film on Guru Dutt. I would give years of my life to make a film on Guru Dutt. He’s got pain in his eyes and life. If someone researches him well, I will do it. Even today, when I listen to his songs, something happens to me,” he concludes. 

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