Karan Johar on a talent hunt


MUMBAI: Defiance, says Karan Johar, is his new mantra for movie-making. No more pandering to star egos with obese pay cheques. Gradually Johar is looking at working with only new actors.

Excited by the new breed of talent in the film industry, Johar is determined to give Hindi cinema a whole new generation of stars.

Speaking to Businessofcinema.com, Johar says, “There’re seven new stars Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Imran Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and now Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha. I’m vastly excited by the way the younger generation operates. They’re casual yet reverent. They’re confident alert and alive. Really,they’re an inspirational lot. I’m very excited about launching three newcomers and I hope they join the ranks of the seven  stars above. I hope I showcase them well.”

Johar is currently holding workshops with his three new stars Aliya Bhatt, Siddharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan who will feature in his new film Student Of The Year.

“I’ve been doing lots of workshop with them. I’ve been watching them rehearse. They’re exceptionally well-prepared. I’m more nervous than these newcomers are. So far I’ve only directed the biggest stars in the business. Directing newcomers is a new experience for me. The two boys went through the journey of making My Name Is Khan with me. But Aliya Bhatt is totally new to me. She is a complete surprise. She makes me feel like an old uncle. But I’ve forbidden her from calling me ‘Uncle’.”

There are a whole lot 19-20 year olds working for Johar at Dharma Productions and none of them is allowed to call him ‘Uncle’.

“I am Karan to everybody. I don’t like to be called ‘Sir’ either. I know there’re many directors who like that. Not me. I like my name and I like to be called Karan. I am almost 40, and I don’t want to be reminded of it. Anyone who actually thinks the 40s are the new 30s is demented. And please, if at 40 one finally grows wise, then spare me. I can’t handle the burden of my own wisdom even at 38. Modesty was never my forte. My forte at 40 is defiance. I feel naughty at 40. I will be very in-your-face,” he adds.

Work is all Johar had at his disposal. “My work is my life. I love packing my day with 48 hours. I don’t have any relationship with anyone. I live a life vicariously through my films. I’ve never been in a relationship. Pyar kya hota hai samjhaaye koi… I assure you it isn’t my fault. I don’t even think about it any more. I’ve stopped looking for love. I lost my 20s to directing two big films. I lost my father in my 30s and had take Dharma to another level. Now I’m 38. And there’s no one in my life, though I do have time and space for a relationship. Interested parties are welcome to apply!” Johar says.

At the moment new director Karan Malhotra is shooting a remake of Agneepath for Dharma.

Speaking about the movie, Johar says, “I’m vastly excited to see my father’s film come alive again. Chintu Uncle (Rishi Kapoor) and Sanju (Dutt) are working with Dharma after a long time. My father would be really happy to see Agneepath come alive. There’s a lot that is entirely different about the remake and comparisons are bound to happen. But this is a different Agneepath.”