Karan Johar, who had a great 2014 with three back-to-back hits as a producer, is ready to step behind the camera again this year. We catch up with him to discuss these films, as well as the alleged issues with his close friends, Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan.
Of late, you have been in the news for certain alleged issues with Kajol.
Close friends have issues, and we, too, had a minor one. But it got resolved even before we knew it. We are too close to fight. Our relationship goes back 25 years. With Kajol, the status is: I loved her then, I love her even now, and I will continue to love her.
There’s also talk that with you getting closer to Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Aamir Khan, your equation with Shah Rukh is changing.
I hate the idea that I have to ever justify my equation with Shah Rukh. You don’t justify your relationship with family; you live that relationship. Gauri and he are my family. His children are my godchildren. If we aren’t making a movie right now, it doesn’t change the way we feel about each other. When we work together, it will be amazing.
How do you look back at 2014?
It was great. I feel proud that we made three immensely successful films, with young talents, including actors as well as directors like Vinil Mathew, Shashank Khaitan and Abhishek Varman. The profits have been tremendous. Also, 2014 established the power of three newcomers that I launched — Varun (Dhawan), Sidharth (Malhotra) and Alia (Bhatt). Student Of The Year (2012) has been the biggest victory of my career, because it has given the industry three new talents. This is still the tip of the iceberg.
You have just made your digital debut with the country’s first digital video magazine, School Of Style with #fame.
I feel that the digital platform is the future. Their endeavour is to source and find talent in the fashion space — which we are focusing on right now — such as stylists or fashion bloggers that I will judge for them.
Last year was quite busy for you…
My three new directors (Vinil Mathew, Shashank Khaitan and Abhishek Varman) and three new talents (Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan) did well. I was doing my bit — judging a reality show (Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa), hosting my own talk show, awards shows and I also did a few ads. Besides, I launched an apparel line for women and I also did a jewellery line. There hasn’t been a minute to breathe. Also, my production company has grown from strength to strength, and when you manage that minus humongous stars, it makes things very satisfying.
Ranveer Singh shocked everyone when he recently kissed you at a public event. Were you surprised?
He is full of energy and extremely unpredictable. He is mad and that’s the mildest way to describe him. I was completely shocked; I wasn’t expecting him to smooch me in front of 4,000 people. But insanity is part of his demeanour. My mother was more shocked. But you have to take Ranveer with a truckload of salt.
The last time you directed a film, it starred three debutants. Now, for your next, you’re back to working with big stars…
My film requires such a cast. All three of them (Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) were my only top choices. The casting calls for my films are entirely script driven.
Tell us more about your association with India’s first digital video magazine called School Of Style that brings youth, digital and fashion together…
We have such a large young population. Digital is a growing medium and fashion is also gaining tremendous momentum. So, the synergy of these three aspects will have a hugely successful impact. #fame is definitely touching the right key notes to ensure that they are a tremendous success.