He’s back as a TV host. Meanwhile, the director has also anchored concerts, wrapped up an ad film and has kept his father’s banner flying high. Cut right away to Karan Johar in a konversation with Khalid Mohamed ?
Late afternoon. His Khar-Santa Cruz office is shaded by grand old streetside trees, gnarled and abundant. A gang of men and women are locked in meetings. One over, another percolates. Come tomorrow, he’ll take off to New York for a fortnight.
“Give me a half a minute,” he pleads, and in that time-span clears pyramids of papers. Clutter strictly not required. Karan Johar gathers his breath basket, prompting me to wonder:
Hello, hello. Do you know whether you’re coming or going?
As in? (arches an eyebrow)
What’s with the multi-tasking?
That’s the word, multi-tasking. Sure, I’ve been stressed out. I’m into the research mode for my next film, it’s the first time I’m into in-depth research.. Then I’ve shot 12 episodes for Koffee with Karan, I’ll be shooting 13 more, hopefully for everyone’s coffee fix. I’ve directed an ad film, I’ve just shot with Bebo (Kareena Kapoor) after a break of five to six years.
Why is “research” essential for your next film?
Because I’m getting into an atmosphere which I must know perfectly. It’s a subject I believe in, I must get my facts spot-on. It’s not a period film, it’s very contemporary.
What kind of a script are you writing?
Deeply emotional, in a way somewhat feel-ungoodish, feel uncomfortable, extra strong.
Why give up on candyfloss romances?
You’re the last person who should ask me that. Haven’t you noticed I’m growing old? I’m 34. I can’t do without L’Oreal. Honestly, I don’t feel the need to do happy romances and happier endings. It’s not about loving each other anymore.
Is there a particular Karan Johar stamp of filmmaking?
You tell me. So far, I’ve been serving a buffet. Now, I want to serve a film a la carte.
What would be the value of the Kjo brand today?
I don’t have as much money in the bank as everyone thinks. And my mum will endorse that. That’s the story of my life..naam bade darshan chhote. We have large hearts, small bank balances.
What’s up with the film with Abhishek, Aishwarya and Saif you’re producing for Tarun Mansukhani?
It’s a romcom with an edge..the preparations are on in full swing.
Okay, Koffee with Karan is on Star TV and you’ve signed a deal with NDTV. Doesn’t this amount to cross-branding?
It’s not a question of being with one channel and not with another. With NDTV, I will be creatively involved. I hope to execute a shared vision of an entertainment channel. As for Star, Koffee with Karan is their property. I’m just Karan, Koffee is theirs.
How much of a limelight moth are you, Karan?
I love the camera, the shutterbugs. I don’t have the looks to justify the attention. If the paparazzi follows me, I just pray it never stops.
What is the wildest thing you’ve ever done?
Must I answer that? (Pause) I’ve danced on a table at Tramps (a London night club) after too many Red Bulls. Quite a few people thought I was part of the entertainment act and wanted to tip me. I was flattered..and appalled.
Rapid fire question now. Love or sex?
Love. I’m good at that.
I could do much better.
Fame or fortune?
Fame, I’m good at that.
Some day, inshallah.