Karan Johar slams ‘delusional actors’ and their salary demands, hopes Ayushmann, Vicky, Rajkummar are smarter

Karan Johar has slammed ‘delusional young actors’ and their high salary demands, hopes Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, Vicky Kaushal make smart monetary choices.
Karan Johar has slammed ‘delusional young actors’ and their high salary demands.
Karan Johar has slammed ‘delusional young actors’ and their high salary demands.
Updated on Dec 14, 2018 11:27 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent, New Delhi

Karan Johar has said that certain young actors have developed a case of swollen ego, and ‘are delusional’ about their status in Bollywood. The producer was speaking at journalist Anupama Chopra’a annual ‘adda’ discussion on her website, Film Companion.

Johar had made the point at last year’s panel, when he had said that a few major stars in the industry had deluded themselves into believing they still had the power to draw audiences - they demand salaries in double digits but can’t open a film, he had said.

“It is a disease,” Johar said. “Everyone has it.” He stressed that just because an actor had delivered a couple of box office hits, they start believing they’re invincible. When Anupama provided context about this ‘problem’ - the entourage and hair and makeup costs alone can go up to Rs 1 lakh a day for some actors - Karan said that she’d touched a ‘raw nerve’.

“They’re all crazy! Crazy, with a capital ‘C’. They’re cuckoo, many of them,” Johar continued. “Just because their two films do well suddenly it’s all me, myself and I.”


Johar pointed out that this is a flawed approach, because ‘every film has a different scale’. He said that the smarter thing to do is to ‘take a backend’ deal without ‘pressurising the film’s budget’. “It gets exhausting to sit in monetary discussion because they’re delusional,” he repeated.

The biggest culprit of this trend, Johar said, is celebrity management. He said that most celebrity managers ‘are clueless’ about how the industry works, and once their clients secure lucrative deals, event and wedding appearances and ‘walk on to a stage with 3000 people crying out their name’ it’s easy to get swayed. “They just think ‘Oh, your film did well? Increase your price by Rs 5 crore.’”

Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur of Roy Kapur films said that a star’s stature is measured by how many people they can pull to the screens on opening day. “Who is a star? A star is someone who regardless of the type of film they’re in is going to guarantee you that day one,” he said. Thugs of Hindostan broke box office records on its first day because of Aamir Khan’s star power, he continued. It’s downward spiral was based on the content.

Films such as Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan cannot be made on the same budgets any more, “perhaps because the same actors will (demand bigger salaries),” Johar said. He ended by naming names for the first time. “All these wonderful actors; Rajkummar Rao and Ayushmann Khurrana and Vicky Kaushal; I hope they are solid and sensible about their monetary choices.”

Each of the actors Johar mentioned have had a successful year at the box office. While Rajkummar Rao followed up a string of critically acclaimed films with the Rs 180 crore blockbuster Stree, Ayushmann delivered back-to-back Rs 100 crore hits in AndhaDhun and Badhaai Ho. Vicky, meanwhile, had a busy year; starring in Netflix’s Love Per Square Foot and Lust Stories, and following it up with supporting roles in Raazi and Sanju. He will next be seen in January’s Uri.

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