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Yes, I am the most over-rated director: Karan Johar

Director Karan Johar talks to Diganta Guha on Bollywood, his forthcoming films and his future plans.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2007 17:08 IST

Another feather to his cap. Filmmaker Karan Johar is the brand ambassador of Timond watches. Producer, filmmaker, talk show host, brand ambassador, actor and costume designer and then appearing on the cover of fashion magazine L’Officiel, Karan has achieved what even many actors haven’t.

Excerpts of an interview:

PR ambassador of Alfred Dunhill and now brand ambassador of Timond Watches…Karan Johar is as big a star…
Well, thank you. But I never look like a star. I am blessed to be in this profession where I can do what I want to and enjoy every moment it. I like Timond watch — it’s beautiful and goes with my personality. I would always endorse something that goes with me personally. I am no lesser a star? Well that’s your perception, but what I can say is that I am enjoying the perks of my profession.

How frequently do you buy watches?
I love watches, but I have more shoes than watches. I don’t go out to buy watches every month. Yes, I have some special ones. I like watches, which scream louder than they should. I mean that’s me — I really think that I can open the topic.

So, what makes Karan Johar unique? I ask you..
I can’t answer that question it is so embarrassing.

<b1>Having done so much in these 35 years, let me ask you Karan, what next?
I feel very honestly that filmmaking is my primary passion. It’s the only thing that drives me. I have tremendous power in my hand and that is the power of cinema. You feel you are God in your own world — you create characters, tell their stories. I am very blessed to be a filmmaker.

What next? Who knows? There is never any end to your creative juices. I can do anything barring acting which I don’t think I am meant to do. I could do anything that would eventually excite me. I am not somebody who feels I should stick to a norm as a filmmaker because I am a filmmaker.

We know Karan Johar has an answer to every question fired at him. Okay, if I come up to you and say you are the most overrated filmmaker in the country what would your reaction be?
I would agree with you totally. Yes I am. Going by the position of success that I hold today I really feel I am overrated. And I completely agree. My answer is totally heartfelt. I do feel I have done much less than what I have gained.

I feel I deserve much less than what I have today. I think I should work that much more hard to maintain what I have deserved. From today onwards it’s my journey to hold onto my position because I believe I am really overrated.

People say Karan Johar always keeps reinventing himself…how far is it true?

I don’t know whether I keep reinventing myself. I have followed my heart making every film that I have made. They all had a certain kind of look and larger-than-life approach. I haven’t really reinvented but I do plan to reinvent myself as a filmmaker because I need to break through the shackles of what I have done.

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

was the first step in that direction. It told a story about grey characters. I have always lived in the white and stayed away from the black and


was the first attempt to step into the black. So, I hope to further that attempt.

I believe in telling stories that need to be told and feel socially responsible when it comes to cinema. I am 35 now but when I started filmmaking I was 25. When you are that young you have different stories to tell. I am hoping to achieve the so-called difference in cinema in my own way.

The biggest compliment you have ever received and the worst thing ever said about you…
Some people have come and said that fathers and sons have connected after Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. Then there couples who said that KANK was the best thing I could have ever done to their marriage. I have touched real life and my purpose as a filmmaker is served.

And the worst criticism I have faced was when people said I make bubble gum films. It’s just a tag and you have to live with it. To say that I make bubble gums, mushy family dramas undermines the soul behind my work.

<b3>Let’s talk business — what’s the latest on your films?
I am producing a few films, which I would launch at the end of this year. I am launching my long-time assistant Tarun Mansukhani. He will be starting his film sometime in December. And there’s another director I have signed on and I am going to produce an animation film. I will be directing my next film early next year.

Karan doesn’t fight but he did fight with his one-time assistants Nikhil Advani and Soham..
The media can go on and on over it. They are part of my family and sometimes you fight with your family members but there’s always a basic love behind and that’s what I have for Nikhil and Soham.

The biggest mistake you have ever committed…
Trusting people I shouldn’t have…

Are you still afraid of remakes?
I wouldn’t want to remake anything. Monumental films shouldn’t be touched..

Media’s still hot on the SRK-Big B war. What’s the latest?
It’s so ridiculous. This question doesn’t warrant a response, it’s so stupid.. just a figment of various people’s imagination

I give you Rs 20 crore and ask you to make a film without SRK..
I would say no…

First Published: Jul 04, 2007 17:41 IST