Filmmaker Karan Johar believes it is important for a successful person to be around people who give their honest opinion. Johar, who has evolved with time graduating from college romance to family dramas and will soon be helming his first period-drama in “Takht”, believes sycophants spread toxicity.
“To surround yourself with ‘no’ people and not ‘yes’ people. People who can tell you the wrong you’re doing and what right you can do. “It’s very stupid to be deluded. The ‘yes’ men around you are toxic. It’s important to have people who’ll call out the wrong – ‘this film isn’t good, script isn’t nice.’ Sometimes you know the truth but when people praise you, you start believing,” he said in a group interview.
Johar said being relevant is important if one has to continue making good art. “I can’t live in the past with my laurels. I should not take myself seriously and instead surround myself with younger people. They inspire us. It’s important to hear them. I don’t want to lose that relevance.
“I directed ‘Student of the Year’ in 2012 fully aware that there’s nothing special about it, it’s a simple time pass film like ‘High School Musical’. But I wanted to make a film which connects with the younger generation, the 12-14 year olds who would know me.” The director is currently gearing up to make his next, “Takht” which is set in the Mughal era and chronicles the story of two warring brothers.
The historical drama stars Kareena Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar, Janhvi Kapoor and Anil Kapoor. Johar says roping in a cast like this was “tough.” “It was not easy. Eventually I have the cast I am happy with. But yes, this was the only film I am directing where it took me a while to finalise the cast. Every other film was easier to cast but this one was challenging because of the kind of characters.”
Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known for lavishly-mounted period dramas but Karan says there should not be any comparisons. “Mr Bhansali’s films are like beautiful canvas and I am a huge fan of his work. I am not making a film that can be compared to anything I’ve done or anybody else has done.
I’m trying to make a film that is true to the historical events which transpired. “My film is embedded in history. It has to be told the way it was.” Karan will be seen as a judge in season eighth of “India’s Got Talent” on Colors, along with Kirron Kher and Malaika Arora Khan.