Karan Johar on deciding against directing Kalank, Student of the Year 2, and why it’s too late to be in a relationship

During the first few minutes into our conversation, Karan Johar fiddles with his phone, presumably checking the box office figures of his film 2.0, that releases on the same day. “I’m sorry, you know how release days are,” he says, in an apologetic tone.

But soon, he removes the producer’s hat and dons the interviewee mantle, to match it with his red tracksuit. Yes, the black suits and radiant shoes remain in the closet, as he comes out. The only distractions that go back to are his coffee and a tiny box of dry fruits. But as we all know, Koffee is anything but his Kryptonite. Unlike his popular chat show Koffee with Karan, the black coffee here rests in a sipper, rather than brewing in a smooth, ceramic cup.

On the other side of the Koffee table this time, he answers with abandon about why he passed on his babies (films he conceptualised) to his talent, how Sridevi’s death broke his heart, and why he is in a relationship only with his work, mom and babies.

Why did you feel the need to delegate the directorial duty of Student of the Year 2 to Punit Malhotra, having directed a successful first part?

I thought he had the right elements. He handles that generation really well. He is Manish Malhotra’s nephew so he gets his colour and aesthetic right. He also has the necessary energy and vigour. I just thought he was the right fit. Tiger (Shroff) leading the cast is exciting because his level of dance and action are unnatural. We’re also launching two wonderful ladies in Tara (Sutaria) and Ananya (Panday). It’s taking the franchise forward in the same zone. And the good thing about Student of the Year is you know exactly what to expect. It’s a lot of fun, entertainment, gloss, glamour, song-and-dance, and narrative.

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