Karan Johar at Fox Star Studios' Press Conference for My Name Is Khan.
|Born||Karan Dharma Kama Johar
25 May 1972
Mumbai, Maharastra, India
|Occupation||Actor, Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Costume designer, Television host|
Karan Johar (born 25 May 1972) often informally referred to as KJo, is an Indian film director, producer, screenwriter, costume designer and television host based in Bollywood. He is the son of Hiroo Johar and Yash Johar. He is also the head of the production company Dharma Productions. He is most known for directing and producing some of Bollywood's highest grossing films in India and abroad. Four of the films he has directed, those starring Shahrukh Khan, have been India's highest grossing productions in the overseas market. The success of those films resulted in crediting Johar for changing the way Indian cinema has been perceived in the West.
Johar entered the film industry as an actor in Aditya Chopra's Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge(1995). He later made his directorial debut with the highly successful romantic comedy, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai(1998) which won him a Filmfare Award For Best Director and Filmfare Best Screenplay Award. His following directorial efforts were the family drama, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) and the romantic drama, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), a movie which dealt with the theme of adultery. Both films were major financial successes in India and abroad. Johar thus established himself as one of the most successful filmmakers in Bollywood. His fourth film, My Name Is Khan (2010) was met with positive reviews and grossed 2 billion (US$37 million) worldwide. It earned him his second Best Director award at the Filmfare ceremony.
Karan Johar was born in Mumbai, India to Indian Bollywood film producer Yash Johar, founder of Dharma Productions and Hiroo Johar. He studied at the Greenlawns High School and attended H.R. College of Commerce and Economics, both in Mumbai. He received a Masters degree in French.
As a child, he was influenced by commercial Indian cinema and he cites Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra and Sooraj R. Barjatya as his inspirations. For a period of time, Johar followed numerology, creating film titles in which the first word and a number of others in the title began with the letter "K." After watching the 2006 film, Lage Raho Munna Bhai which was critical of numerology, Johar decided to stop this practice.
Acting and directing
Johar formally entered the film industry as an actor, portraying Raj's (Shahrukh Khan) close friend in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). He was also assistant director on the film and helped director Aditya Chopra in writing the screenplay. In addition, he selected Shahrukh Khan's costumes, something he continued to do for Shahrukh Khan's other movies like Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Duplicate (1998), Mohabbatein (2000), Main Hoon Na and Veer-Zaara (2004) and Om Shanti Om (2007).
Johar made his directorial debut at the age of 25 with the cult film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998 which he also wrote the story and screenplay for. Johar first wrote a story about a love triangle between a tomboy, a very pretty looking girl and a slightly insensitive boy but he shelved the idea because he was not satisfied with it. Then he wrote an other plot about a widower and his child. which he shelved as well. Eventually he decided to merge the two stories into one. He explained in an interview with Rediff: "It was about the trauma of a widower and his little child. How the child really wants a mother and how she brings her mother into her father's life. Then I thought: Why not bring an youth aspect to the story? Why not a flashback? That's how the story got made."  Starring Shahrukh Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukerji, the film was well received by critics and audience alike. It won a National awards, eight Filmfare Awards in 1998 including Best Movie, Best Director and all four Best Actor awards for both leading and supporting roles. It was also the highest grossing Indian movie of the year in India and abroad and was declared an all time blockbuster by Box Office India.
Johar's second directorial effort was the family drama, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, released in 2001. It featured an ensemble star-cast that included Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan. It was the fifth film to star Khan and Kajol and their last together in the decade until their next cast, again by Johar, in 2010. Johar stated that he make the film because of his desire to create a saga like Yash Chopra's Kabhi Kabhie which dealt with parent-child relationships. He also added that "The posters of all those big stars glittering on a banner had entranced me in childhood. I said one day I will make a film with big stars standing together in one frame. I integrated both ideas in K3G." The film was a major financial success and became India's second highest-grossing film of the year and one of the biggest Bollywood success of all time in the overseas market, earning over 1 billion worldwide. Box Office India called it "one of the true Worldwide blockbusters of Hindi cinema". It was also critically well received, winning five Filmfare Awards.
In May 2005, after taking a four-year break from directing, Johar began working on his third film as a director and fourth film as writer; Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, (Never Say Goodbye). With an ensemble cast including Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji and Kirron Kher. The film told the story of two unhappily married couples in New York, which later results in an extramarital affair. On its release in 11 August 2006, the film received generally mixed reviews because it dealt with themes that were considered taboo in the Indian society. Johar, in an interview with CNN-IBN clarified: "When it’s called a film about adultery and infidelity, I’d like to say that it has not been treated frivolously at all. There is a lot of dignity and intensity given to the plot, even though it deals with slightly gray areas of life (...) Though this one treads on gray areas, it never veers towards the black." The film however, opened to strong box office numbers and became the sixth highest grossing film of the year in India and the highest grossing overseas film of all time. It grossed over 1.13 billion worldwide.
Although the content of the film was deemed controversial, Johar's work as director and writer was applauded, Rajeev Masand noted: "Few writers have such solid control over their screenplay as Karan Johar does. Few understand the intricacies of narrative as well as he does. Johar goes from highs to lows, from plateaus to peaks with the ease of a pro. He knows exactly how to turn a seemingly ordinary scene into something special with just that one line of dialogue, or that hint of background music." And Taran Adarsh added: "In a nutshell, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna bears the unmistakable stamp of a genius -- Karan Johar. The master storyteller only polishes his skills further, proving yet again that he's a forward-thinker and also, a progressive storyteller." The film was shown at the Tokyo International Film Festival and its script was invited to be included in the library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It was eventually nominated for ten Filmfare awards, including Best Director and Best Film.
In November 2009, Johar ended shooting for his film My Name Is Khan starring Shahrukh Khan and Kajol Devgan, reuniting them after eight years. The film debuted in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 10 February 2010. It was also screened as part of the 60th Berlin International Film Festival's official selection the same month. Critics noted that with the film, Johar has broken away from his typical style of film making - lavish sets, filmi songs and dance sequences and designer cloths. The filmmaker himself confirmed that, stating: "in all my 11 years as a filmmaker I’ve never felt the experience to be so different. The content of My Name Is Khan is diametrically opposite to whatever I’ve done in the past." There were also discussion about its content, which was "serious" and "thinking", not a satirical entertainer like his previous films. Speaking about the film, he said in an interview with Bollywood Hungama:"MNIK is an unusual Bollywood film, if at all, and doesn't have those quintessential pre-requisite elements that any Bollywood film has (...) All I can say is that MNIK is going to open windows and doors to many people who have stories to tell and are shy to put their story on the celluloid" Upon release, the film was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews and strong box office reports; My Name is Khan was the highest-grossing Bollywood film overseas at the time, grosseing over 2 billion worldwide. Rajeev Masand, in a positive review, noted: "Johar crafts an engaging, stirring saga that is earnest and noble. With this message movie in the mainstream format, the director takes a step in the right direction." It earned him his second Best Director award at the Filmfare ceremony. KJo's next venture is "Student Of the Year" which will release on 19 October. The film marks the debut of Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt in the lead roles.
Dharma Productions, founded by his father, is Johar's production company. He became the main producer of the company after his father's death. In a 2003 interview with The Hindu, he explained his production strategy: "I wanted my production house to walk before running. I need to be streamlined, build my infrastructure. I do want to make all kinds of movies because I have watched all kinds of movies."
Johar wrote and produced the 2003 film, Kal Ho Naa Ho which was directed by Nikhil Advani. A drama set in New York City, starring Shahrukh Khan, Jaya Bachchan, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan. The film was received favorably by critics and became a box office success in India and the highest grossing film in the overseas that year. It has won eight Filmfare awards and two National film awards. His 2005 film, Kaal was directed by Soham Shah, Johar's assistant director from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. He produced two films in 2009, first Ayan Mukerji's coming of age romantic drama Wake Up Sid and the thriller Kurbaan. He is also responsible for the official Hindi-language remake of Stepmom, called We Are Family featuring Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in the lead roles which was shot in Mumbai and Sydney, Australia. When Johar first decided to adapt the movie for an Indian audience, he initially intended to buy the rights to the film but eventually opted to co-produce it with Sony Pictures. The same year, he co-produced the Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor starter I Hate Luv Storys with UTV Motion Pictures. The film went on to become a box office hit.
In an interview with The Times Of India, Johar explained that he had the intention of remaking the 1990 thriller Agneepath which was then produced by his father, because the commercial failure of the film broke his father's heart. The idea of the remake materialized on the sets of his film My Name Is Khan when Johar asked his assistant director Karan Malhotra to revisit it again. The remake was released in January 2012 to both critical and commercial success. He further produced the 2012 romantic comedy, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. Starring both Kareena Kapoor and Imran Khan, the film was met with positive critical reception and moderate box office success. He will also be producing Dostana 2. and Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani.
In 2004, Johar became the host of the celebrity-based chat show Koffee with Karan, in which he interviewed renowned celebrities from Bollywood and India's glamour world. The first season of the show began airing on Star TV and Star World on 19 November 2004. The programme was met with huge success and became the first English entertainment show to score a huge rating in India. The season lasted for twenty-five episodes. The show was then put on hold due to Johar's commitment to his directorial project Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna; it returned for a second season in February 2007. It was then renewed for a third season which commenced in November 2010 after Johar's fourth film, My Name Is Khan, was released. The show is noted for its fresh and witty appeal, and it is very popular with younger audiences.
Johar's second television outing was the 2010 show Lift Kara De. The concept was to introduce nineteen of the biggest stars of Bollywood to their biggest fan. The show chooses three fans for a superstar. They perform a task and whoever gathers more money wins the contest and gets to meet his idol. The money is then multiplied 500 times by the show and the star and is used to "lift" a life of a very poor family. It premiered on January 2010 on Sony TV and ended on May 2010 lasting for 28 episodes.
After the third season of Koffee with Karan concluded, Johar stated in an interview with Mid-Day that he will be taking a long hiatus from the show, explaining: "I'm done with Koffee and my other extra-curricular activities for now. In case people have forgotten, I'm a filmmaker." He further noted: “We should just leave Koffee With Karan where it is. Instead of doing season four, I’d like the audience to remember me as the host of three unforgettable editions.” However, in February 2012, he confirmed his return to hosting a fourth edition after being approached by the channel as it has been flooded with requests for the show to come back. The same year he joined Madhuri Dixit and Remo D'Souza as the judge of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 5 which started on 16 June on Colors TV. The same year, Johar became the judge of the fourth season of India's Got Talent along with actress Kirron Kher and director and choreographer Farah Khan and Malaika Arora Khan.
- Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) – Rocky
- Main Hoon Na (2004) – Credits
- Home Delivery: Aapko... Ghar Tak (2005) – Himself
- Alag (2006) – (himself/voice in the song "Sabse Alag")
- Salaam-e-Ishq (2007) – (himself/voice)
- Om Shanti Om (2007) – (cameo as himself)
- C Kkompany (2008) – (cameo as the Game show host)
- Fashion (2008) – (cameo as himself)
- Luck by Chance (2009) – (cameo as himself)
- 1999: National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment (Director) - Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
- 1999: Filmfare Best Director Award - Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
- 1999: Filmfare Best Screenplay Award – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
- 2002: Filmfare Best Dialogue Award – Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
- 2011: Filmfare Best Director Award – My Name Is Khan
- 2002: Filmfare Best Director Award – Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
- 2004: Filmfare Best Movie Award – Kal Ho Na Ho
- 2008: Filmfare Best Director Award – Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
- 2009: Filmfare Best Movie Award - Dostana
- 2010: Filmfare Best Movie Award - Wake Up Sid
- 2001: IIFA Award for Best Costume Designer – Mohabbatein
- 2002: IIFA Award for Best Dialogue – Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
- 2004: IIFA Award for Best Story – Kal Ho Na Ho
- 2011: IIFA Award for Best Director - My Name Is Khan
- 2002: IIFA Award for Best Director – Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
- 2008: IIFA Award for Best Director – Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
- 1999: Screen Award for Best Director – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
- 2004: Screen Award for Best Screenplay – Kal Ho Naa Ho
- 2002: Star Screen Award for Best Director – Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
- 2004: Screen Award for Best Film – Kal Ho Na Ho
- 1999: Zee Cine Award for Best Director – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
- 2011: Zee Cine Award for Best Director – My Name Is Khan
- 2011: Zee Cine Award for Best Story – My Name Is Khan
- In 2007, Johar was chosen as one of 250 Global Young Leaders by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum 2006.
- On 30 September 2006, Johar became the first Indian filmmaker to be a jury member in the Miss World competition, in Warsaw, Poland.
- The only other Indian apart from PM Manmohan Singh to be invited for the opening ceremony of London Olympics.
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- "Drama King : Karan Johar".
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- "Box Office 2001". BoxOfficeIndia.Com. Retrieved 2007-01-10.
- "I've grown up, says Karan Johar - Movies News News - IBNLive". Ibnlive.in.com. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
- K Jha, Subhash (3 May 2005). "'I've got Veer-Zaara and Bunty-Babli in my film'". Rediff.Com. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
- "Box Office 2006". BoxOfficeIndia.Com. Retrieved 2007-01-10.
- "Masand's verdict: Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna - Movies News News - IBNLive". Ibnlive.in.com. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
- "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) | Hindi Movie Critic Review By Taran Adarsh - Bollywood Hungama". Indiafm.com. 9 August 2006. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
- "indiafm.com". Script of KANK invited to Oscar library. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
- "My Name is Khan selected for Berlin Film Festival". DNA. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
- Masand, Rajeev (30 April 2010). "Masand's review: MNIK is inherently sincere". CNN IBN.
- Adarsh, Taran (30 April 2010). "My Name is Khan: Movie Review". Bollywoodhungama. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- Jha, Subhas K. (6 February 2009). "Karan's bonding with SRK & Kajol". The Times of India (India: The Times Group). Retrieved 21 August 2009.
- Subhadeep (18 February 2010). "Bollywood Interviews | Karan Johar Interview | My Name Is Khan | Actor Shahrukh Khan". Oneindia.in. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
- "Karan Johar becomes a 'twittillionaire'". 18 July 2012.
- "Box Office 2003". BoxOfficeIndia.Com. Retrieved 2007-01-10.
- Arjun Rampal & Karan Johar talk about their new film 'We Are Family' BBC Asian Network. 4 September 2010.
- "Official Website".
- "Agneepath broke my father's heart: Karan Johar - Times Of India". Articles. timesofindia. indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
- Taran Adarsh. "Bollywood Box Office". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- "Star World's Koffee With Karan".
- "hinduonnet.com". Huge ratings for Koffee with Karan. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
- Jha, Subhash K (13 March 2011). "Why is no one having coffee with Karan?". Mid-day.com. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
- "Koffee with Karan to return with new flavour". Hindustan Times. 10 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
- Jhalak Dikhla Ja Judge: Karan Johar!, Indicine, 8 June 8, 2012
- "Winners of Zee Cine Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama News Network. Bollywood Hungama. 14 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
- "Ash among WEF's Global Young Leaders". Sify. 17 January 2007.
- "Karan Johar to judge Miss World 2007. The Indian Express.".
- "Karan Johar and PM get Olympics invitation". 16 July 2012.
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