10 times Karan Johar kept it real and bullshit-free
Sass and pout aside, KJo is hilarious, sharp—and on a roll
Karan Johar’s interviews are as entertaining than his films. Okay, more. When he speaks off the cuff, Johar is funny, vulnerable and free of bullshit. He can comment on any aspect of his life with zero self-regard. Sample this:
KJo on his fashion sense: “I’m always in velvet because I love sofas.”
KJo on his love life: “I don’t have a love story to talk about and I make movies only about relationships…I’m a living irony.”
KJo on his victim complex: “I feel that self-pity is the biggest luxury human beings have.”
And he’s really found his voice as a columnist for NDTV. Through it he has spoken out against the Indian censor board’s heavy-handedness and elegantly eviscerated haters on social media. But more impressive than his skill for one-liners and self-deprecation is his capacity for seeing Bollywood through the eyes of a besotted but cynical spectator. The commercialisation, the casual sexism, the attempts to sound deep—as a producer, director and celebrity, he cops to every flaw in the system, while still retaining a fanboy fascination for it all.
Whether lobbing cheeky questions at big egos on Koffee With Karan or surprising interviewers with his candour, here are a few times that Karan Johar has kept it refreshingly real.
1. That time he described the premise of his blockbusting, career-defining film Kuch Kuch Hota Hain as “ridiculously idiotic”. He says, “The love I think was purely pulled off because Shah Rukh and Kajol are magical, but…that film made no sense.”
(Skip to the 1:20 mark)
2. When he taught us the perils of being a constant people-pleaser: “I’m someone who goes out there and praises everybody, but I’ve realised with time, that no one praises you back! I’ve praised filmmakers, actors and then stood there silently and waited for them to say one thing nice that they might find in my filmography…”
(Skip to 3:30)
3. Later, in the same interview, when he explained why you shouldn’t really take a celebrity’s opinions too seriously: “Who really says what they believe?! I don’t definitely, I talk nonsense half the time….I’m saying what is expected of me. But do I really mean it? I don’t know.”
4. When he revealed that he, like many perpetually single people, is a member of the Groucho club. “I have self-esteem issues… Anyone who finds me attractive, anyone who’s interested in me, I’m not interested in at all. I don’t have a love story to talk about and I make movies only about relationships…I’m a living irony.”
(Skip to 9:20)
5. In the same interview, when he spoke about being picked on in school for being effeminate, and taking baritone classes in college to “sound like a man”. “I cultivated a certain person out of myself that wasn’t inherently me because I felt that’s the way I should be…as a man in the real world.”
6. When he beats the trolls to deliver the best putdowns…to himself.
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) April 12, 2016
7. When he was the gutsiest bitch on stage.
8. When he took on the homophobes on Twitter last year after news broke of gay marriage being legalised in America.
9. Every single time that he has interrupted a boring, PR-scripted answer from a star with a reality check.
10. And finally, when he just completely owns that pout he’s so mercilessly teased for: