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Karan Johar
Also known as: K Jo.
Actor • Producer • Screenplay • Writer • Director • Dialogue Writer • Special Appearances
Born: May 25, 1972 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
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About
One of the most charismatic personalities of Indian cinema, Karan Johar is a director, screenwriter, producer, costume designer, actor, and television host. Informally referred to as `KJo`, Karan is the son of the acclaimed producer Yash Johar and Hiroo Johar. After making his directorial debut with the 1998 blockbuster movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Karan has directed several successful movies, including the widely acclaimed My Name is Khan (2010). Apart from directing movies, Karan has also produced several hit movies under the Dharma Productions.

Early Life
Born in Mumbai, Karan completed his schooling from the Greenlawns High School. He later attended the H.R. College of Commerce and Economics. As a child, he was influenced by the works of Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra, and Sooraj R. Barjatya.

Personal Life
In March 2017, Karan Johar became the father of the twins, Yash and Roohi, via surrogacy.

Movie Career
As a Director
Karan made his directorial debut with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol and Rani Mukerji, was a blockbuster hit. The romantic drama, which later achieved a cult status in India, went on to win several awards including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Karan won the Best Director Filmfare Awards.

The stalwart director`s second directorial ventured was titled Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), which featured an ensemble cast including Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Kajol, Jaya Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, and Hrithik Roshan. The modern family-centered drama struck the right chords with the audience and like his previous movie, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham went on to be another major blockbuster. He next produced the movie Kal Ho Na Ho (2003) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan in lead roles. Giving a chance to the debutant director Nikhil Advani, Karan Johar wrote the screenplay of the movie. The incredible success of Kal Ho Naa Ho meant a hat-trick of blockbusters for the Karan Johar-Shah Rukh Khan pair.

Continuing his obsession with the word `K`, Karan Johar titled his next movie, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006). The movie stars Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji, Amitabh Bachchan, and Abhishek Bachchan in lead roles and revolves around the subject of marital infidelity. The film turned out to be another success for Karan and it received much appreciation in overseas markets.

In 2010 Karan directed the movie My Name Is Khan; his first directorial project that does not begin with the letter `K`. The movie, featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the lead roles, received rave reviews in India and international markets. For his stellar work, Karan won his second Filmfare Award for Best Director. For his next movie, Student Of The Year that released in October 2012, Karan broke his norm of working with established actors and instead cast three debutant actors viz. Alia Bhatt, , Sidharth Malhotra, and Varun Dhawan.

Karan next directed a part in the anthology Bombay Talkies (2013), which was released to celebrate the centenary year of Hindi cinema. His 2016 releases include Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starring Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Anushka Sharma.

As a Producer
Dharma Productions, which is run by Karan Johar, was established by his father, Yash Johar. It was after his father`s demise in 2004 that Karan took over the running of the company. All of Karan`s directorial ventures, barring Bombay Talkies, have been produced by Dharma Productions. Under the banner, Karan has produced several hit movies like Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), Dostana (2008), Agneepath (2012), 2 States (2014), Kapoor & Sons (2016), Dear Zindagi (2017), Ok Jaanu (2017), and Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017). His other projects include Raazi (2018), Dhadak (2018), Student of the Year 2 (2018), Simmba (2018), Student Of The Year 2 (2019), Bhoot - Part One: The Haunted Ship (2020) and Sooryavanshi (2021).

As an Actor
Karan Johar first appeared in a minor role in the Aditya Chopra`s Dilwale Dhulania Le Jayenge (1995). He went on to appear in cameo roles in movies such as Om Shanti Om (2007), Fashion (2008), and Luck By Chance (2009). However, he made his debut in a lead role with Anurag Kashyap`s Bombay Velvet (2015), where the played the role of an antagonist.

As a Costume Designer
Besides being a superlative director and producer, Karan has also worked as a costume designer for many of Shah Rukh Khan`s films including, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Mohabbatein (2000), and Om Shanti Om (2007) to name a few.

Television Career
Apart from having a successful career in the film industry, Karan has also had a strong presence in the TV industry, known for being the host of the popular celebrity talk show, Koffee with Karan which has successfully completed more than 90 episodes. He has also appeared as a judge on the reality shows, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and India`s Got Talent.
Peers & More
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Producer
Aditya Chopra
Director
Anurag Kashyap
Director
Ashutosh Gowariker
Director
Family
Yash Johar
Son
Roohi Johar
Daughter
Hiroo Johar
Mother
Yash Johar
Father
Popular Movies
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Rocky Aur Rani ki Prem Kahani
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Govinda Naam Mera
Selfiee
Takht
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Mr. & Mrs. Mahi
Brahmastra
Liger

Did You Know? (7)

  • Karan Johar wrote Naina in Kal Ho Naa Ho for Kareena Kapoor Khan, but she quoted a high fee so it went to Preity Zinta.
  • A chance meeting with Karan Johar led Tara Sutaria to her role in Student of the Year 2 (2019).
  • Karan Johar once believed that the letter 'K' would bring him success and fame and hence named his movies with words starting with 'K'. However, after watching the movie Lage Raho Munna Bhai, which was critical of numerology, he stopped the practice.
  • Karan Johar holds a Master's degree in French.
  • Karan Johar began his career as an actor in 1989 featuring in the Doordarshan TV Show Indradhanush. He essayed the role of Shrikant in the show.
  • Karan Johar makes his foray into the Marathi film industry with Bucket List in 2018 by taking the movie's distributing rights.
  • Karan Johar is a father to twins, Yash and Roohi, who are named after his parents. While Yash is Karan Johar's father's first name, Roohi is an anagram of his mother's name, Hiroo.
  • Personal Quotes (26)

  • "I've just gone through a life-changing experience. It's called Black. Mr. Bachchan's performance is the best I've seen by a male actor. And Rani! My God! When I remember how I used to scream instructions at her during Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, I wonder what I was doing. Rani has not just surpassed her contemporaries but almost everything done by actresses in our cinema in the last fifty years."
  • "I saw 'Brokeback Mountain' in a packed house in Chelsea, New York when I was filming a Bollywood film there. Chelsea, being a predominately gay neighborhood, had a euphoric reaction. I saw couples holding hands and crying at the end. It was the most heartening viewing I have ever been to."
  • "I am a Gemini and can adapt to most atmospheres. You get two for the price of one when you are a Gemini."
  • "I am a product of Indian cinema; I've grown up watching Indian films ever since I can remember. And song and dance is part of our lives; it's part of our culture; we wake up to songs, we sleep to lullabies, you know, we celebrate every religious and traditional function with music."
  • "Sometimes you just wonder whether people just don't have the sensitivity or decency. I'm a member of the media myself: I host a talk show. I know sometimes when you want to ask something, you can circumvent it with words and vocabulary. You don't suddenly just go out there and ask something directly in the pretense of being absolutely candid."
  • "I don't know about happy endings, because I don't think, eventually, anything is happy. You feel a bout of happiness with good news. Five minutes later, there could be a traffic jam or a phone call from an irritating relative or a weird thought, or it could be a tweet that annoys you, and your emotion will flip immediately."
  • "I want to walk the red carpet at the Oscars. I am in awe of the ceremony, and winning an Oscar would be the most magical moment of my life. I want to make that speech and hold that trophy and say, 'This is for you, India.' That's the line I have rehearsed for God knows how long. But that has to be for a Hindi language film."
  • "If I did have a six-pack to show and a great waistline to put out there to the universe or beautiful muscular legs, then I would not have to pout. The only thing I have going for me is a jawline."
  • "For good or bad, there is a certain level of generalisation when it comes to my work. I want to break that perception. My decision to direct 'Bombay Talkies' or to present 'The Lunchbox' is an attempt to do that. These are the films that gel well with my sensibility, and it's unfortunate, it's not the perception out there."
  • "Throughout my life, I have valued relationships far more than the professionalism."
  • "I met Hugh Jackman, and I was like, 'I love your movies!' And, of course, he asked, 'Which one?' A reasonable question, but I blanked completely. In that moment, I couldn't remember a single film that Hugh Jackman had done. So I copped out. 'The recent one!' And that was one of his biggest disasters. Well done, me."
  • "I have never, ever talked about my orientation or sexuality because whether I am heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, it is my concern. I refuse to talk about it... I have not been brought up to talk about my sex life."
  • "Legal documents have mistrust written all over them. It's unfortunate, but the human DNA is so tuned to kind of taking you for granted that we tend to protect ourselves legally. That's why I don't read them as, if I read them, I will go soft. To me, the human relationship is far more important than the professional bond I share with anyone."
  • "Marriage is a definite no-no. I am totally married to my company. Emotionally, my mother fills up the void in my life. So there it is. My company is a spouse I will never cheat on, and my mother completes me as a son. I think I have a full family unit of my own."
  • "My instinct about a human being is paramount. For me, when a director has walked into my room or an assistant that I have hired, who has later gone on to become a director, is purely based on human instinct, be it Ayan Mukerji, Karan Malhotra, Punit Malhotra or Tarun Mansukhani. I am very susceptible to human energy and energy of spaces."
  • "Two powerful people can't be friends."
  • "When I'm making a film, I'm obsessive about what I do, and I get totally into it. That's all I'm eating, breathing, living at that moment."
  • "No one wanted to be my friend because of my lunchbox - because I never shared my lunchbox. One day the principal walked in and said, 'No one is friends with Karan Johar; who will be his friend?' My CEO today put his hand up there and said, he will."
  • "Give me the flash lights, the red carpets, and all that goes with it. Please! Oh, and I love hoardings. I love them. Nothing makes me happier than my face splashed all over the city."
  • "I find myself asking questions that as a filmmaker I never thought I would ask. Like I get a call from a magazine for a feature and my first question is, 'Cover or not?' Interview invite from a leading channel? I have stopped asking the topic. I'm just like 'Primetime or not?' If I am invited and put in the second row, I can be distraught for days!"
  • "I'm a proud filmmaker, but everyone seems to have forgotten that. You're introduced, and someone will say, 'Arrey! Karan Johar! He does talk shows! He's judge!' And now my filmmaking has been lost, all my other accomplishments forgotten."
  • "Everyone thinks I land in a chopper on top of my building and I have the most cushy existence. Could you understand that I might have the most messed up life myself?"
  • "I'm deeply stressed as a filmmaker, and I know I'm not alone. The censorship crisis, the moral policing, the politics of it has most of us on edge. I'm scared to use certain words: like, if I use 'Bombay,' will there be a problem?"
  • "I was one of the first early Twitter users from the film fraternity. And back then in 2009, I thought I was going to enter a world where people liked me, knew me, knew my work - it was going to be fine! All about the love, not the hate. And it was. At first."
  • "My college friends call me Karu, which is the worst. Only in our country can we make a short form for a short name. But otherwise, I've never had a pet name all my life. But now, in official meetings, someone will call me KJo. And I'll judge that person in my head. Just call me Karan."
  • "I am constantly accused of being 'First World.' So what should I do? I can't apologise for my environment, upbringing, aesthetic."
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