We'll be venturing into TV too: Karan Johar

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Jan 4 (IANS) Filmmaker Karan Johar is hosting good friend Aditya Chopra's chat show with celebrities, "Lift Kara De", on Sony channel in the new year. But Karan too has plans to venture into the television business soon but at a smaller scale than Yash Raj Films.

"We at Dharma (Productions) are definitely looking at going into television. Maybe in a year. I believe television is a very impressionable medium of entertainment," Karan told IANS in an interview.

"And I've the biggest fan of the home medium in my home. My mother keeps telling me that she'd love to watch my shows on television. She has inspired me to start a television unit at Dharma. We'll now take a call after the release of 'My Name Is Khan'."

"We'll be doing television on a much smaller scale than Yash Raj. I don't have the infrastructure or the knowledge to do television as seriously as Adi," said Karan.

Yash Raj Films' "Lift Kara De", which went on air Jan 1, is about searching for the biggest fans of celebrity icons, said Karan.

"Working for Yash Raj is like working for my own production house. When Adi offered me the show, it immediately struck a chord within me. I have a done a talk show on STAR World. But that was more fun, candid and gossipy," Karan said.

"But Adi felt I needed to project a more serious side to my personality. Of course I'm fun and witty and acidic. But Adi said 'why don't you tap into the other unseen part of you? I loved it because it is human and personal. I think it has great connect value.' "

The 20 superstars that Karan would be interviewing on the show are Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan, A.R. Rahman, Dharmendra, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, John Abraham, Shahid Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Rani Mukerji, Deepika Padukone, Kajol, Priyanka Chopra, Bipasha Basu, Kareena Kapoor and Preity Zinta.

What appealed to him was the search for iconic superstars.

"How we define an icon is very interesting. What about Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra because of whom kids want to win beauty pageants or enter the fashion world, or what about kids wanting to imitate Kareena Kapoor's clothes...they are all iconic. These people create dreams for millions," he said.

He laughs off the resemblances between his production "Kurbaan" and Yash Raj Films' "New York".

"I don't see the similarities between the two films in terms of content, visual and tonal treatment. 'New York' did much better and I personally liked the film. Every film has its own destiny. Even if 'Kurbaan' had come first, it would've performed just as it did. 'Kurbaan' was for more niche in treatment. I'm very proud of 'Kurbaan'. It's possibly the most credible film I've ever made."

At the moment Karan is completely immersed in the process of editing his directorial venture "My Name Is Khan".

"Shah Rukh and I feel we've made a film we can be proud of. It's the most uncorrupted, uncompromised and honest film we've made. Of course, I'm anxious to see how audiences embrace the humanism of 'My Name Is Khan'."

Any fears that the film may suffer because Karan's movies have been identified as closet musicals whereas "My Name Is Khan" has no lip-sync songs?

"Even 'Rang De Basanti' had no lip-sync songs," retorts Karan.

"I do feel audiences are maturing even if a serious film like 'Kurbaan' fails. It's the budget that failed. Not 'Kurbaan'. It was a cinematic success, although a box office failure. Because it was so monstrously expensive we couldn't recover our investments. Unusual films should be cautiously budgeted," he said.

(Subhash K. Jha can be contacted at jhasubh@gmail.com)

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