Karan: I can never make a film without Shahrukh

It’s a reaffirmation of their friendship, this film that Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar are co-producing called My Name Is Khan.

The ‘Khan’ in the title is incidental; SRK’s character in the film is Rizwan Khan, who is autistic with limited social interaction abilities. Apparently, the film has generated interest among Indian and overseas distributors already. Karan is aware that he’s on thin ice, directing a film that has characters and situations he’s unfamiliar with.

“I am the wrong man to direct this film,” he admits. But at the heart of My Name Is Khan is a tender love story and at directing that, Karan is king. “How can I not have romance in my films?” he asks. “Every filmmaker has to evolve some time. I wanted to make a film in the realm outside my comfort zone. And Shibani Bhatija came up with this mind-blowing script that challenged my abilities,” he says.

His lead actor has a witty reply when asked about being the film’s co-producer too. “Karan doesn’t want to pay me what others do, which is very little, so he said, ‘I can’t underpay you like this, so you be my partner.’ That’s how we’re producing this film,” laughs SRK. Karan admits, “It’s true, I can never put down his price on paper. But considering we were both passionate about the subject, we said why not co-produce the film? We’ve known each other so long (their dostana is 16-years-old) that this new initiative is just an extension of our emotions. Besides, I can never make a film without Shah Rukh. He is a big part of me and my family. He’s like the older brother I never had. I love SRK as a unit — that includes his wife, children, sister and his in-laws.” So, a huge set has been put up at Mehboob Studios and shooting is on with Kajol. Shah Rukh, who is still recuperating from his shoulder surgery, will join the unit by the end of this month.

Whether it is infidelity or homosexuality, Karan hasn’t hesitated to push the envelope and break barriers in the kind of films he is making. His last film, Dostana, directed by Tarun Mansukhani, was among the biggest hits of 2008 and crossed Rs 100 crore. Both SRK and he are determined to push their production houses to the top slot in Bollywood. While SRK is producing Ra-1 and Happy New Year this year, Karan has Wake Up Sid directed by Ayaan Mukherjee, another untitled film by Renzil D’Souza and an animation film Koochie Koochie Hota Hai. “I’m giving new directors a chance and am open to good scripts,” says Karan, “Being in mainstream cinema gives production houses like ours the edge to reach a wider audience. It’s time to move forward.” How was the emotional reconnect with Kajol after eight years? “Shah Rukh and Kajol are indispensable. She’s one of the most talented actresses of Hindi cinema. Every time we wrap up a film, both of us cry, while Shah Rukh looks at us in amusement and asks, ‘What’s wrong?’” says Karan in exasperation.

~ by Yourwebseo on April 14, 2009.

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