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Dharma Productions To Launch Yet Another Star Kid: Is Karan Johar Truly The Flag-Bearer Of Nepotism?

Karan Johar at IFFI 2017 Goa
Alia Bhatt, Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor at IFFI 2017 Goa

Dharma Productions announced the two female leads of Student Of The Year 2 –  Tara Sutaria and 90s actor Chunky Panday’s daughter, Ananya. The film already has Tiger Shroff, Jackie Shroff’s son as the male lead.

This, once again, triggered the debate on nepotism taking us back to the episode of Koffee With Karan Season 5, when Kangana Ranaut had called Karan Johar a “snooty flag-bearer of nepotism”. While he laughed it off then, it turned into a war of words and opinions that went on for most of 2017. From accusing the actress of playing the ‘woman card’ and making light of the whole debate at the IIFAs last year, Johar tried to pass off the allegations. But a closer look at his work and one can see how he has been instrumental in launching several star kids.

Either way, star kids choosing a similar profession like their predecessors come as no surprise. Right from catching a glimpse of them as little children through tabloid photographs to them becoming the millennial’s Instagram icons — here’s a quick look at the star kids that Johar has launched or is all set to launch.

Jhanvi Kapoor

Janhvi Kapoor On The Sets Of Dhadak In Kolkata
Janhvi Kapoor On The Sets Of Dhadak In Kolkata

Jhanvi Kapoor, daughter of Boney and Sridevi Kapoor, was rumoured to be making her debut in a number of films. Initially she was said to be starring in Karan Johar’s production Student Of The Year 2 but dropped out of it. However, she will be seen in Dhadak, again bankrolled by Johar, which is a remake of the Marathi film Sairat.

The film also stars Shahid Kapoor’s younger brother Ishaan Khattar and is directed by Shashank Khaitan, who is best known for directing Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Badrinath Ki Dulhania.

Ananya Pandey

Credits: Peeping Moon

Ananya Panday is the daughter of Bollywood actor Chunky Panday and his wife Bhavna. All of 19, the young girl plays the second female lead in Student Of The Year 2, a sequel to his 2012 film. While Karan Johar directed the original, the second film will have him as producer, bankrolled under his Dharma Productions. The film is being directed by Punit Malhotra who is best known for directing I Hate Luv Storys and Gori Tere Pyaar Mein. Currently the team is shooting in Dehradun and is aiming for a November release this year.

Ishaan Khatter

Ishaan Khattar, Malavika Mohanan During The Promotions Of Beyond The Clouds On The Sets Of DID Lil Masters
Ishaan Khattar During The Promotions Of Beyond The Clouds On The Sets Of DID Lil Masters

Technically, Ishaan Khattar, younger half-brother to Shahid Kapoor, is making his acting debut in Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds. While that cannot be called a Bollywood film, his actual debut in Indian cinema is in Karan Johar’s production Dhadak. He will be starring alongside another newcomer Jhanvi Kapoor in this Hindi remake of the Marathi film Sairat. Given the trailer of his international project, it appears that Ishaan has a lot to offer in terms of serious acting.

Sara Ali Khan

Sara Ali Khan, daughter of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh, has been roped in to play the female lead in Rohit Shetty’s Simmba starring Ranveer Singh. Sara was supposed to make her acting debut in Kedarnath but the film got delayed because of a disagreement between the director and the film’s producer. Simmba stars Ranveer Singh as the lead. Reports also suggested that it would be a remake of Junior NTR’s Temper, for which Shetty had bought the rights.

The film is jointly produced by Rohit Shetty Picturez and Dharma Productions.

Alia Bhatt Seen In Anita Dongre Anarkali During The Promotions Of Raazi
Alia Bhatt Seen In Anita Dongre Anarkali During The Promotions Of Raazi

Alia Bhatt, daughter of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and actress Soni Razdan, isn’t new to cinema considering she used to be a child artiste. However, in 2012, she made her debut in Student Of The Year along with two other newcomers, Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra, which was directed by Karan Johar. The filmmaker took pride in introducing Alia to Bollywood, and considering her track record so far, the actress has clearly proved her mettle. She will soon be seen in war drama Raazi, directed by Meghna Gulzar, and in Ayan Mukherjee’s Brahmastra.

Varun Dhawan

Varun Dhawan At The Song Launch Of October
Varun Dhawan At The Song Launch Of October

Much like Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan too was introduced by Karan Johar to the industry. Being the son of popular filmmaker David Dhawan, one would’ve expected him to be launched by his own father. However, that hasn’t stopped him from collaborating with his father in the future. With six years in the industry, Varun has starred in a mixed bag of films. From Badlapur, a serious revenge drama, to rom-coms like Judwaa 2, the actor does not appear to stick one genre. He has an emotional drama coming up, directed by Shoojit Sircar, called October.

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