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“I am Accessible, Affable, Available…”: Karan Johar On Staying Relevant

Karan Johar Affable

Karan Johar has said that he enjoys being trolled, and enjoys mentoring people. He’s  also said that he is accessible and affable. 


In an exclusive interview with DNA, Karan Johar talked about his work, his two kids, and (predictably) the controversy over nepotism. 

On the difference between mentoring actors and directors:

“Directors go through equal amounts of fears, anxieties and insecurities. You have to ‘baby’ directors much more than the actors. Somewhere, the actors are happy in their zone of vanity and that is the cocoon they can find solace in. Directors have all kinds of apprehensions. They always have a vision that they feel they are not executing to its optimum and they think they are not getting as much as they deserve. Then you have to try to explain to them that economics of the market don’t dictate this kind of a budget. So, I feel almost like a principal of an institute that has children of all ages, stages, rages and I am just having to kind of handhold them.” 

On being relevant as a mentor/director:

“Our justifiable opinions come from the reason of our success. For that, it is important for me to constantly be relevant even as a filmmaker. I cannot afford to stumble and fall in this company as a filmmaker. The moment I do, it will immediately be thrown back at me. You know, like the question mark face of ‘What do you know?’

If Ae Dil Hai Mushkil hadn’t been a success, if the music hadn’t been a big hit, if the film hadn’t achieved what it set out to achieve, I may have been in a position where I would have felt, ‘Can I afford to give my opinion?’

“I can because I’ve come on the back of a success. The moment I give a failure, I take a step back.”

On how to be relevant:


“By constantly listening and not talking. Because I think most people who live surrounded by glass walls and in delusion don’t listen to people and opinions.”

“I listen, I am accessible, people can walk into this cabin, there is no appointment to meet me. I am accessible, affable, I am amiable and I am available. That is the most important criteria to stay relevant. It is also important to keep your ear to the ground. I am interested in what is happening in my industry.”

On criticism and trolls:

“I would rather they abuse me than my film. I don’t mind being abused. I enjoy it. I have reached a stage of social media nirvana. I am really alright with anyone who abuses.”