When Karan Johar’s father did not want him to assist Aditya Chopra on DDLJ

Karan Johar played Shah Rukh Khan’s friend Rocky in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, (DDLJ). But the filmmaker also worked as an assistant director for the first time on the sets of DDLJ. Karan worked under director Aditya Chopra, who was also directing his debut film. It’s hard to believe now, but Karan was told by his father, the late Yash Johar, that he should not work with Aditya. The late film producer wanted his son to work with another filmmaker instead. The Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol-starrer released in 1995 and went to become of one of India’s biggest films of all-time. Read more: Karan Johar says daughter Roohi searches for her own videos on YouTube

In an old interview from 2001, Karan spoke about how his late father, who was a well-known film producer then, told him to not work with ‘Adi’, as Adiya Chopra is called by his film industry friends. He wanted Karan to work under Aditya’s father, the late filmmaker Yash Chopra.

In an interview to journalist Karan Thapar on his BBC show Face to Face, Karan shared how he entered films, “My father asked me… why are you assisting Aditya. Assist Yash Chopra. He’s the big man. I said something makes me feel I should assist him. Just give me a year… and let me see what happens.”

The filmmaker turned 50 on Wednesday. 

Karan also spoke about how he accidentally landed a cameo in DDLJ. He said his role as Shah Rukh’s bestie was actually meant for another actor. Karan said he only got offered the part, after an actor fell sick in Mumbai, and could not join the film’s crew in Switzerland on time. He shared that it was Shah Rukh and Aditya who pressured him into making his DDLJ cameo.

“There was somebody else who was to do it. We were in Switzerland. The boy who was supposed to do it, he got malaria in Bombay (Mumbai) and he could not fly down. So suddenly, Shah Rukh and Adi (Aditya Chopra) were looking very upset one day sitting in one of the chalets we were shooting in and Adi said the boy hasn’t come but somebody has to do that role… I kept trying to think who could do it. Suddenly Shah Rukh said ‘I know who is going to do it. It’s going to be you’… I said I cannot do it, but finally they just made me do it,” said Karan.

Since directing his first movie in 1998, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Karan has established himself as one of India’s most well-known directors and producers. He has also dabbled in acting, and made cameos in films like Om Shanti Om, Bombay Velvet and Luck By Chance. Karan, who owns Dharma Productions, is gearing up for the release of his new film, Jugjugg Jeeyo. The film stars Varun Dhawan, Kiara Advani, Anil Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor alongside Maniesh Paul and Prajakta Koli.

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