Filmmaker Karan Johar says whenever he is launching a star kid, his thought is to make them go beyond their names and make their own identities.
Karan is launching Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter with the adaptation of Marathi blockbuster Sairat. Asked what is the most important bit he keeps in mind while launching new talents and especially star kids, Karan told reporters: “That they go beyond their names and make an identity of their own. That’s our responsibility and even theirs.”
Hinting at the nepotism debate that started with actress Kangana Ranaut calling him “the flag-bearer of nepotism”, Johar said: “Nowadays, there is so much debate about name, but people forget that even behind a name there is passion and hard work. It’s not easy to face the camera, to come in front of the media. They are kids. And we put a label to them. There is a word (nepotism), it has run for two years. I wouldn’t even name it because I will be promoting the same concept. I will just say that people are here not because of that name but because of their hardwork.”
Shashank Khaitan, who previously made Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Badrinath Ki Dulhania, said when he saw Sairat, he kept watching the film on loop and was blown away.
“It was a story wanting to be told all across the country. It is so relatable. I want to make the story my own and to pay the best homage to Sairat. I’m really proud of Dhadak and these two kids,” the director said. When Karan asked if he was nervous about showing the film to Sairat director Nagraj Manjule, Shashank said: “I am extremely excited. I started out with remake of DDLJ (referring to Badrinath...), so I am not really scared.”
On his decision to choose Janhvi, Karan said: “Manish Malhotra used to talk about Janhvi a lot. One day I met her and gave her a few dialogues and poems to recite. I saw an excitement in her eyes and I knew just like her amazing lineage, she would be great as well.”