Karan Johar is a prominent Bollywood director, producer, screenwriter, talk show host, reality show judge, costume designer and entrepreneur. He is one of the savviest figures in the Indian entertainment industry.
The early years
Born on May 25, 1972 in Mumbai, Karan Johar (also known as KJO) was a child with self-esteem issues, especially stemming out from the fact that he was overweight. He is the son of producer Yash Johar and Hiroo Johar.
Karan studied at Greenlawns High School and then went on to study at HR College of Commerce and Economics. He also studied for a few years in a boarding school. He has a Master’s Degree in French.
Compared to his fellow students who loved English films and looked down upon Hindi films, Karan Johar fell in love with Indian movie right from a very young age. He was influenced by the works of people like Raj Kapoor, Suraj Barjatya and Yash Chopra.
Career as a director
Karan Johar had a cameo in Bollywood’s biggest hit ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ (1995). But he had a more important role to play in the film; he was the assistant director of the film. Shah Rukh Khan, the lead actor and Karan Johar became friends during the course of the movie and the former advised Karan to take up movie direction seriously. True to his word, Shah Rukh Khan became the lead actor of KJO’s debut movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). The movie turned out to be a blockbuster and won many awards, critical as well as commercial acclaim.
Karan Johar’s second directorial project ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ (2001) was a family drama and romance made with stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Kajol and Kareena Kapoor. The movie was one of the biggest hits of the year.
KJO took up a bold subject on marital infidelity in the form of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna with his favorite actor Shah Rukh Khan and actors like Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukhejee and Preity Zinta. Though this 2005 movie did not really match up the success of his other previous two directorial hits, it was touted as a well directed film because he made a film on a complex subject with a sensitive approach.
My Name is Khan in 2010 was Karan Johar’s fourth directorial venture. The movie’s plot was about a Muslim man suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome seeking to meet the US President. The moot point of the film was a message to do away with racial prejudices against Muslims, following the aftermath of 9/11. Karan Johar won the Filmfare Award for the Best Director, a second time after Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, for this film.
Karan Johar’s best contribution in terms of a film, for Bollywood would be the less-hyped but fairly successful ‘Student of the Year’ (2012). This movie was made with debutantes – Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt. All three actors are now leading stars in their own right.
Karan Johar’s next movie is the romantic ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ which features Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma, due to release in October 2016.
As a producer
Along with his own directorial projects, almost of his movies made by other directors have been produced under his father’s Dharma Productions banner. Some of the biggest blockbusters made by other director and produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions include – Kal Ho Na Ho, Dostana, Agneepath ,2 States, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Brothers and Shandaar. Dharma Productions also distributed the Hindi-dubbed version of Baahubali – The Beginning (2015) which is not only one of India’s biggest hits but also the first non-Hindi film to cross more than Rs. 100 crores($15 million) in revenue.
Karan Johar – as an actor and costume designer
The film maker had an endearing cameo as Shah Rukh Khan’s friend in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. He also did small cameos in movies like Om Shanti Om, Fashion and Luck By Chance. He had the main negative lead role in Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet. Though the movie bombed, Johar’s acting was appreciated.
Karan Johar is also a prolific costume designer, having mainly designed outfits for many of Shah Rukh Khan films including Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Dil toh Pagal Hai, Mohabbatein, Main Hoon Na, Veer Zara and Om Shanti Om.
As a talk show host and celebrity judge
Karan Johar enjoys wide popularity on television with his uniquely formatted tongue-in-cheek talk show ‘Koffe with Karan’ where he asks controversial questions. The show is laced with humor and involves a candid style of conversation. So far, there have been four seasons aired and all of them with a good response on television and Youtube.
Karan Johar is also the judge on many reality shows including Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and India’s Got Talent.
Karan Johar – Net Worth
The prolific film-maker has a net worth of $200 million. He makes his money through films as a director and a producer He also earns money as a talk show and a celebrity judge. He is an investor in Dubsmash. He also a steady stream of revenue from endorsing some really top line brands. He is also the content curator of Colors Infinity Channel.
Karan Johar – House
The director stays in a sea-facing flat, a duplex mansion at Carter Road, which he bought in 2010. The 8000 square duplex flat in The Residency Building, cost him at least Rs. 40,000 per square feet. Carter Road in Bandra, Mumbai is one of the most expensive real estate places in the world. When he bought the house in 2010, it cost him Rs. 32 crore. He also owns a family home in Malabar Hill, which is worth Rs.20 crore. His office in Khar is worth Rs. 10 crore.
Cars that Karan Johar owns
He owns a BMW745 worth Rs. 40 lakh, a BMW 760 valued at Rs. 60 lakh. But his favorite is his custom-made Mercedes S Class worth Rs. 1.25 crore.
Johar is known to endorse some of the world famous luxury brands like Timond luxury watches, Dunhill jackets, Gucci suits, Tom Ford, Prada eyear, Louis Vuitton travel gear and Alexander McQueen scarves.
Karan Johar – Book (An Unsuitable Boy)
The celebrated movie maker and entrepreneur has written an autobiographical book called ‘An Unsuitable Boy‘ where he shares refreshing insights on his growing up days, Bollywood and his personal life.