Karan Johar’s recent outing as a director, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, was quite progressive in its theme and execution. But till the time of the film’s release, Karan could not breathe as every day the film got embroiled in a new controversy. In a roundtable conversation with Rajeev Masand, Karan spoke about how scared he is as a filmmaker to voice his opinions in his film.
The 44-year-old director said, “I’m liberal. In a headspace, that is extremely progressive about many things. But I just feel like I can’t say anything. I feel like I’ve joined the herd mentality of the silent society. I feel scared to raise a point in my film, I feel scared to give an opinion and then I feel scared what’s going to happen during the release of my film.”
The director also said that actors are the most vulnerable human beings on the earth. “Actors, according to me are the most vulnerable, insecure human beings that exist. And I think it’s not possible for you to just deal with them professionally. From a very young age, I discovered you are their counselor, their guide, their therapist, their everything.”
The conversation included the top directors of 2016. Along with Karan, Ram Madhvani (Neerja), Nitesh Tiwari (Dangal), Ali Abbas Zafar (Sultan), Shakun Batra (Kapoor and Sons) and Abhishek Chaubey (Udta Punjab) were a part of the discussion. Slightly agreeing to Karan, Ram said, “You feel as a director that your responsibility is not really about direction, but about looking after everybody.”
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Talking about how difficult it is to put your opinion in films, Abhishek said, “You want to talk about a social evil, but when you want to go and talk about the social evil, these guys think you’re the social evil, rather than the social evil you’re talking about.”