Birthday Special: 10 things you didn't know about Aditya Chopra
The reclusive director-producer turns 43 today.
Despite his films being an unabashed celebration of life and romance, writer, director and producer Aditya Chopra is a shy man.
Son of legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra, Aditya inherited his father's passion for cinema, which showcased in his legendary debut, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
The record-breaking success of DDLJ -- longest running film in Indian history -- which celebrates its 20th anniversary in October next year, changed the scene of Indian filmmaking both in terms of creativity and business.
Its milestone accomplishments paved the path for ambitious expansions.
A Hollywood-inspired business model resulted in Bollywood's one of a kind, state-of-art movie studio equipped with up-to-date facilities and technology, which roped in breakthrough talent on board.
This prestigious positioning of the YRF brand is a direct result of the media-shy filmmaker's sharp acumen and keen foresight.
Preferring to work behind the scenes, he's directed only two other films in the last 19 years -- Mohabbatein and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.
Recently in news for tying the knot with actress Rani Mukerji at a private ceremony in Italy, Aditya Chopra turns 43 today.
We share 10 little known tidbits about Bollywood's most reticent figure.
Dedicated to academics, he passed out from Mumbai's renowned Bombay Scottish School and graduated from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics.
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Image: Aditya Chopra
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
9 Filmi ambitions
At 18, Chopra intermittently assisted his dad on the Sridevi-starrer Chandni and later on a schedule of Deepak Sareen's Aaina but it was while working on the production of Lamhe from start to finish, he realised this was his calling.
Image: Sridevi in Chandni
8. Directorial debut
Just like one of his greatest inspirations, Raj Kapoor, who was only 23 when he turned director with Aag, Aditya Chopra, too, was the same age when he began work on the epic romance of Raj and Simran in his directorial debut.
Image: Movie poster of aag
Whether it's promoting movies, attending social events or personal celebrations, the famously elusive filmmaker avoids public eye preferring to privately mingle with his set of friends, family and co-workers.
That he gave only two interviews only to Filmfare in his two-decade long career certainly adds to his mysterious aura.
Image: Aditya Chopra
6. Filmmaker friends
If Adi, as his close ones fondly address him, is the epitome of all things discreet, his good friend and fellow filmmaker Karan Johar -- whose banner Dharma along with Yash Raj is one of Bollywood's most prolific movie houses -- has manufactured a brand out of his glamorous, vocal and sociable personality.
The Kuch Kuch Hota Hai director began his career assisting his pal on DDLJ wherein he also featured in a brief role as one of Shah Rukh Khan's buddies.
It was 'Adi' who encouraged KJo to take up direction and rest is history.
Despite the stiff competition, their friendship is one of the rare, rock-solid associations in an otherwise rickety industry.
Image: Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
5. Childhood dreams
The mastermind behind the successful Dhoom franchise, Aditya Chopra grew up on a steady diet of films, both his father's and from outside.
They left an impression lasting enough to write his first script -- a thriller about a murderous amnesiac -- when he was barely in seventh grade.
Wouldn't it be nice to catch a glimpse of young Chopra's fanciful imagination?
Image: Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra in Dhoom
4. Favourite films
Commanding countless die-hard fans of his first film -- Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, it is interesting to know what fascinates him.
Here are some movie titles that rank among his favourites -- Cinema Paradiso, ET, Goodfellas, Awara, Mughal-E-Azam, Deewar, Kabhi Kabhie, Chupke Chupke and Masoom.
Image: Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
3. Launching fresh faces
Though his banner has worked with all the biggest names in Bollywood, he's known to give breaks to quite a few newcomers.
Interestingly, all three films directed by Aditya Chopra boast of fresh faces.
If DDLJ marked the big screen debut of Mandira Bedi and Parmeet Sethi, Mohabbatein launched a stream of newbies including kid brother Uday Chopra whereas his last directorial venture Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi introduced Bollywood to the talents of Anushka Sharma.
Even his production house is credited for unearthing current sensations like Ranveer Singh and Parineeti Chopra.
Image: Clockwise from bottom: Jugal Hansraj, Uday Chopra, Preeti Jhangiani, Jimmy Shergill, Shamita Shetty and Kim Sharma in Mohabbatein
2. Football enthusiast
Chopra was not only good at academics but also loved to play football in school.
His classmate turned filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor vouches for his old chum's athletic skills.
Image: Abhishek Kapoor
1. The closet poet
His powerful dialogue writing has resulted in many a memorable moments is well known.
But the closet romantic loves to scribble poems too.
And whether they spill out of Kajol's diary in DDLJ (Aisa pehli baar hua satra aathra saalon mein), SRK's journal in Jab Tak Hai Jaan (Teri aankhon ki namkeen mastiyan) or Aamir Khan's intense nostalgia in Dhoom 3 (Bande hain hum uske humpe kiska zor), it's all Aditya Chopra.
Image: Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif in Jab Tak Hai Jaan