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October 9, 2001
Karan Johar had to look no further than the traditional Indian family to find an apt subject for his latest flick Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.
"After my first film, the obvious question was 'what next'?" says the 29-year-old filmmaker, who stormed into the industry with the blockbuster Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, three years ago.
"It was then that I thought of a family that goes through an entire gamut of emotions and feelings that people experience. And K3G was born."
Thanks to superstition, he added an extra 'e' to the second Kabhie in the title.
With a casting coup of Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor, K3G is probably one of the most awaited films of the year.
Karan had only one expectation from his star cast. "They must look good and they do their job. I made that clear from the outset."
Coming up with a film to parallel to his successful debut has not been easy. "I have got white hair. I fainted when I first directed Amit uncle (Amitabh). But soon, he became an actor instead of a superstar."
Sidestepping questions about the film's expenses, he jokes: "I'm good at spending money. Ask my dad! (producer Yash Johar). What I know is that I went hysterical with the expenses, something that I will not do again."
The film revolves around the Raichand family. Patriarch Yashovardhan (Amitabh Bahchan) infuses fixed notions of family traditions upon his children. However, his wife Nandini (Jaya) teaches them how to love.
When elder son Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) marries commoner Anjali (Kajol), his father reminds him that he is adopted, making Rahul leave. Younger son Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) and Anjali's sister Pooja (Kareena Kapoor) then take it upon themselves to reunite the family.
About the actors' skills, Karan says, "I bond with Shah Rukh and Kajol very well. They know what I need. I had to temper Hrithik's energetic dancing to suit the film and kept telling Kareena to concentrate on emoting."
The film has been shot extensively in India, Britain and Egypt. "I went abroad for the glamour effect. I needed to create a mood. I needed the Pyramids, so I went to Egypt."
About the accidental slip by Sony music in the promos, that led to the discovery of Rani Mukherjee's guest appearance, he states, "It was meant to be a surprise. But now that it's out, Rani's role is a cameo."
As to why he left Amitabh's son Abhishek out, he says with a twinkle, "If I had cast him, other members of Amit uncle's family would have been upset at being left out. So I had no choice but to leave him out!"
Asked why he himself did not design the look of K3G (clothes are by Manish Malhotra, Sabina Khan and Rocky S), he explains, "There was only so much that I could do."
Then, tongue-and-cheek, he adds, "That is always a career option. I did the clothes for Mohabbatein. If this film doesn't work, I will become a designer!"
K3G is slated for release on December 14.
Indo-Asian News Service
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