'When the right time is there, I will ask him.'
'I know when he has to want to speak, he will.'
'When he does, it'll be extraordinary because no one gives interviews better than Shah Rukh Khan.'
Karan Johar confirmed that his superstar friend Shah Rukh Khan will not be appearing on the current season of Koffee with Karan.
Shah Rukh was a regular on the chat show but has stayed away in the last few seasons. Johar said, as a friend, he understands and respects Shah Rukh's decision and will approach him when the "time is right".
"I just know if there is any megastar who has earned his right to speak when he needs to, it is Shah Rukh Khan. I, of all the people, have been his closest friend and family and should understand that. I have that leverage because he is family to me," Karan said at an event for Koffee With Karan.
"I can ask him and request him and he has never said no to me. So I never asked because I know he didn't want to be in that situation of dilemma, where he has to say no to me. I pick and choose what I ask for," he said.
SRK has not given any media interviews in the last four years, except for promotional press events and #AskSRK sessions on social media.
Johar feels Shah Rukh is an "extraordinary" orator and someone he looked upon as an elder brother.
"When the right time is there, I will ask him. I know when he has to want to speak, he will. When he does, it'll be extraordinary because no one gives interviews better than Shah Rukh Khan. Nobody speaks better than him," he said.
"When he speaks on a global or national platform, he is the wizard of words. He is truly the emperor not just on screen but off screen. There's a lot of collective love for him because of the man he has been to us off screen," Johar said.
Johar said he speaks with Shah Rukh every other day.
"I don't miss him that way because I have Koffee with Karan with him every night. Almost every evening, Shah Rukh, Gauri, his family and I meet. I'm having those conversations. I understand why you might miss him but I'm satiated because he's a big, huge part of my existence," he added.
Talking about the show that has often put celebrities and Johar in a tight spot because what's said during the Rapid Fire round, the film-maker said they once thought about removing the segment.
He added that the guests have now grown more circumspect about what they say on the show over a period of time.
"We kept coming back to finding a replacement to Rapid Fire and the sad thing is people are much more worried now than they were in the first few seasons. Nobody wants a PR nightmare. Everyone is so careful that you have to make sure that you change the language of Rapid Fire so that you will get something," Johar said.
"There were times when people have answered with abandon, like most under-rated and over-rated, and answers were flowing. Today, I won't answer those so how can I expect them? We all have built a sensitive climate. Social media has made us sensitise with sensitivity. So everyone is sensitive about what they are saying, what they are expected to say, fan clubs get angry, I don't want any of that," he added.
In response to a question regarding the editing of certain scenes from Koffee with Karan episodes, the director stated he has never removed anything that could have 'repercussions and ramifications'.
"I've kept things that maybe, in retrospect, I shouldn't have. We cut out the boring banter but things of consequence we have never to cut out. I've never asked to remove anything that I've said that is too personal or perhaps an opinion, which will have repercussions and ramifications, and it's all there. There's proof of that," he said.
Karan also addressed the important issue of mental health, as he feels it is important for public figures to discuss their struggles with mental health issues to empower others to recognise and address such concerns.
Johar, who opened up about his anxiety attack recently, said he decided to openly talk about the issue in the episode that featured Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. In the past, Padukone has spoken about her struggle with depression.
He said he has been taking medication for anxiety after consulting a professional.
"What happens to me or anybody else, it can happen to anybody. It doesn't mean you need a trigger, sometimes it is a result of many things, sometimes there's a trigger. When I spoke about my anxiety, it was to share a part of life that exists. That exists today as well, while I speak. I've no fear in saying that I'm on medication," he said.
Karan said most of the moments in the show are unscripted and him opening up about his anxiety was something that he felt he needed to share.
"I feel a lot of us, as public figures, go through things, and if you touch on those topics, you are empowering many others to speak about it. I feel I've been, in 2016, in a phase where I discovered I was going through anxiety. You get better and it does come back sometimes, it came back again in the beginning of this year. What you do is you address it, and the first thing is you acknowledge it," Johar said.
He said he is better now and advised people going through similar mental health issues to seek therapy.
"There are professionals who can guide you where sometimes, your loved ones can't, not because they are not capable or don't want to, sometimes they are not in that educated zone to tell you what to do. For that, the only thing I tell people is acknowledge it first, acknowledge it to yourself and make sure your family members are aware, and then take the step that you have to."
Koffee with Karan streams on Disney+ Hotstar.