Karan Kumar Johar (born Rahul Kumar Johar, 25 May 1972), often informally referred to as KJo, is an Indian film director, producer, screenwriter, costume designer, actor and television personality who works in Bollywood. He is the son of Hiroo Johar and the producer Yash Johar.
Karan Johar was born in Mumbai, India to film producer Yash Johar, founder of Dharma Production and Hiroo Johar. He studied at the Greenlawn High School and attended H.R. College of Commerce and Economics, both in Mumbai. He received a master’s degree in French.
In February 2017, Johar became a father to twins (a boy and a girl) through surrogacy. The twins were born at Masrani Hospital in Mumbai. Johar named his son Yash – after his father, and his daughter Roohi – rearranged from his mother’s name Hiroo.
Johar started his career in the entertainment industry as an actor, he played the role of Shrikant in the 1989 Doordarshan Serial Indradhanush.
Karan Johar entered the film industry as an assistant director on Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), which is regarded as a landmark in Hindi cinema. He then made his own directorial debut with the blockbuster romance Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). KKHH won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. It swept most of the major awards at the 44th Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and all four acting awards.
Johar’s next directorial venture was the multi-starer family drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham… (2001). The film starred Amitabh Bachchan as an egotistical rich industrialist, Jaya Bachchan as his compassionate wife, and Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan as their two sons. It also featured Kajol and Kareena Kapoor as sisters from a lower-class family who become the love interests of Khan and Roshan respectively.
Johar’s third directorial venture was the multi-starer romantic drama Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006), which dealt with the controversial subject of marital infidelity against the backdrop of non-resident Indians living in New York City. The movie starred Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, and Rani Mukerji. Johar’s fourth directorial venture was the social drama My Name is Khan (2010). The plot follows a Muslim man with Asperger’s syndrome and his wife, played by Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, who live in San Francisco and face racial prejudice after the 11 September attacks.
For his next feature film Student of the Year (2012), Johar chose not to cast established actors for his lead roles and instead recruited three debutante actors (Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan, and Alia Bhatt). The plot revolved around the quest of a group of students who are all gunning for the title of “Student of the Year” at their college.
Johar then teamed up with Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap, and Dibakar Banerjee for Bombay Talkies (2013). The film didn’t perform well at the box office. Johar’s next directorial venture was the romantic drama film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016). The film featured Ranbir Kapoor as a man dealing with his unrequited love for his best friend, played by Anushka Sharma. It also featured Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as an older woman who engages in a brief relationship with Kapoor’s character. The film emerged as a commercial success and received mixed to positive reviews from critics, who called it “Johar’s most grown-up movie yet.”
On 11 August 2018, Johar took to Twitter to announce his next film Takht, a period drama based in the Mughal era, which will feature an ensemble star cast including Ranveer Singh, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Padnekar, Jhanvi Kapoor and Anil Kapoor. With a screenplay by Sumit Roy and dialogues by Hussain Haidry, this will be the first film directed by Johar that he has not written himself. In an interview with Firstpost, Johar stated that Takht would begin filming in September 2019.
Johar’s directorial work (with the exception of anthology film Bombay Talkies and Lust Stories) has been produced under the Dharma Productions banner, founded by his father Yash Johar and taken over by him after his father’s death in 2004. In addition to his own directorial work, he has produced several films by other directors under the Dharma banner. Many of these films have become major successes including Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), Dostana (2008), I Hate Luv Storys (2010), Agneepath (2012), Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani (2013), 2 States (2014), Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya (2014), Kapoor & Sons (2016), Dear Zindagi (2016), Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017), Raazi (2018), Dhadak (2018), and Simmba (2018).
Johar has also ventured successfully into other avenues of the entertainment industry. He hosts a television talk show, Koffee with Karan, and a radio show Calling Karan, and appeared as a judge on competition reality shows Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, India’s Got Talent, India’s Next superstars.
Social Media is currently blown by lots of Happy B’day for KJo, Have a look: