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    Director Karan Johar deconstructs a villain and shares his first time experience as the baddie in Bombay Velvet

    AT age 43, having seen success and stardom as a writer, director, producer, talk show host and reality TV judge, Karan Johar is set to make his debut as an actor in Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet. (He prefers to file his cameo in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge under the ‘child actor’ category.) Johar plays the devious and manipulative Khambatta in Kashyap’s tribute to 1960s Bombay. Excerpts from an interview:

    Which movie villains have you admired?
    I have never been a villain type of guy. Even in Sholay, when people were all about Gabbar, I was all about Basanti. More than negative roles, I love complex, grey characters. The only time I got excited about a bad guy in Hindi cinema was Darr. There you were rooting for the bad guy—the psychologically unstable lover—because the origin of his insanity was love and obsession, and there’s something completely sexy about that.

    How come you are promoting Bahubaali?
    I am a huge fan of Rajamouli. I love all his work and I am amazed at his level of commitment to make this ambitious film. I was shown 30 mg_1663minutes of footage. It’s truly the biggest film India has ever made.

    What other films are on the Dharma Productions slate?
    Our next release is Brothers followed by Shandaar. Then we have Kapoor and Sons, Shuddhi and Ayan’s (Mukerji) ambitious film. I will make Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and, after Shuddhi, Karan Malhotra will work on the adaptation of The Immortals of Meluha. Also Mohit Suri is going to remake The Intouchables and other directors like Abhishek Varman and Shashank Khaitan will make their next films.

    Do you think Indians have learned to laugh at themselves?
    No. Offense is our only defence. We are always offended and always have to defend what we are offended by. Why can’t people laugh at themselves? My family has always shared a sense of humour. When I asked my mum if she wanted to come to the roast, I said, ‘Mum you might squirm and get offended’. She replied, ‘Karan you dance on national TV—nothing can get worse than that’. As I have said before, if something is not your cup of tea, don’t drink it.
    Bombay Velvet is scheduled to release on May 15.
     Udita Jhunjhunwala

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