Creative people aren’t afraid to tell stories they want to: Karan Johar

Mumbai: There is a “check and balance” happening but creative people aren’t afraid of telling the stories they want to, filmmaker Karan Johar said while commenting on navigating the constraints in place in a “changed country”.

Johar on Monday was in conversation with Anant Goenka, executive director, The Indian Express, and Shubhra Gupta, film critic, The Indian Express at the Express Adda here.

When asked by Gupta whether he factors in the constraints while making films, Johar said: “At the end of the day, you’ve got to make a film that you want to make and you believe in. What you are talking about… Constraints have existed, always.”

“You wanted to make films subjects that were sensitive to issues that perhaps your country is sensitive to. As filmmakers, who now have a legal department in every office, will tell you that ‘don’t go down this path’. There is that check and balance happening,” the 51-year-old filmmaker said at the Express Adda.

Is there fear, Gupta asked Johar, who is basking in the success of his latest release “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani”.

In his response, the director said “creative people aren’t afraid”.

“I don’t think there is any fear… They are not afraid to tell the stories that they want to. They will choose the story they want to keep the environment around it, the release of the film, not something that you sensationalise for no reason. We are sensitive, we aren’t afraid,” he added.

Johar, who deleted his Twitter account to make way for “positive energies only” in 2022, also touched upon the social media backlash that is often directed at the Hindi film industry.

“The environment in our industry has been turbulent. For the last three (years), there has been a lot of negativity. It has not been easy on me or the industry. So much of this negativity was unjustified. People say things loosely and on social media. They don’t realise the impact it can have on the mental health of those at the receiving end,” he said.

“If this film (‘Rocky Aur Rani…’) had failed, there would have been a million fingers pointing out at you saying, ‘see there is an impact’. Now you realise, it is all virtual and it means nothing. But you have to be strong enough to not get affected by it,” the director said.

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