Shah Rukh, Karan team up again for Airtel ad

Oct 27, 2006 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Oct 27 (IANS) The formidable Shah Rukh Khan-Karan Johar team, which worked together in "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai", "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham", "Kal Ho Naa Ho" and "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna", is back again for the Airtel ad campaign.

Johar confirmed: "Yes, we are teaming up again. But it isn't for a film. It's for an ad... my first ad."

Strangely enough, Johar acted in his first ad just a fortnight ago.

"I know," he grinned. "And now I'm directing my first ad and that too with my favourite actor. One more facet to my persona! Advertising was one of my main career choices before I became a feature filmmaker. I guess it's coming around," Johar told IANS.

"Endorsing a product is something I never thought I'd do. But I did. Good, I like doing everything. You live only once and you need to undergo multi-experiences during that one lifetime. Hopefully, I don't become the jack of all trades."

Johar has braced himself for the new experience.

"It's my first ad, and I'm very very nervous. Shah Rukh's company Red Chillies is producing the ad for Airtel. It's an overseas campaign."

Johar is not nervous without a reason.

"I'm used to telling stories in three hours. How do I do it in 30 seconds? As you've seen, it does take me a while to tell a story. Hopefully, it will be the shortest film I'll ever make."

Hungry for new experiences, Johar sees the leap into ad direction as yet another adventure.

"The world of advertising is very different from the world of films, far more intricate. You know, I've almost taken up a number of assignments to direct an ad, then backed out at the last minute. This time I just decided to take the plunge. How bad can it be anyway?"

The script has been given to Johar.

"But it required minor tweaks. I've never directed someone else's script. But it's a sweet concept. And it has Shah Rukh in it, so I'll be comfortable. It's two-day shoot."

Next, Johar leaves to address Wharton University in the US.

"It is an economic forum. I'm going there to chat about the future of India and Indian cinema vis-à-vis media and entertainment. I'll be talking about the potential of our fraternity to make a difference in the global context. Do you know we're the only filmmaking nation that has survived without any money from foreign studios?

"This is on Nov 10 and 11. Now I've another career option as an academician. They say when you can't cope with the real world you talk about it," joked Johar.

As for rumours about his next feature film...

"Of course, I want to start. Every day there's a new idea and every night I abandon it. I'm waiting for one idea to stick. I'm hoping all my various travels will help me decide what to make next.

"In the meanwhile I want my production house to get busier. I'm meeting directors and reading scripts in the hope of signing them on for my production house. Soham Shah and Tarun Mansukhani are expected to start their films next year."

Johar sighed. "I also have 'Koffee With Karan Johar' coming back on air in Jan 2007. Life goes on. Life is beautiful and busy."

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Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna


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