Creating future superstars

Amrita Prasad
Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Bollywood filmmaker, author and TV personality Karan Johar, who is co-judging India’s Next Superstars along with Rohit Shetty, talks about the format of the show, the power of TV and what it takes to be a superstar.

Bollywood is every actor’s dream. Every struggling actor aspires to get one break that would establish them in the industry. While it is not an unknown fact that, every year, hundreds of youngsters from different cities move to Mumbai with dreams of stardom in their eyes, the journey to get that one opportunity is extremely challenging and full of obstacles — some get lucky, others return with disappointment, and only a few continue to struggle for years.

What if they got a platform that would offer them a big launch? Star Plus, along with filmmakers Karan Johar and Rohit Shetty, is coming up with a talent show titled India’s Next

Superstars.....Na Khandaan.... Na Sifaarish. For aspiring young and talented actors with no connections in the industry, it will open  the doors to Bollywood. At a recent launch of the show in Mumbai, we spoke to Karan and Rohit who gave us a peek into what the show offers, the competition level, their expectations from the contestants, among other things. The filmmakers will be judging 20 budding talents from which two ­— a male and a female  — will be selected to work with them. The show will air from January 13 on Star Plus at 8 pm. It will also feature actress Priyanka Chopra as the guest judge on the first episode. 

When asked about their association with the show, Karan says, “There is a common misconception that Bollywood is limited only to a few privileged entities, their kin or friends. Many talented actors and actresses leave their dream of making it big in Bollywood because of this notion. Hence, it becomes important for people in the industry to take the onus and break this myth. Star Plus, Rohit and I are teaming up to provide a level-playing field to anyone and everyone who dreams of making it big in Bollywood. This show is a call out to all talented performers in the country to come and show their sparkle.”  

The show which has the tagline ‘Na Khaandaan (no family connections), Na Sifaarish (no recommendation), is aimed at extending an opportunity to individuals solely based on their talent and craft. The winners of the competition will get a chance to star in a Karan Johar-Rohit Shetty project; a co-production of Dharma Productions Pvt Ltd, Rohit Shetty Picturez and Fox Star Studios India Pvt Ltd. 

Further, talking about the show, Golmaal franchise director Rohit says that through India’s Next Superstars, they are trying to provide a fair and honest chance to talented individuals. “Those who have no industry connections can prove their mettle and defy the myths that obstruct their entry into Bollywood. I’m really looking forward to watching the contestants’ performances on the show,” adds Rohit who, along with Karan, searched for raw talent.  

The contestants will also be groomed by industry experts such as casting director Mukesh Chhabra and dance choreographer Deepak Singh among others. Accompanying the judges on this journey, will be Karan Wahi and Rithvik Dhanjani who will host the show. 

However, this is not the first time that a reality show based on acting is being launched on Indian TV. So, what makes it so unique? 

“There have been (entertainment reality) shows but nothing on this scale. If a person wins here, they will get a prominent role in a Rohit Shetty film or a Karan Johar film or a collaboration of ours along with Fox Star. So, we have really put our names on the line that it will happen. Whatever we are promising, we are going to fulfill that. And more than anything, this show is about passion. Besides the talent, we are really looking forward to seeing passionate contestants,” answers Karan.

Be it Koffee With Karan, or Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, or India’s Got Talent, Karan is a popular face on TV. After hosting two seasons of Khatron Ke Khiladi, even the Singham maker Rohit was appreciated on TV. Talking about the evolution of television, Karan says that it has become a stronger medium than cinema today. 

“There should not be a divide between the small and the big screen as television is a stronger medium than cinema. Both the digital platform (internet) and the television have become huge today. Today TV reaches out to at least nine times the audience that cinema gets. I respect those who earn name and money from television.”

NEOPOTISM And more  
Karan has launched star kids — Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan (Student of the Year) and now, Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor in Dhadak and is also known for promoting them. While Kangana Ranaut’s allegation of him being a ‘flagbearer of nepotism’ on his show, is not an unknown fact, Karan believes that it is not wrong to give a chance to star kids if they have the talent and potential. When asked if we can expect to see Kangana on the show, he answers, “I am sure if Star Plus invites Kangana, we will be very happy to have her. Our hearts are big, and our home is open. If we send an invite, we will welcome her with all due respect and love.”

Karan points out that this show is not an effort to prove to Kangana, or anyone else who associates him with nepotism, wrong. It is meant to prove that to survive in the show or to make it big in Bollywood, one only requires hardwork and talent, not connections.  

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