By Aarti Kapur Singh
Director turned actor will debut in romantic thriller
Karan Johar is making his acting debut in romantic thriller and period drama ‘Bombay Velvet’, and the movie’s director Anurag Kashyap feels that his fellow filmmaker will surprise the audience with his stellar performance.
Johar, 42, will play a negative role in the film cast as Kaizad Khambatta, a flamboyant, quick-witted, Parsi media mogul with a high-end attitude. His role is said to have been inspired by yesteryear film journalist Russi Karanjia. The film also stars Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.
“I throughly enjoyed working with Karan Johar and he will surprise you all when you will see him in the film. A director actually is a very good actor, and only a director can understand that,” Anurag told The Indian Telegraph.
However, the filmmaker-turned-actor believes his isn’t a purely villainous role. “As an actor, I can’t have a perspective. I simply followed Anurag’s vision because when I am directing, that’s what I expect from the actors I am working with. I don’t play a Mogambo-like role in the film,” explains Karan. “There is a certain degree of visible flamboyance in Kaizad Khambatta, but he is mainly a grey character who plunges into the black zone from time to time. Anurag’s clarity of the character brought in the right colours for the look, the right feel to the role,” he adds.
‘Bombay Velvet’ is based on historian Gyan Prakash’s book Mumbai Fables. Set in Bombay of the 1960s, the film tells the story of a boxer, Johnny Balraj, and an aspiring jazz singer, Rosie, and how their hopes and dreams collide with their individual realities. Kay Kay Menon, Manish Choudhary, Raveena Tandon and Siddharth Basu appeaar in supporting roles in the film.
Kashyap was inspired to make the film after reading L.A. Quartet, a sequence of four crime fiction novels by James Ellroy, set in Los Angeles in the late 1940s through the late 1950s. The novels inspired him to “dig into the dark trenches of the history of Bombay”, where he “found a treasure trove that was never-ending”. The film is slated to hit theatres on May 15 and will be released in two versions, for the Indian audience and for international release.
So lets see if Karan’s acting skills match up to his directorial talent.