KJo reveals his parents sold property after Dharma films flopped: ‘We made money when I took over…’

The director-producer shared the relationship he has with money and refuses to be apologetic about spending it the way he wants
Karan Johar
Karan Johar

Karan Johar recently revealed in a conversation how his father faced difficulties when some of the early films produced by Dharma didn’t do well. Dharma’s debut production was Dostana which released in 1980 and was a great commercial success. However, after this, he saw some failures as his subsequent films didn’t fare as well. Karan shared how his parents had to sell jewellery and property to sail through tough times.

In the chat with journalist Faye D’Souza, Karan said, “Right after Dostana, Papa saw a series of about five failures. He had a small export division, which he wanted me to take over eventually. During those days, we used to get movies financed. Financers would give us money and we would pay them back with interest. When one of the films failed, my mum (Hiroo Johar) sold my nani’s flat, and when another faced the same fate, she sold some of her jewellery. My father had to sell a little property he had in Delhi. These are the stories I have heard.”

He also share that his family was not exactly wealthy, but were ‘middle class to upper middle class’. “Because I was the apple of my father’s eye, he always made me feel like a prince. If pocket money was Rs 25, he gave me Rs 50. I always punched above my weight and lived beyond my means because of my father,” the director-producer said.

He said that they started making money at Dharma when he took over after his father passed away. Fortunately, though coincidentally, my first, second, and third films did really well. My father passed away after that. Then I took over Dharma. A lot of the money that we have made at Dharma has been made since I started directing,” he said.

He added, “I feel very proud that I could live my father’s dream. I worked very hard. There have been times when I worked for 18 hours a day. I work through weekends and national holidays. I work every day. I work for about 16 to 20 hours every day. I sleep for only five hours. I work very hard for the money I have made. I am never going to apologise for that.”

He also refused to apologise for the way he spends his money. He said, “I believe joy is very critical. I don’t want to apologise for spending money on things that give me joy. I love shopping; it’s therapeutic for me. Why should I apologise for the wealth I earned through hard work?”.

Karan’s last directorial was the Ranveer Singh-Alia Bhatt starrer Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani which released in 2023 and fared well at the box-office while garnering good reviews from critics.

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