Actor Anil Kapoor responded to recent comments made by filmmaker Karan Johar about the era of superstardom having come to an end after the reign of the three Khans — Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir. Anil said that he doesn’t agree with Karan’s statement, because nobody can predict the future.
Karan in an interview with Film Companion had said that no actor of the younger generation commands the level of adoration that Shah Rukh Khan can still muster when he walks into a room. Narrating the story of how the entire vibe of his recent 50th birthday party changed after Shah Rukh arrived, Karan said that the younger generation does not have that level of ‘magnetism’.
Reacting to Karan’s comments, Anil Kapoor told Film Companion, “I don’t believe in that. There always will be someone better, always. There will always be someone bigger than the biggest. The universe and life is such. It sounds good, like ‘this is the one’, but they said the same about Elvis, and then Michael Jackson came. Every profession…”
He added, “Of course, there will be bigger stars. He might walk into a room and create a sensation all over the world… He might be the biggest sensation in the world, on the planet. Aisa kuch nahi hai, I don’t think so. I’ve seen it in my 40-45 years, in every profession. They’ve said, ‘This is it, iske baad kuch nahi‘. What do you mean? There will be someone better, in every which way, as a talent, in stardom, popularity, as a charmer… Just enjoy, have fun, make the most of it, and make sure you do a good job.”
In his original comments, Karan had said, “The magnetism, the aura, the mystery, I don’t think this generation has it. When I was at a party, and Mr Amitabh Bachchan, Mr Dilip Kumar walked in, Mr Shah Rukh Khan walked in, there were heads turning everywhere, I have seen it. That aura, everybody feeling their presence, that was power, that was stardom. That was glory. Today, everybody is much easier, more casual, more accessible, more available. I know which gym you go to, which Pilates class you go to, I know what you eat, I know who you meet, I know everything about you, how can there be any mystery about you?
He added, “I don’t think there’s going to be that kind of stardom anymore, I am not saying it’s a wrong or a right thing. It just doesn’t exist. I mean this generation has some of the most brilliant artistes, but do they have that magic, that aura? I don’t know, I am not so sure.”
Conversations about old-school star power have been doing the rounds not only in India, but also abroad. The films of the three Khans–Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir–have been underperforming at the box office, and no clear successor has made their presence felt. In Hollywood, franchises are proving to be more bankable than individual actors, which is why the blockbuster success of Top Gun: Maverick is seen as such a welcome change of pace.
Anil Kapoor will next be seen in JugJugg Jeeyo, produced by Karan. The film also stars Varun Dhawan, Kiara Advani and Neetu Kapoor.