Karan Johar’s Kalank starring Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit and Sonakshi Sinha is one of the most awaited movies of the year. The trailer as well as the teasers of various songs have generated a lot of interest in the movie. But at a time when one A-lister costs a producer more than the entire budget for the rest of the film, how did Karan Johar manage to get so many A-listers under one roof in Kalank? The answer lies in the magical names – Karan Johar and Dharma Productions.
“It’s not that complicated, really,” says a hotshot producer who helms a corporate production house. “Karan has done his maths for Kalank. He knows it would have been impossible to pay Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha and Aditya Roy Kapoor their market price. He told them upfront that if he paid them their normal market fee he would never be able to make Kalank.”
So what was the bait for the stars to take a reduced fee? “You mean, besides Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions? The script was the main attraction. It was the story that convinced the stars. And they all readily agreed to take a salary cut. Varun and Alia didn’t even have to be told how much they were getting. They just take whatever Karan gives them,” says the source. Alia and Varun were both launched by Karan Johar in Student of the Year six years ago and have been regular faces at Dharma Productions ever since.
Incidentally, Ranbir Kapoor was to do the role that Aditya Roy Kapoor finally did. One wonders how Ranbir would have performed in this multi-starrer?