A fragment from Ayushmann Khurrana’s book - "Cracking the Code: My Journey in
Bollywood" in which he recalled the story of being rejected by Karan Johar when he
was an RJ, has gone viral.
after the suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput sparked a renewed conversation
around nepotism in the film industry.
In the book Ayushmann recalled that one of the first Bollywood personalities that he
interviewed back when he was a radio jockey was Karan. At an awards show in 2007,
Ayushmann asked Karan for his number and told him that he wanted to be an actor.
“Karan gave me the landline number to his office when I met him. I should have taken
a hint there and then. But I was so excited! I even planned exactly when I would make
the call: sometime around 11:30 am, so he’d be done with breakfast and available to talk.”
Ayushmann continued, “The next day I dialled the number they’d given me. They said
Karan wasn’t in office. The day after that I called again. They said he was busy. And
finally, my bubble burst when, the subsequent day, they told me bluntly ‘We only work
with stars, and can’t work with you’.”
In a bend of fate, Karan invited Ayushmann to his chat show, Koffee with Karan, in
2018, when Ayushmann had, in fact, become a star. And the actor chose to tell him
this story. “You gave me a landline number. The next morning, when I called the
number and asked to speak to Karan Johar, the person on the other line said, ‘We
don’t audition outsiders and newcomers’ or something like that.”
Karan replied, “I gave you the right number. That was very sweet of me! I must’ve
thought that you have potential.” Ayushmann responded by saying that the goal
was to reach him, which didn’t happen.