THE FIRST DAY FIRST SHOW FAN OF FILMS LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT A GENIUS OF A FILMMAKER (ON HIS BIRTHDAY)
He holds the unique and unparalleled record of being one of the most successful names in the world of film entertainment and also being the only man and maker who has never given a single interview to the media.
He has been around for more than twenty years. He is the son of the late Yash Chopra, has directed the biggest ever hit, “DDLJ” which is still running at the Maratha Mandir in Mumbai for more than twenty years, and followed it with “Mohabbatein” and “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi”.
He was the brain behind the building of Yash Raj Studios, the pride of the nation; he has produced any number of films under his father’s banner. He has given breaks to the best talent in every field of filmmaking.
He is a name that spells unlimited success and he has been the cynosure of all eyes after taking over from his father, Yash Chopra. He is Aditya Chopra, a young man who means so much to Indian cinema today. But the man has never spoken about himself or his work (which is considered a “must” in today’s times). And yet he is the leader of the new generation of filmmakers leading Indian cinema into a future where the industry will hold its head up in pride.
All attempts to make him express his opinions and views about his own work and the work being done by others is only met with mysterious silence or a smile difficult to unravel.
Aditya, the elder son of Yash Chopra and Pamela was crazy about films, Hindi films, especially ever since he was a boy in school. His father remembered how he used to miss school every Friday morning to catch up with the latest releases of the week. He saw every kind of film whether they were socials, historicals, mythologicals and even the most insignificant action films made with the most unknown actors. He saw films in the most ordinary theatres in the suburbs. He travelled by buses and trains (third class), even walked and came back home only after mid-night after observing and learning all about the films he had seen and how the audience reacted to them…
Aditya was a bright student but he was only interested in being a student of cinema.
His father realized he could do nothing to change the mind of his son and took him on as one of his assistants during the making of two of his most important films, “Darr” and “Lamhe”.
The father took a short time to know that his son’s time to make it big had come. And even while the father kept thinking about him, the son met the father in his “thinking room” and told him about the script he had been working on for five years. The result was a green signal from the father to go ahead and Aditya went on to create history with “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge”, a film with his friends Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol.
Yash Chopra who had been making films under his own banner, Yash Raj Films had completed twenty-five years and confessed that he had never seen “so much money in my whole life.” He asked Aditya what gift he could present him, but before he could complete making his offer, Aditya presented him with some papers. He had bought a huge piece of land in Andheri on which he planned to build the best studio in the country to be named Yash Raj Films Studios. Aditya took a break as a director to give shape to his dream studio which had everything that any of the best studios in the world could have. He built the most special place for his father, his spacious office on the fourth floor with an adjoining lush green garden where his father could take his evening walks. The father was astonished when he saw what his son had done for him and exclaimed, “I don’t have to go to heaven now. Adi has presented heaven to me on earth itself”.
For the next few years Yash Raj Films Studio was a creative hub of activities. Yash Chopra made “Veer-Zaara” with Aditya as his active co-producer. Aditya made “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” and started his own “school” where he encouraged young directors to make their films under the YRF banner and actors who were looking for opportunities to prove themselves.
The last big film he planned for his father was “Jab Tak Hai Jaan”. He gave his father no reasons for any worry during the making of the film. Little did Adi know that it was the last film his father, one of the greatest filmmakers, was directing. Little did he know that just one mosquito could invade his father’s empire, enter the “special office” of the emperor and sting him, a sting which would ultimately send him up in flames and reduce him to ashes?
Aditya has now taken charge of the YRF Empire, which has grown by leaps and bounds under his leadership. He has produced a number of films under the YRF banner. He has launched the careers of several directors, producers, actors and technicians without going in for any kind of promotion for himself or his company. If there is one company which has been going strong even while others have waited and wanted it to falter or fall it is and if there is any man who can and must take all the credit but who is at his best without being in the limelight, it is this son of the great Yash Chopra who is not only keeping his father’s banner flying high but is making all out efforts to make it fly into higher skies of success.
Aditya has now taken up the responsibility of directing a film after a long gap which has become his way of making films. He is directing “Befikre” starring Ranveer Singh who he was responsible for bringing into films and Vaani Kapoor who he is giving her first major break. Every director, old and new and every star and superstar are all eager to see what this leader of the new brigade of directors will do with his new film.
He was first married to Payal Khanna, until their divorce in 2009. On, 21 April 2014, he married actress Rani Mukerji in a private wedding ceremony in Italy. In December 2015, they had their first child, a girl named Adira (Adi from Aditya and Ra from Rani) Chopra.
Apart from producing big-budgeted films with established actors, YRF also announced several films featuring relative new-comers Prithviraj Sukumaran, Sashaa Agha and Arjun Kapoor, “Gunday” starring Ranveer Singh, “Bewakoofiyaan” starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Sonam Kapoor, “Daawat-e-Ishq” with Aditya Roy Kapoor, “Mardaani” with Rani Mukerji and “Kill Dil” starring Ali Zafar and Govinda.
These films and all the films he is making and will make in the future are all seen as a strategic move by the company headed by him to infuse newer talent into Indian Cinema in the form of actors, screenwriters, directors and technicians. In a bid to break away from the traditional star system of Indian Cinema, his company ventured into producing low-budgeted independent films with new talent (actors, creatives and technicians) from 2008. Apart from working with upcoming actors, the company independently launched several new faces as leading actors in several of their big-budgeted films through their home banner and through Y Films.
Aditya’s saga actually begins now and we wonder if he will change his mind and talk about all that has been within him for years and all that he has within him for the future. Will he? That’s a question that will remain in the realms of enigma, a world in which he loves living in.