Aditya Chopra is a three-time National Award winning Indian film director, producer, screenwriter and distributor. Chopra, the elder son of the late filmmaker Yash Chopra and Pamela Chopra, was born on 21 May 1971. Aditya was diagnosed with severe APD as a child and recovered from the disorder throughout his teenage. He graduated from Hassaram Rijhumal College of Commerce and Economics along with Anil Thadani, Karan Johar and Abhishek Kapoor. He was married to Payal Khanna, until their divorce in 2009. In April 2014, he married actress Rani Mukerji in a private wedding ceremony in Italy.
His work as a director includes Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Mohabbatein (2000), and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008). He is also the current chairman of India's 45 year-old multi-national film, media and entertainment conglomerate, Yash Raj Films (YRF). Chopra has written and produced a number of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films under the banner like Veer-Zaara (2004), Hum Tum (2004), Bunty Aur Babli (2005), Fanaa (2006), Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008), New York (2009), Band Baaja Baaraat (2010), Ishaqzaade (2012), Ek Tha Tiger (2012), Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012), Shuddh Desi Romance (2013), The Dhoom Trilogy (2004, 2006 & 2013) and Gunday (2014).
Apart from emerging as the most equitable brand in Indian Entertainment, his company has earned the status of a movie mogul in the Indian market, through the years of its existence. In the year 2014, Chopra became the first Indian producer to move towards a true film studio model through Independent projects helmed by producers, writers and directors under the YRF banner. With a majority of its films being part of the highest grossing Indian films of all time, the company is estimated to be worth ₹4000 crore (US$680 million) thereby making it the biggest and most successful film production company in the history of Indian Cinema.
Chopra has however remained extremely media-shy and has battled constant reports of an alleged social anxiety disorder throughout his two-decade career. Well let's embark on his mysterious life's journey and get to know some mind boggling facts.
His First Direction
In 1995, Aditya Chopra won the honours of a National Award with his very first directorial project. ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' was appreciated for being a wholesome family entertainer, a love story with kindness and sensitivity. This film is still running at the Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai, 19 years after the film's release.
The Chopra scion got married at the age of 30, to his high school sweetheart, Payal Khanna. It was another intimate affair, as the filmmaker didn't want a gala gathering. An interior designer by profession, Payal was an active participant while designing the grand Yash Raj Studios in suburban Mumbai. But after eight long years of marital status, the couple parted ways. Rumours were rife then that Payal departed with a major monetary share.
On his professional front, Aditya Chopra was working on several scripts for Yash Chopra. He was also concentrating on directing more movies. While he was named the producer for all Yash Raj Films, Aditya was also helming a few projects. He donned the director's hat for one off projects like Mohabbatein and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.
Worth Rs 4000 crore
In the year 2014, Chopra became the first Indian producer to move towards a true film studio model through Independent projects helmed by producers, writers and directors under the YRF banner. With a majority of its films being part of the highest grossing Indian films of all time, the company is estimated to be worth ₹4000 crore (US$680 million) thereby making it the biggest and most successful film production company in the history of Indian Cinema.
Detective Byomkesh Bakshi
Aditya is also expanding the reach of YRF by introducing new talents, increasing distribution and launching youth centric films. His next project with Sushanth is Detective Byomkesh Bakshi (2014) and Paani (2015), the latter is directed by Shekar.
Yash Chopra Statue
While the whole Chopra clan was present at the unveiling of a statue of Yash Chopra, including Rani Mukerji, Aditya chose not to come. However, his absence is only for the media to know. The filmmaker is apparently close to people in the industry and they sit for long chats too.
Karan Johar is a close pal of Aditya. Priyanka Chopra is another good friend of the filmmaker, and has often sat with Aditya for long talks.
Aditya Chopra's love life with Rani Mukerji has been subjected to speculation. Initially, Pam Chopra was not very keen on Rani marrying the Chopra scion, but eventually the mother-in-law warmed up to the bong beauty.
Mr mysterious Aditya Chopra's idea to get married secretly and that Rani was rumoured to plan a grand wedding at a palace in Rajasthan. While they were in an alleged relationship, Rani Mukerji was already referred to as Madamji at YRF, and rumour mills were abuzz with talks of Rani playing the role of a decision maker there. Till the time the couple did not come out in the open, Rani had to firmly hold on to her excitement.
Shy and Introvert
Aditya Chopra has been conspicuous by his absence at all events. Very few of his staff have access to him. Adi sits at the top most floor at the Yash Raj Film's building in the studio, and conducts elaborate chats with his celebrity friends.
National Award Winner
Started independently at the age of 23 with the all time blockbuster Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge Starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol for which he was the director and writer. The film was scripted by Chopra and produced by his father Yash Chopra, under the Yash Raj Films banner. Chopra started work on the script of the film in 1990, at the age of 19, and gradually spent time making about five drafts of the film's original script. Chopra even managed to convince his brother Uday Chopra and Karan Johar, both aspiring film makers, to enter the film industry as assistant director's along with the film. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge eventually went on to become one of the biggest hits of all time and won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
Brother Uday Chopra
He is the son of the late Yash Chopra and brother of Aditya Chopra, and worked as an assistant director on a number of his father's and brother's movies under the Yash Raj Films banner.
On realising the lack of a proper film shooting studio during their years of film making, YRF gradually went on build their dream film production studio in the year 2005, located in Mumbai city. The first film to be shot in YRF Studios was the company's 2006 critical and commercial blockbuster, Fanaa. Some of the notable films of outside banners that were shot in the studio over the years are; Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), Partner (2007), Taare Zameen Par (2007), Dostana (2008), Wanted (2009), 3 Idiots (2009), My Name Is Khan (2010), Dabangg (2010), Bodyguard (2011), Ra.One (2011), Agneepath (2012), Chennai Express (2013), Jai Ho (2014) and P.K. (2014). The studio was created and designed by Chopra and his then wife, Payal Khanna and is equipped with high technology film shooting equipment and goods. The studio sprawling over 20 acres (81,000 m2) and towering up to six floors is used to shoot films for the company and is also rented for other film makers and television shoots like 10 Ka Dum and Kaun Banega Crorepati for Sony and Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain, Koffee With Karan and Satyamev Jayate for STAR.