Filmmaker Karan Johar is one of the 118 selected people in the country who have been conferred with Padma Shri this year. In his latest interview with a daily, he talked about his first reaction to the news and the entire buzz around Kangana Ranaut congratulating him for the award. The director is being awarded the fourth highest civilian award alongside Ekta Kapoor, Kangana, Adnan Sami and Suresh Wadekar among others for his contribution to the world of performing arts. While talking to Mumbai Mirror, Karan revealed that he’s ‘honoured’ to be receiving the Padma Shri alongside Kangana because she’s extremely deserving of the honour and he truly ‘respects’ her craft.

Earlier, in an interview with India Today, Kangana praised Karan and said he is a hardworking filmmaker who has taken his production house to the level his father always wanted to achieve. Now, putting an end to all the rumours of bad blood between them, KJo added that he doesn’t hold any malice in his heart for anybody and Kangana will always be an immensely talented actor for him. He said everyone thinks that there’s some ‘simmering tension’ between the two but they have always greeted each other graciously wherever they met. “As a filmmaker, I respect Kangana’s talent, craft, and what she brings to the table. She is an actor who has proved her mettle and is deserving of the honour. Besides Ekta and Adnan Sami, I am honoured to receive the Padma Shri alongside Kangana,” said Karan.

When asked if he is willing to work with Kangana in any of his future projects, Karan took the example of his equation with Anurag Kashyap and Ram Gopal Varma to mention how he will never shy away from having Kangana on board if his film demands the same. The director, who’s currently working on his next film titled Takht, revealed that a lot was said about the tension between him and Anurag but he simply picked the phone and called him when he needed his expertise in writing dialogues for Kurbaan. Karan said the same happened when he wanted to get the title ‘Bhoot‘ for his upcoming series and RGV happily obliged to give the title away saying, “Take it, Karan.”

Karan said if tomorrow, he has a film where he needs Kangana, he will never shy away from calling her and asking her for the role. “Tomorrow, if I have a film for which I need Kangana, I will pick up the phone and call her. Whatever the problem, whatever may have been said on social media, is irrelevant to me. I’m a filmmaker and she’s an artiste and no amount of personal bias should come in the way of that relationship. I believe in that and will stand by it,” he further added.

Kangana and Karan are believed to be at the loggerheads ever since the actor appeared on his chat show Koffee With Karan and called him out for allegedly promoting nepotism through his films. Later, Karan and Saif made fun of the actor in a Bollywood award show.