Friends of the year – Karan Johar and Siddharth Malhotra

Filmmaker Karan Johar wields incredible clout in the film business and he knows that. Known to be extremely polite and well-mannered, with a sharp sense of humour that borders on derision for those who aren’t in the “insider” club, he is Bollywood’s most popular personality. Since the beginning of his career with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998, he has always worked with the biggest stars, but mainly Shah Rukh Khan.

Having always said he would never work with newcomers, his directorial film this year, Student of the Year, that releases on 19 October, stars three newcomers – Alia Bhatt (daughter of Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan), Varun Dhawan (son of David and Lali Dhawan) and a virtual unknown, Siddharth Malhotra.

Karan Johar with Siddharth Malhotra at Hakkasan, in Bandra, Mumbai on 3 August. Sachin Gokhale/Firstpost

While the other two are star kids and Bollywood insiders, Siddharth is the proverbial outsider and a rank newcomer to the celluloid stakes. But he’s living the life of an insider and a Bollywood big gun, all thanks to his friend Karan Johar.

Firstpost snapped exclusive pictures of Bollywood’s new good friends, both times dining at the Michelin star Chinese restaurant, Hakkasan, in Bandra, Mumbai – once on 3rd August and then again, on 13th September.

So, who is Siddharth Malhotra, aside from being the most lavishly launched non-star debutante of 2012 in Karan Johar’s Student Of The Year?

1. Siddharth comes from an Armed Forces background in New Delhi.

2. He was a small time model and never made it to the top rung of modelling. He was considered ‘stiff and unwieldy’ on the ramp.

3. He was constantly hit on by male admirers in the fashion business and when he couldn’t handle the attention anymore, he shifted his focus to films.

4. He came to Mumbai roughly around three years ago and went to Karan’s office, Dharma Productions, to apply for a job as an assistant director. That’s when Karan saw him and decided to launch him in his next directorial and the two became friends and even went off for a short holiday to Paris soon after.

5. On the sets, Firstpost learns that Siddharth gave Karan and the unit a lot of grief, given that he is not the most affable person in town. Karan, however, was very indulgent of Siddharth’s persona.

6. Siddharth lives in a plush apartment in Bandra and goes to the Taj Land’s End hotel gym, one of the most expensive gyms in the area.

7. He has a pet dog, who arrives on the set in his very own car.

8. He lives the life of a very successful and rich movie star already, and his first film hasn't even hit the screens yet.

9. Even though he is being launched by one of India’s most acclaimed and successful filmmakers, Siddharth is seldom seen with his mentor in public barring promotional activity of their film together.

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