Johar, who collaborated with Kashyap on anthology film 'Bombay Talkies', said the offer came to him out of the blue.
"It's true that I'm acting in 'Bombay Velvet' and it's unusual for me. I was blown away by the narrative. Since I'm playing an antagonist, there are shades of grey to my character," Johar said in a statement.
The director's first movie appearance was over a decade-and-half ago in the Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol-starrer 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge'. Johar later became famous for directing big budget romance and family dramas like 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham' and 'My Name is Khan'.
The 41-year-old filmmaker is excited about the movie. "I didn't know whether I was ready for it. Now, I will start working on my role with Anurag. I will follow his directorial vision, and I won't bring my director's baggage on the sets," Johar said, adding Ranbir was also keen to see him in the movie. The two directors have clearly put their differences behind as Kashyap says he first approached Johar to talk about the movie but decided to cast him on an impulse.
"Karan is fantastic for the part. I actually wanted to bounce ideas off him. He loved the script, and I suddenly asked if he will play the role. He was surprised, but said yes. Karan said he will charge Rs 11, and the money kept aside will go for special effects and production," Kashyap said.
It is not for the first time that Kashyap has chosen a director for a key role in his film. He previously cast his director friend Tigmanshu Dhulia in a negative role in his two-part crime saga 'Gangs of Wasseypur'. Set against the backdrop of love, greed, violence and Jazz, 'Bombay Velvet', first in a planned trilogy, tells the story of how Bombay became a Metropolis. Historian Gyan Prakash's book 'Mumbai Fables' forms the basis for the movie. Ranbir and Anushka, who have been paired together for the first time, play lovers whose lives intermingle with the evolution of the city of Bombay, through the 50s to early 70s.