Veteran actress Jaya Bachchan has a bad rap that she hates being followed by cameras and clicked when she is in public. Videos of her annoyed exchanges with photographers have often been shared on social media. However, Karan Johar, who recently worked with the actress in the film `Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani`, says that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In the film, Bachchan is cast as the authoritarian matriarch of a rich business family, who isn’t easily pleased. Karan explains her role of Dhanlakshmi Randhawa is not an extension of her real-life personality.

“I want to put this on record, Aunty J as I call her, is far from what you think she is. She is the kindest, warmest, largest-hearted person I know. My crew, if you ask them who is the favourite person on set, they would say Jaya Bachchan. She is the only person who remembered the 14 AD’s names, knew what they did, where they lived, and how many siblings they had, she cared enough for all of them. When she used to feel a crew member was overworking, she would send for samosas and mithai, or get a cake on set. People loved her,” Karan tells Mid-day in our Sit With Hitlist episode.

“She just has an aversion to invasion of her privacy, not paps. Jaya Aunty doesn’t hold back. She is not this person at all. She is not Dhanlakshmi, far from it. I just wanted to cast her in a role different from what she had done in her career. She had never played the antagonist or a character with grey shades. She has always been the lovable mother or the Guddi girl, so for me it was just casting against what she has done,” he elaborates.

Karan also went on to explain the reason behind casting Shabana Azmi as Alia Bhatt’s grandmother, who had a romantic relationship with the character played by Dharmendra.

“With uh Shabanaji, I just felt like she is like an outstanding artiste and she would get that accent and the poise so beautifully. Dharamji was just irreplaceable because I felt the warmth that I wanted for the character of Kawal. It had to be him. He had love in his eyes. Even now, he has aashiqui in his eyes, which is beautiful. The three of them were just such a pleasure,” he says.

Karan goes on to re-emphasize that Jaya Bachchan is grossly misunderstood. “I have to say, everyone who writes on Twitter, Jayaji is playing herself, I am like, no dude, you don’t know anything about Mrs Jaya Bachchan. She is the warmest, kindest, most giving human being. She is so calm and composed. She would sit there on set chat, with all the ADs and she would play pranks. She is great fun. And she is nothing like this. It is just that if you put cameras in her face, she is going to get annoyed. I wish everyone would get an experience of the large heart that Jaya Aunty has. She is not like this at all.”