Director's Cut: Sriram Raghavan Offered Merry Christmas To THIS Actor Instead Of Vijay Sethupathi

Director's Cut: Sriram Raghavan Offered Merry Christmas To THIS Actor Instead Of Vijay Sethupathi

Katrina expressed her wish to work with me to change her on-screen image

Rohit BhatnagarUpdated: Thursday, January 11, 2024, 10:11 AM IST
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Sriram's work speaks for itself and there's always much anticipation around his projects. When asked if there's any specific reason for it, he shares, "I feel, before Andhadhun, things were different for me since earlier, I had limited audience reach. A lot more people saw Andhadhun during the covid times. Merry Christmas is a very different movie than Andhadhun. However, I had worked equally hard on all my other films. I thank OTT for giving life to my films besides Andhadhun. Ek Haseena Thi is nearing to complete 20 years of its release on January 16, 2024. I am still a niche filmmaker but I never understood the term 'festival filmmakers'. I have always made films for mainstream cinema but my films specifically are in a little corner of it."

Raghavan is known for making stylish thrillers and has even developed a whole new genre of his own right from his directorial debut Johnny Gaddar. "I don't think I have started a genre sort of thing, suspense-thrillers have been made since a long time ago. Earlier. they were made without permissions, but now the entire game has changed. I loved watching films like Teesri Manzil, Jewel Thief, and several others. I believe such films have a great repeat value," explains.

Sriram seems to be very unusual with his film titles. On this, he states, "The story of Merry Christmas takes place on Christmas eves hence this title. I thought of Raat Akeli Hai earlier but there's already a film with the same title that stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui. I even thought of Raat Ke Humsafar but these titles could have been okay if the film was set in the 1980s, It 's just that Merry Christmas sounds very happy and festive but it has got chills and thrills."

Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi have collaborated for the first time on a project and it's their first with Sriram too. The pairing has been well received. Sharing further on casting the two actors, Raghavan reveals, "Around the time of the release of Andhadhun, Katrina generally called me and expressed her wish to work since she was trying to change her image and explore other things. I wasn't casting for Merry Christmas since I was busy with the post of Andhadhun. I wanted to do something next, which is poles apart from the previous one. I went to her and she liked the script but I was wondering, who would play the counterpart of the story? Many years back, I narrated the basic idea of Merry Christmas to Varun Dhawan. He was too busy back then and I cast him in Ekkees so I started looking out for other actors. I didn't want to repeat actors specifically for Merry Christmas."

"I met Vijay Sethupathi at a film festival in Melbourne and I saw a few of his Tamil films. Whoever I asked for an opinion to cast him for Merry Christmas, almost everyone was curious. He told me that he stayed in Dubai for three years and his Hindi is quite okay. I narrated the story to him on a virtual call. Soon after, I discussed it with my producer Ramesh Taurani and he immediately agreed. Katrina too felt that it's an oddball pairing and has some value in that sense," he signs off.

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