Merry Christmas director Sriram Raghavan recently disclosed that Saif Ali Khan expressed a desire to take on the lead role in the film. However, the director turned down his request, leaving the actor somewhat disappointed.
In an interview with Pinkvilla, the Andha Dhun filmmaker confessed that he was happy to see Saif's interest in the part, but he explained the 53-year old actor as to why Vijay Sethupathi was better suited for the part.
Sriram admits that he sought a distinct and unique pairing due to the specific demands of the story. He shares, “One should not get any baggage from either of them that what are these people about and so on.”
Following the director's decision to cast Katrina in the lead role, he approached Saif for the male lead but eventually concluded that he wasn't the right fit for the part. “I had met another actor who had liked the role also. Then I told him sorry I want to… because he had worked with her before.”
For the uninitiated, Saif and Katrina have worked in the past in Race (2008) and Phantom (2015).
Raghavan admits that Saif was evidently upset. "He was actually a little upset later when I told him no. At that time, I had not cast Vijay. I was just saying I want something fresh. I don’t know what I’m looking for.”
In the past, Sriram and Saif have collaborated on Ek Hasina Thi and Agent Vinod.
Merry Christmas also stars Sanjay Kapoor and releases in cinemas on January 12, 2023.