Director Sriram Raghavan emphasised the potential pitfalls of writing films with specific actors in mind and precautions against falling into cliches or catering to an actor’s established tropes. He shared an anecdote about being approached by Sunny Deol, who admired a documentary Raghavan had directed in the early ’90s. Raghavan also discussed the casting process for ‘Badlapur‘, revealing that he initially envisioned the character as an older actor but eventually cast Varun Dhawan in the role.
In an interview with Galatta Plus, Sriram said if he keeps an actor in mind on the blank page, people end up writing cliche stuff that’s already been done. Many years ago, he did not even make a single film. Sunny Deol happened to see the Raman Raghav documentary, and he called him and said, ‘Let’s do something’.
Sriram continued that for a few months he was just enjoying himself, thinking that he was doing a film for Sunny Deol. But he was not writing anything of any value. He realised he had ended up doing what he had seen before. This was Sunny after ‘Damini’ and all, when he was absolutely on top. Now he’s back in the reckoning, which is good.
He further said that for ‘Badlapur’, he had someone much older in mind. He had proper actors in mind, like Irrfan Khan. Then producer Dinesh Vijan asked, “What if it’s someone young? Someone like Varun, who’d just done ‘Student of the Year’. It so happened that he called him up at that time, so he said, ‘Okay, let’s call him and test it out with him’. Then he asked him the same day, ‘Do you think I can do it?’ In his head, he was thinking, ‘I have no idea’. He had no idea, but people sort of said, ‘Why not?’
Sriram is now gearing up for the release of ‘Merry Christmas’, after which he’ll move on to ‘Ikkis’, starring Agastya Nanda and Dharmendra.

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