Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, says he opted out of director Mani Ratnam’s Tamil version of Raavan, where he was originally slated to play the role of Dev, due to language problems.
"When Mani decided to make Raavan it was only in Hindi. The idea of Tamil version came in later. He told me to swap roles from Beera in Hindi to Dev in Tamil. Even though I agreed initially, I realised that I would not be able to do justice to the role since I am not comfortable with the language," said Abhishek.
"I told Mani that I did not want to do a film in a language which I did not understand. It is important for an actor know the language… Aishwarya is in both the versions because she knows it," he said.
"Even though Mani was adamant, I managed to convince him that I would not be able to do the best job," the actor said.
Moreover, I had my hands full with ’Beera’ which was a tough character to play, the actor said.
Southern actor Prithviraj now plays Dev’s character in the Tamil version and superstar Vikram essays Raavan.
Abhishek clarified that Raavan had no connection with the mythological epic ’Ramayan’.
"It would be futile to unnecessarily draw parallels because the only connection is the name Raavan. It is an apt title for the film because of the different shades of Beera’s personality," he said.
"In fact, Beera’s pet name is ’Raavan’. He has a small sister who calls him by that name," the actor revealed.
He said when he told Mani that comparisons to Ramayan would be inevitable due to the film’s title, the director asked him to name one film in India which does not have an influence of epics and mythological stories.
"Also, it is a contemporary film with no reference to naxalism or any naxal leader," he added.