In the film, Abhay plays the role of a Tamil Brahmin IAS officer. So he went out of the way and took three months to learn the language to essay the part to the hilt, says Banerjee.
"Not only that, he (Abhay) literally spent over three months to learn the language for the role. He was coached under the expertise of Madialagan and believe me his role is not caricaturish. He would sit and rehearse before every scene with the coach and made me sit with him to supervise it," said Banerjee.
The filmmaker says "Shanghai" will be Abhay's "biggest makeover in his entire career."
"Imagine this 33-year-old, Hindi cinema's handsome actor had to turn 39-year-old for my movie. He has changed his body posture, sports a moustache and glasses and even changed his hairstyle for the role of an IAS officer," he added.