RAW: Sushant Singh Rajput was the first choice, but John Abraham was perfect fit
Though Sushant was the first choice for RAW, director Robbie Grewal says eventual hero John perfect fit for a spy thriller
John Abraham continues his streak of patriotic dramas with Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW). It is no secret that the film was to roll in mid-2017 with Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead role. While the makers had unveiled the first look of the film with Rajput in early 2017, the actor bowed out of the commitment soon after citing date issues.
Director Robbie Grewal chooses to be optimistic about the turn of events. "It was disappointing that we weren't able to roll the film [when we intended to] due to Sushant's date problems. In hindsight, it feels like it happened for the best. It was because of the way things panned out that I ended up meeting John. I am happy to work with him because besides being a good actor, he is also an amazing human being."
Sushant Singh Rajput
The director knew that the role of a RAW agent demanded an actor who could bring gravitas to the role. After considering various actors for the part, Grewal says they roped in Abraham as the character was far removed from his previous roles.
"John has done interesting work, but he has never attempted such a layered character. It is almost as if he is playing three different roles. It is exciting for me, as a director, to show an actor in a completely different light."
Grewal says the success of Raazi (2018), which shone a spotlight on the role of RAW in the Indo-Pak war of 1971, has paved the way for similar spy thrillers. "Now, the audience has an idea of what happened in '71. So when they come to watch RAW, they won't be coming with a blank slate."
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