Freddy producer says Aaryan was his first choice to play serial-killer dentist in the thriller, despite his rom-com hero image
A still from the film
Giving his lover-boy roles a rest, Kartik Aaryan will be seen as a dentist in Freddy. But this isn’t your humdrum dentist —more like a doctor during the day, and a serial killer by night. Producer Jay Shewakramani admits that director Shashanka Ghosh and he were “edgy” before the teaser was released earlier this week. “But Kartik knows the pulse of the audience, and was confident that it [would appeal to them],” he recounts.
The actor was signed on in 2019, way before he became the success he is today. “Whenever I read the story, I could only see Kartik in the role. I felt he had much more to offer as an actor than his [rom-com hero] image. I met him a month before the release of Pati Patni Aur Woh . The day after I gave him the script, he told me that he wanted to do it. You feel blessed when your first choice for the film instantly agrees to do it.” Shewakramani adds that the leading man came on board even before they roped in the director.
Over the past few months, rumours were rife that Freddy — owing to the post-pandemic dry spell of Bollywood — was skipping theatres in favour of a digital première. Soon after, it was announced that Disney+ Hotstar had picked up the psychological thriller, also starring Alaya F. “From day one, we have been clear that we want to make Freddy for an OTT platform. It wasn’t made for theatrical release. Ekta [Kapoor, producer] fully supported us in the decision. While people told us that it could make bigger numbers at the box-office after Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, we weren’t swayed.” In the run-up to its December 2 release, the makers released the song, Kala jaadu, yesterday. “Pritam has composed the songs and background music. This is my eighth film with him.”