The Yuletide spirit might have come early for “Merry Christmas”, but for Saif Ali Khan, it seems like a lump of coal nestled under the tree. Whispers are swirling that the Nawab of Pataudi was initially cast in the lead role, only to be unceremoniously replaced by Vijay Sethupathi. Talk about a last-minute gift exchange!
Now, Sriram Raghavan, the film’s director, paints a picture of artistic angst, not casting cruelty. He admits Saif was approached first, even sealing the deal with a hug (“awkward!” quips one insider). But as Raghavan delved deeper into the script, something felt off. Like a fruitcake gone bad, the Saif-character pairing wasn’t rising to the occasion.
So, Raghavan did the unthinkable – he swallowed his pride (and maybe a lump of guilt) and had the “it’s not you, it’s me” chat with Saif. Understandably, the Nawab wasn’t exactly doing cartwheels. Sources say there was some “mild pouting” involved, though Raghavan insists it was more “professional disappointment.”
But did Raghavan really make a mistake? Some film pundits think so. Saif brings a certain regal charm that Vijay might struggle to replicate. Others applaud Raghavan’s artistic integrity, praising his refusal to compromise his vision, even if it meant upsetting a Bollywood A-lister.
And here’s the twist: Raghavan reportedly promised Saif he’d “make it up to him.” Is there another festive project brewing for the Nawab? Or will this casting kerfuffle leave a permanent chill in their director-actor relationship?
One thing’s for sure: this “Merry Christmas” drama is spicier than any eggnog. Whether it’s a cautionary tale for directors with fickle casting choices or a testament to artistic pursuit, it’s got tongues wagging faster than reindeer on Christmas Eve. So, grab your popcorn (and maybe a hot toddy for the chills), because this Yuletide saga is far from over.
P.S. We’re keeping our ears to the ground for any updates on that “make-up project” promise. Watch this space for more Bollywood bah-humbug!