Blockbuster Tamil filmmaker Karthik Subbaraj's Jigarthanda DoubleX is officially a hit and is continuing its strong box office run in cinemas. Featuring music composed by Santhosh Narayanan, the period action comedy film stars Raghava Lawrence and SJ Suryah in the lead roles alongside an ensemble cast that includes Naveen Chandra, Nimisha Sajayan, Shine Tom Chacko, Ilavarasu, Sathyan, Aravind Akash, Sanchana Natarajan, Kapila Venu, Vidhu, Ashraf Mallissery, Theni Murugan, Vishnu Govindhan, among others in key roles. Among the several big USPs of Jigarthanda DoubleX is Shettani played by Vidhu, with Karthik Subbaraj recently sitting down with Galatta to explain the inspiration for the character, while also opening up on the casting process.
Talking about the much-talked-about powerful character in Jigarthanda DoubleX, Karthik Subbaraj said, "Actually, Shettani is an elephant poacher in Africa. I watched a documentary while I was researching for this film. It showed how they tried to catch this poacher and there was a big team working to nab him. And, the poacher's name in that real-life documentary is Shettani. I also liked the sound of the name and we decided to keep it. And, that is a very important character in the film. We wanted him to be introduced as a terrorizing villain and as a scene, it's an intense one. We show him hunting two elephants/"
Karthik Subbaraj then explained the casting process for Shettani in Jigarthanda DoubleX and said, "We first held discussions with many noted artistes, including Kannada actor Raj B. Shetty. He was finalized for the role, but he opted out due to his commitments a month before we began shooting. We then had to start from scratch for the character's casting and held many auditions with a number of people, and that is when decided to cast someone new." He continued, "We came across an actor named Vidhu and he had previously done a small role in Petta as Bobby Simha's friend, who gets beaten up by 'Thalaivar' (Rajinikanth). He also appeared in a film called Boomika. So, when we auditioned him for the role, he had the look and we did makeup for a look test. I felt that we needed more from him with his performance in one month's time. he had to get his physique ready since there were scenes to be shot in that village. The major portions of the elephant fight scenes could be shot later and we had the time for that. He did a lot of hard work and underwent acting training, and went through a lot of struggle for this role."
Regarding whether the Shettani character in Jigarthanda DoubleX would be accepted by the audiences, Karthik Subbaraj said, "I asked cinematographer Tirru sir during the shooting whether he (Vidhu) is right for the role as this character had to click. He said that there's no reference for this character. If there's a negative police character who kills everyone, there are references for that. The performance of Rathna (Naveen Chandra) will be compared, but he did a superb job. But, we don't have a reference for an elephant poacher, and what he does is going to be the reference, and it'll definitely work out. And, eventually, he did a really nice job."
Watch Karthik Subbaraj talk about Jigarthanda DoubleX in the video below: