Those who have seen Rani Mukerji’s class act as a cop in pursuit of a serial rapist in Mardaani 2 would have instantly noticed the villain, played by 25-year old television actor Vishal Jethwa. He is an innocent-faced menace, hence criminal like never before.
Apparently, Aditya Chopra wanted a major star to play the rapist-villain. And here’s why.
“Rani Mukerji plays a larger-than-life cop. She is the only female franchise holder in Bollywood today. They, therefore, wanted a major actor to play the villain as it happens in the Dhoom franchise. Regrettably, in the toxic environment that pervades our society today, with rape statistics hitting the roof between Nirbhaya and Priyanka Reddy cases, no major or minor actor was willing to take up the role,” says a source.
This is how Yash Raj Films got a relative novice to step into such an important role.
Jethwa has played roles as a child actor in Bharat Ke Veer Putra and Ek Duuje Ke Vaste. He played the villainous Nasir Jung in the historical TV series Peshwa Bajiaro. Though earnest, Jethwa hardly looks well-matched with Rani, the Mardaani, on screen.