Those who have seen Rani Mukherjee’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 a criminal like never before.
Apparently Aditya Chopra wanted a major star to play the rapist-villain. And here’s why.
“Rani Mukherjee 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 like it happens in the Dhoom franchise. Regrettably in the toxic environment that pervades our society today with rape statistics hitting the roof and touching the sky between Nirbhaya and Priyanka Reddy, no major or minor actor was willing to play a rapist,” says a source.
This is how Yash Raj 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 Vaaste. 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.