Jailer: Nelson reveals he was warned against showing Rajinikanth with grey hair - Hindustan Times
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Jailer: Nelson reveals he was warned against showing Rajinikanth with grey hair in blockbuster film, admits it shook him

Dec 09, 2023 12:22 PM IST

Nelson said people from the industry told him not to make Rajinikanth play his age onscreen and that led him to doubt himself as he shot Jailer with the actor.

Rajinikanth's film Jailer was released worldwide on August 10. After running successfully in theatres for more than a month, it had grossed more than 650 crore worldwide. Now, in an interview with Film Companion, director Nelson Dilipkumar opened up about the 'big challenge' he faced while not only writing but also filming for Jailer. Nelson admitted many people from the Tamil film industry told him 'don't grey Rajinikanth's hair' in Jailer. They asked the filmmaker to make the veteran actor 'do whatever he has done already', if he wants Jailer to work. Also read: Rajinikanth shares honest review of Jailer at success meet

Rajinikanth sported grey hair in Jailer, which was released in August.
Rajinikanth sported grey hair in Jailer, which was released in August.

Nelson doubted himself during Jailer shoot

When asked during Film Companion Directors Adda 2023, if and when he had a doubt about Jailer, Nelson said, “Throughout the writing process. What made me come out of that is Rajini sir (Rajinikanth), but not literally him. I somehow wanted to do a Rajini sir film, so when the doubt was happening, I used to convince myself 'Don't leave this project, somehow you have to do it'. While shooting also I had the same doubts. Because it is the first time I think that I made him (Rajinikanth) play his age. So that was the major doubt. A lot of people told me 'No, don't make him play his age, let him do whatever he has done already'. But I was a little confident or not confident, both, about it. I said 'Somehow, even if it fails, let it be with my gut, so whatever I am making let's make and if it fails, I will take the blame'. I didn't want someone else to confuse me.”

Veteran actors Mohanlal and Shiva Rajkumar feature alongside Rajinikanth in Jailer.
Veteran actors Mohanlal and Shiva Rajkumar feature alongside Rajinikanth in Jailer.

'Don't show Rajinikanth's grey hair'

Nelson Dilipkumar added, "Knowing his (Rajinikanth's) audience, and what all he did in his 50 years, it was a very big challenge... whether I can satisfy that audience because the target for me for this film was to pull maximum audience into the theatre. So I worked around it, I knew here and there I am doing something over-the-top, but still that's what people expect from him. That's what I also feel... Rajinism is the backbone of that film... my doubts cleared only after the film... Before starting Jailer, so many people told me 'Don't grey his hair. Don't show him in grey hair'. When people from the industry say it so confidently it shakes me up. But after 10 days of shoot I was a little confident. I saw the scenes were working, then I left it to the universe."

Filmmaker Vetri Maaran, who was also a part of the Film Companion Directors Adda 2023, chimed in to say that Rajinikanth playing his real age onscreen was 'the best thing for the film' and that without that Jailer 'would not have worked as much'.

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About Jailer

The Rajinikanth film, which did extremely well at the worldwide box office, also stars Vasanth Ravi, Tamannaah Bhatia, Yogi Babu, Ramya Krishnan and Vinayakan in key roles. The film also marks the Tamil debut of Kannada superstar and late actor Rajkumar's son Shiva Rajkumar. Jackie Shroff and veteran Malayalam actor Mohanlal also make special appearances in the film.

The Tamil film, which was dubbed in Hindi, Kannada and Telugu, had opened at 48.35 crore nett in India in all languages.

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