Jagame Thandhiram, which released today on Netflix in 17 languages across 190 countries, narrates the story of Suruli (Dhanush), a nomadic gangster who has to choose between good and evil.
Speaking at the fan event, director Karthik Subbaraj said they chose Cosmo as they wanted a strong antagonist. “When we decided to set the film in London, we made a list of actors based in the city and the first name was James Cosmo. When he heard about the film, he was very excited to be part of an Indian film,” said Subbaraj.
The filmmaker also added that the first thing Cosmo asked him was whether he had any song-and-dance sequences in the film. “And he kept asking me for that. But, I was unable to give him a song, and that made him a bit sad,” Subbaraj said.
Hosted by anchors Vijay and Keerthi (popularly known by her stage name Kiki), the fan event was also attended by music composer Santhosh Narayanan, singer Dhee, choreographer Sheriff, and actors such as Kalaiyarasan, Sharath Ravi and Deepak.
Speaking about the genesis of Jagame Thandhiram, the director said he first got the idea for the story when he was strolling the streets of New York. “Since many gangster films are set there, I thought of making a story with a local gangster from Madurai along with New York gangsters. But over time, New York changed to London,” he added.
Subbaraj also said that he chose to have characters based in Madurai as he was born and brought up there. “It was comfortable for me to write Madurai-based characters. Besides, I feel that London and Madurai are similar in a way, both cities have migrants and are melting pots of different cultures.”
Actor Aishwarya Lekshmi, who predominantly works in the Malayalam film industry, plays the female lead in Jagame Thandhiram, a Srilankan Tamil singer settled in the UK. At the fan event, the actor revealed that she had attended the auditions for the film in 2018.
“After the auditions, Karthik told me that he was going to do Rajinikanth’s film (Petta). I thought it was his way of saying he did not like my acting. But, his office got in touch with me a year later and offered me the role,” she added.
Subbaraj said he called Lekshmi for the audition after watching her performance in the Malayalam film Mayaanadhi.
Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin extended his wishes to the team of Jagame Thandhiram in a video statement that was aired during the fan event.
The film’s behind-the-scenes video was also released at the event.