The film’s director Mithran has revealed that Vishal was more interested in playing the villain after he heard the script. “Vishal wanted to do the villain role in Irumbu Thirai when I pitched the subject to him to produce it under his banner. He was so impressed with the plot that he not only agreed to bankroll it, but also opted to do the powerful baddie character,” the film’s director Mithran told Deccan Chronicle.
Mithran revealed that the original plan was to rope in some other hero if Vishal agrees to produce the film. “He loved the villain role and evinced interest to portray it. Then I had to convince him that he does the lead protagonist and made changes accordingly. The film has a military backdrop and from an ordinary man’s character, I made Vishal’s role a military man.”
Samantha Akkineni plays Vishal’s love interest in the film, which has music by Yuvan Shankar Raja. On working with the Sandakozhi actor, the director said: “He gave me a lot of freedom and without hesitation he was providing me the kind of things I wanted during its making. It is he who suggested that we cast big actors and also rope in big technicians. He was more concerned about the outcome.”
Vishal had taken many by surprise when he chose to contest in the RK Nagar bye-election in December. However, the actor’s nomination paper was rejected by the Returning Officer after two proposers alleged that their signatures had been forged.
His decision to contest, however, had ruffled feathers in the industry, given that Vishal holds two key posts – that of Nadigar Sangam General Secretary and the President of the Tamil Nadu Film Producers’ Council. Filmmaker Cheran even went to the extent of staging a protest and demanded that he step down from the Producers’ Council post.