Abhishek backed out of Raavan`s Tamil version

Mumbai: Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, says he opted out of director Mani Ratnam`s Tamil version of `Raavan`, where he was originally slated to play the role of `Dev`, due to language problems.

"When Mani decided to make `Raavan` it was only in Hindi. The idea of Tamil version came in later. He told me to swap roles from `Beera` in Hindi to `Dev` in Tamil. Even though I agreed initially, I realised that I would not be able to do justice to the role since I am not comfortable with the language," Abhishek told reporters.

"I told Mani that I did not want to do a film in a language which I did not understand. It is important for an actor know the language... Aishwarya is in both the versions because she knows it," he said.

"Even though Mani was adamant, I managed to convince him that I would not be able to do the best job," the actor said.

Moreover, I had my hands full with `Beera` which was a tough character to play, the actor said.

Southern actor Prithviraj now plays Dev`s character in the Tamil version and superstar Vikram essays `Raavan`.

Abhishek clarified that `Raavan` had no connection with the mythological epic `Ramayan`.

"It would be futile to unnecessarily draw parallels because the only connection is the name `Raavan`. It is an apt title for the film because of the different shades of Beera`s personality," he said.

"In fact, Beera`s pet name is `Raavan`. He has a small sister who calls him by that name," the actor revealed.

He said when he told Mani that comparisons to Ramayan would be inevitable due to the film`s title, the director asked him to name one film in India which does not have an influence of epics and mythological stories.

"Also, it is a contemporary film with no reference to naxalism or any naxal leader," he added.