New Delhi: Sriram Raghavan, who is teaming up with Saif Ali Khan after ‘Ek Haseena Thi’, says their upcoming spy thriller ‘Agent Vinod’ is more ambitious than his previous work and will see the actor in an entirely new avatar.
It was Raghavan who gave Saif his career`s first negative role which not only earned rave reviews but also helped the actor bag two other important roles of his life – ‘Being Cyrus’ and ‘Omkara’.
Raghavan spent two and half years making his latest thriller. The director feels the film is bigger and more ambitious than his previous outings.
"When a film of yours releases, you don`t think that your next one would arrive after four years. On `Agent Vinod` I spent two and a half years. Having said that, I never felt that there was a lot of time going into it. On the contrary, I enjoyed the process," Raghavan told reporters.
"`Agent Vinod` is an ambitious film. `Ek Haseena Thi` as well as `Johnny Gaddaar` were far more intimate films. This film was meant to be bigger and hence the sheer logistics and dynamics changed," he added.
If Raghavan is to be believed, his film will not feature Saif and Kareena Kapoor in a quintessential romantic role.
A spy thriller that travels continents, the film also promises to present Kareena in a different light altogether.
"Since Saif and Kareena are a couple, it was pretty much weighing on our mind how should we present them on screen.
There had to be a good enough role that justified her presence and along with my co-writer, I actually spent quite some time in cracking it before narrating the part to her," he said.
"Kareena is going to be a surprise in the film. The audience would forget that it is a real life pairing."
Acknowledged as someone who knows a thing or two about telling thrilling tales, the director is happy to narrate a new story with "Agent Vinod" while also deconstructing the Saif Ali Khan that is known to the audience.
"In `Ek Haseena Thi`, Saif was this charming and charismatic man though quite cunning and inherently negative. In `Agent Vinod`, he is not a bad guy though he has this suave charm and the brains that get him out of the trickiest of situations.
"Still, it is a new Saif for the audience. He is going to surprise again after `Omkara` and `Being Cyrus`. He is better than the best we have seen of him so far," said Raghavan.
The film is slated to hit the screens on March 23.