The plan was to gradually let Arjun’s character come into the public eye.
Says a source: "There was a certain amount of concern regarding Arjun’s missing presence in the publicity. But Shah Rukh Khan and Arjun had the villain’s look, projection and publicity worked out in complete detail. Arjun knew his time would start after Dussehra."
Says Arjun: "That was always the strategy. To reveal my character after Dussehra when traditionally Raavan/’Ra.One’ is vanquished."
Arjun says he had no trepidation about being left out of the publicity. "Shah Rukh and I have discussed how my character would be introduced to the public. I play the title role and we both knew what a challenge it was for me."
"Since I played a villain from the virtual world, my character couldn’t convey any emotions. I had to appear absolutely expressionless on screen. It wasn’t easy," he adds.
Sources say that Shah Rukh and Arjun have stuck a rather unusual deal. According to them, Shah Rukh has convinced Arjun to play the main antagonist in the films he produces.
"It started with ‘Om Shanti Om’ where Arjun played the producer who kills Deepika Padukone and SRK.
"Now in ‘Ra.One’ again, Arjun agreed to play the ‘virtual’ villain. And SRK has promised Arjun’s character in ‘Ra.One’ the kind of buildup until release that so far only the hero imself got in Red Chillies production," he adds.