After Shah Rukh Khan's performance as Tamil game designer, Shekhar Subramaniam in Ra One it is Abhay Deol's turn to play a Tamil IAS officer in Dibakar Bannerjee's, Shanghai. SRK's portrayal was criticized for being stereotypical and drew the ire of Tamilians. Abhay Deol does not want that to happen so he has hired a language coach to teach him Tamil. He also has a Tamilian person on the sets to ensure that he gets the dialogues right.
The director is delighted with his efforts and said that Abhay's performance is "...better than that (SRK's Tamil act)". Abhay has grown a handsome moustache to look the part and is hoping that South Indians will love him in the film.