The stars of Shanghai, a gritty suspense-thriller which is releasing coming Friday, had to come out of their comfort zone for Dibakar Banerjees directorial venture. While Abhay Deol was scared to play a typical Tamilian in the film, Emraan Hashmi and Kalki Koechlin had to experiment with their looks drastically. Abhay, who is playing a Tamilian IAS officer in the film, said, "My character is something which I was really scared of doing. When Dibakar approached me with this I tried to convince him to make my character a Punjabi Arya Samaji. But he didn't listen to me. He added, "Then it became a challenge for me. The sad thing was that we had to look for someone to teach me the accent. A writer called Madi taught me the accent. But I didn't want my character to be stereotypical. There were loads of obstacles but it was more interesting to play someone who is not known to you". Describing her discomfort moment Kalki said, "Time and again people ask whether Dibakar brings actors out of their comfort zone. Well, here was my moment of getting into that discomfort the minute my hair was cut". "I used to be so depressed on waking up in the morning as I thought I looked like a complete idiot. Ultimately I gave up on the situation I was in and instead of pitying over my real self, I started working on getting the reel character right," she added. Emraan also took an avatar that does not match his real personality and sports a paunch, buck tooth and dark complexion, very different from his previous Casanova roles. Kalki is sure that the film will be appreciated by both critics and audiences. "Today, audience is ready for such kind of films. We have already seen Kahaani, Paan Singh Tomar, Vicky Donor and Ishaqzaade turn out to be good successes. 2012 is the year of small films and Shanghai would be a welcome addition to that", Kalki said.