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‘I try to bring in new body language with each of my characters’

Actor Jayam Ravi, in this interview opens up on being a part of Thug Life, his second consecutive project with Mani Ratnam, teaming up with his brother Raja for the sequel of Thani Oruvan and his recently-released film Siren. He also says that he will direct his son Aarav in future

‘I try to bring in new body language with each of my characters’

Jayam Ravi 

CHENNAI: Wearing a denim shirt and beige cargo pants, Jayam Ravi looks straight out of the first-look poster of his upcoming film Brother, helmed by M Rajesh. We tell him that and he immediately has a lot of good things to talk to us about the film. “Brother will be a special film for me and Rajesh as well. It has shaped up well. Before working on Brother, I missed Rajesh. Everyone thinks comedy is his forte. No—be it Siva Manasula Sakthi or Boss Engira Baskaran, there was an emotion to it and they were all neat family entertainers. He has done that with our film and I can’t wait to talk to you about that in detail,” he says as he settles down to talk further.

His latest release Siren is having a strong theatrical run and he has been applauded for his performance of playing a prisoner, who is out on parole. “Antony Bhagyaraj met me with a couple of one-liners and I liked Siren. He gave me a narration and we proceeded with the movie. I haven’t played an older man, who is seen with grey hair and a beard. I thought this would be a good time to try such a character,” adds the actor.

A still of Jayam Ravi and Keerthy Suresh in Siren

However, more than the looks, Jayam Ravi has got the nuances right. He rewinds back to a few of his characters and explains, “These are the perks of choosing the right characters. When I played Comali, the character comes out of coma after more than a decade and everything seems new to him and he is surprised by how the world has changed. When I read them on paper, I understand what the character is going through and improvise with a few subtle expressions in front of the camera. In Ponniyin Selvan, I played Raja Raja Cholan and understood how he would behave or react to certain situations. Similarly in Siren, a man who has spent 15 years in prison would not understand human emotions outside of prison walls. They are cut from the outer world. So, what you saw in the film is my understanding of the character and I am glad it has worked well.”

After Ponniyin Selvan, Ravi will be seen in another Mani Ratnam multi-starrer, Thug Life that has Kamal Haasan, Trisha, Dulquer Salmaan and Aishwarya Lekshmi among others. Ask him if he would be doing more such films in near future, he replies, “Depends on who the director is. I cannot say ‘no’ to Mani sir and I play an extended cameo in Thug Life. I will be shooting for the film in the coming days.”

Thani Oruvan 2 was announced by the makers a few months ago. With his current lineup that also has Genie and Kadhalikka Neramillai by Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi, Jayam Ravi is looking forward to joining Thani Oruvan 2 sets soon. “Else anna would kill me. Thani Oruvan 2 will be bigger and we will have artistes from across languages. Like the first part, the sequel too would revolve around emotions and organised crime syndicate. Of course, the story will be fictional,” he clarifies.

We inquired about his son Aarav Ravi, who made his debut in Tik Tik Tik and if they would be sharing screen space again. “In fact, he is the one getting a lot of offers but for now, he will be focusing on his academics,” says Ravi. He had earlier told us about his directorial ambitions. He sticks to it and reveals, “Anna has directed me and some day I would direct Aarav surely,” he concludes.

Kaushik Rajaraman
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