2010 Interview – Elle India

October 28th, 2010 | Posted by Jenn in Interviews | Press - (1 Comments)

reposted from original text.

On the hit show Heroes, Sendhil Ramamurthy plays Mohinder Suresh, a geneticist from Chennai who seeks out humans with super powers. In real life, Ramamurthy appears to have a superpower of his own: everywhere he goes, he makes people stop and stare. It might be the tall, five-foot-ten frame, or that lanky male model build or that smooth, dark brown skin. Or that chiseled face. Or the mass of black curls that almost floats on his head, like a cloud, or perhaps, a halo. Because Ramamurthy, while he looks like a bad boy – he’s sporting a two-day stubble, he curses every so often, he’s wearing a cap indoors, the buttons on his white T-shirt are left open to reveal part of his chest, and yes, ladies, there are abs – he is really one of the good guys.

After all, he’s been married since he was 24, to Olga Sosnovska, whom he met at acting school in London. They were in the same class; he played Orlando and she played Rosalind in Shakespeare’s As You Like It; they fell madly in love. Sendhil wanted to propose, but he was broke, living off his parents. He brought home a Tiffany catalogue to pick out a “really, really tiny, miniscule” diamond ring. (To show just how tiny, he breaks the corner edge off of a cheeseling.) But Olga spotted the catalogue, and, in secret, went out, bought herself an antique Victorian ring, and popped the question to him. Sort of.

“She opened the box up, and said, ‘Do you have something to ask me?’ Then she gave me the bill so I could pay her back,” Sendhil laughs. “My wife must be the only woman in the world for whom the idea of a Tiffany engagement ring is a nightmare.” (Sendhil and Olga now live in LA with their two children and his jaguar XKR, which, he says; he “loves as a third child.”)

It’s funny how things work out. Sendhil was more than halfway through his pre-med programme at Tufts University in Boston when, “a very pretty girl, whom I was only slightly after, was taking Introduction to Acting. So I followed her into the class. It was only later that I discovered she was lesbian.”

The reluctant actor ended up winning the starring role in a college production. “I loved every second,” he says, longingly. “I loved the camaraderie, the fraternity of the cast.” He dropped organic chemistry and physics, but he didn’t tell his parents (both doctors) until much later, when he pleaded with them to allow him to attend drama school in London. (“It was like a UN negotiation.”) They relented. Ever since, they haven’t missed a single opening night.

“I knew that being an actor, I was going to have real issues,” Sendhil recalls. “I’m Indian—I’d never seen anyone on screen that looked like me. I had a face for radio. I would only ever be the sidekick, never the main character. Casting-wise, I shat the bed. I got it,” he smiles. “I knew I’d be poor, I’d struggle. But I wanted to do it.”

In another stroke of chance, the part of Mohinder Suresh on Heroes was designed for a 55-year-old man, but Sendhil’s audition so impressed the producers, they rewrote the role. The rest, as they say, is history. “My best friends in LA are from the show,” says Sendhil, “Santiago Cabrera, Jack Coleman, Adrian Pasdar and I run and sail together. It’s taken awhile for me to get comfortable in LA. There’s not very much culture, you’re always in your car…” he trails off. “Although, travelling from Versova to Calaba in Mumbai today, I don’t think I can complain about LA traffic anymore!”

Sendhil is in Mumbia for Shor, a film by Balaji Telefilms that also stars Tuddhar Kapoor. It’s the opportunity he’d been awaiting for a long time, he says. “I grew up in Texas, surrounded by a small but vibrant Indian community. We celebrated Diwali and Ganesh festivals. But it wasn’t until I was older that I realized how much I wanted to spend time in India, find my roots” he laughs. “I became wistful for a place I’d never been. I can only compare it to the feeling a woman has when she starts longing for a baby.”
“Ideally,” he says, “I’d have one leg here and one leg in Hollywood. (He straddles the table with ultra-long legs to demonstrate) “I mean, India is bankrolling Hollywood, reliance is taking over the world. But more than anything, it’s this kind of work that I’m excited about. It’s not your standard song-and-dance movie. It’s really special. My agents couldn’t believe it when I told them I finally found a script I loved and wanted to be a part of.”

Sendhil pauses. “Don’t get me wrong, making money is great. I have expensive tastes- I like to travel, buy cool things, and I’m a clothes whore.” He flashes a smile, no doubt thinking of his Jaguar, his bespoke suits, his six pairs of Prada shoes, his Patek Philippe, IWC and Baume & Mercier watches. “And financially, Heroes has been fantastic. But I’ve banked that away. I’ve got my fingers crossed, you know? It’s a rollercoaster ride, being can actor. You never know when it’s all going to go tits-up.”

For now, tits-up is hardly an option. Even if Heroes doesn’t get picked up for another season, Sendhil has Gurinder Chadha’s It’s a Wonderful Afterlife out now, where he showcases his comic skills. And Shor is bound to make Bollywood take notice. He has other projects in the pipeline too, which he can’t talk about yet, but leading man in Hollywood isn’t far away. The night before our meeting, he was mobbed by photographers at a Louis Vuitton event where he chatted with Freida Pinto. A tennis fanatic, he recently took his family to the French Open, stayed at the Ritz and rubbed shoulders with Antonio Banderas. Yes, face-for-radio Sendhil Ramamurthy might just prove that you don’t need superpowers to get to the top after all.

2010 Interview – MySanAntonio.com

October 28th, 2010 | Posted by Jenn in Interviews | Press - (2 Comments)

Original Link: http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/movies/article/S-A-actor-bonds-with-his-Covert-character-783545.php
Author: Jeanne Jakle

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Former “Heroes” star Sendhil Ramamurthy has wanted to be James Bond ever since he was a kid growing up in San Antonio.

“I’d jump at the chance to play him,” the Keystone School grad told me in a one-on-one interview at a breakfast sponsored by USA Network.

Sitting across from Ramamurthy, I could see it: those handsome chiseled features and that ultra-refined way of speaking. Moreover, he’s charming as all get-out.

His favorite James Bond? Sean Connery, but Ramamurthy realizes he’s “more in the Pierce Brosnan vein.”

Though he’s yet to get that call from the Broccolis (longtime producers of the 007 movies), he does play a Bondlike character in the espionage drama “Covert Affairs.”

It airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on USA and co-stars Piper Perabo (“Coyote Ugly”) as a fellow operative. His character, Jai Wilcox, “comes from CIA royalty,” he said. Jai’s dad, played by Gregory Itzin (“24”), was the former head of the CIA, “kind of a disagreeable dude,” Ramamurthy said, who’s introduced in the fifth installment, which airs Tuesday.

The best thing about that episode, at least from my perspective, is it’s so Ramamurthy-heavy.

“I do all kinds of action stuff,” he said, something he didn’t get to do much of as scientist Mohinder Suresh on “Heroes.”

“In ‘Heroes,’ I was more on the receiving end — always getting punched and bloodied up,” he said.

His “Covert” character is less cerebral, “more calculating,” with a secret — involving Perabo’s character — “that affects his job, his personal life, everything,” he said.

Shooting Tuesday’s episode was “the most fun I ever had,” he said, explaining that the show even “brought in guys from Cirque du Soleil to train us.”

Scenes involve “running across the docks in New York (really Vancouver, where the series is filmed) … across shipping containers and bouncing off walls. Anything the insurance company would let me do, I’d do.”

He said he loves working with Perabo, hinting his flirtatious relationship with Annie Walker may turn into something more as the series develops. Another plus: a wardrobe that would make Bond proud.

“We get to wear clothes no CIA operative could ever afford,” he said. For him, that means lots of tailored Zegna suits and designer shoes.

He then spilled a few action tricks.

“I do a lot of running and jumping around shipping containers in Prada shoes,” he said, so “they pad them up and put an insole in each of them” to prevent knee injuries.

“They also put moleskin on the bottoms, so you can take those corners and not go careening into a wall.”

Ramamurthy leaves every shred of glamour behind, however, when he returns home to his wife and two kids, ages 4 and 2. There, “I’m mostly haggard,” he said. “Being a dad of young kids makes you haggard.”

This was hard to believe as I stared at the impeccably groomed man. sitting across from me. Yes, sir, getting up close with the actor who aspires to be Bond was a highlight of this year’s trip to Hollywood.

Don’t be surprised to see Ramamurthy in the Alamo City soon. He said he’ll be gathering his family and coming home for visits with his parents in September or October and again for Thanksgiving.

2010 Interview – Bullz-Eye.com

October 28th, 2010 | Posted by Jenn in Interviews | Press - (0 Comments)

Original Link: http://www.bullz-eye.com/television/interviews/2010/covert_affairs.htm
Author: Will Harris

Everyone knows by now that the USA Network is a place where characters are welcome, and in the case of their newest series, “Covert Affairs,” it’s clear that character actors are greeted with open arms as well. You’ll get dizzy trying to play the “They Used To Be On…” game with the cast, which features alumni of “24” and “Invasion” (Kari Matchett), “Harper’s Island” and “Ugly Betty” (Christopher Gorham), and even “The O.C.” (Peter Gallagher).

But that’s not all!

During the TCA tour, I had a chance to chat with a few other folks from the show’s ensemble: Sendhil Ramamurthy, best known for playing Mohinder on NBC’s “Heroes,” and Anne Dudek, whose highest-profile role to date was arguably that of Dr. Amber Volakis (deceased) on Fox’s “House.” Both actors filled me in on how they came to “Covert Affairs,” how they’re enjoying the experience thus far, and how they look back on the roles they’re best remembered for…well, at the moment, anyway.

Bullz-Eye: Let me first start by saying that I’m a “Slammin’ Salmon” fan.

Sendhil Ramamurthy: (Clearly surprised, but pleasantly so) Oh, really?

BE: (Laughs) Yeah, man!

SR: I’ll let Jay (Chandrasekhar) know! You know, I’m trying to get him up to direct “Covert Affairs.”

BE: Really? That’d be awesome! Well, I’ll jump back to “Covert Affairs” in a second, but since I’ve already brought up “Slammin’ Salmon,” let’s go ahead and talk about that really quickly.

SR: Sure! Yeah, I shot it during the Writer’s Strike in one day. I came in, did my thing and had a blast, and I was out.

BE: When I talked to Kevin (Heffernan), he said that he’d gone into Jay after “Heroes” premiered and said, “Hey, man, there’s a hot new Indian on the scene. You’re out!” And Jay said, ‘Oh, you mean Sendhil? Dude, you know Sendil! Remember my cousin who stayed with us when we shared an apartment in New York? That was Sendhil!”

SR: Yeah, I was a sophomore in college, and I slept on their couch for two months. Good times. (Laughs)

BE: So how much comedy had you done before “Slammin’ Salmon”?

SR: Very little. That’s why I jumped at the chance. I did that, and I did an episode of “Psych.” Which Jay directed. (Laughs) He asked me to do it. And that’s it for comedy for me, but I want to do more. I actually just had an audition today for an ensemble comedy, so we’ll see. Fingers crossed. I’d love to do more comedy. I really would. It’s something that I haven’t had a lot of experience with, so I don’t know if I’m any good at it… (Laughs) …but I’d love to try it. “Slammin’ Salmon” was certainly fun!

BE: So tell me about the timeline between when you found out that “Heroes” wasn’t coming back and when you picked up the “Covert Affairs” gig.

SR: Total overlap, actually. We all knew that there was a chance that “Heroes” wouldn’t come back, and then the “Covert Affairs” guys called me up and said, “We shot the pilot, but we’re kind of going to bring in another character. We don’t think the character from the pilot is working, so we’re bringing a new one in the second episode, and we’d love to consider you. How would you feel about it?” And I said, “Yeah, I’d be up for it!” Because I’d read the script, I knew that Doug Liman was behind it…I mean, it’s a no-brainer! And they’re, like, “Okay, well, it’s a USA Network show. Even though you’re under contract to NBC still, if you were to be into that, we would work it out.” So I found out that “Heroes” was canceled while I was shooting the third episode of “Covert Affairs.” (Laughs) And as an actor, that’s kind of the dream, you know? That doesn’t really happen. So I got really, really fortunate, and very lucky.

BE: How developed was the character of Jai Wilcox when you first signed on?

“We all knew that there was a chance that “Heroes” wouldn’t come back, and then the ‘Covert Affairs’ guys called me up and said, ‘We shot the pilot, but we’re kind of going to bring in another character. We don’t think the character from the pilot is working, so we’re bringing a new one in the second episode, and we’d love to consider you. How would you feel about it?’ So I found out that ‘Heroes’ was canceled while I was shooting the third episode of ‘Covert Affairs.’”

He was a total sketch. They kind of built him around me, which was cool, because usually you have to go and slot yourself in. But they brought me in, and then they kind of tailored the character to me, which was great. They’d actually already written the first four episodes before I was cast, so for those they did have to just kind of slot me in wherever they could find things for me. But that fifth episode…? That’s kind of my episode, where you learn everything about the character, his background, what makes him tick, why he’s doing what he’s doing. You also learn the big arc that the character will go through. So I’m excited.

BE: You’ve obviously proven that you’re comfortable working in sci-fi drama. How is it working in the real world, so to speak?

SR: You know, it’s kind of cool. (Laughs) I like it. But I like both, so if I can keep my feet in the genre department and do this and do some comedy, I’ll be a happy man. It’s all about doing different things and new things, and I’ve been fortunate enough in my career so far to really get the chance to do the entire gamut of things so far. I feel very fortunate. I just don’t want to blow it. (Laughs)

BE: So looking back on “Heroes,” were you happy with the overall experience of working on that show?

SR: Oh, how could I not be? I mean, listen, it launched all of us in a huge, huge way, and it was one of those things where…well, you know, people can talk about how, ‘Oh, well, this happened to the show, and then the show started doing this, that, and the other,’ but the fact is that I take away nothing but great memories from the show. So to me, that means it was an amazing experience. I’m just grateful for the opportunity that it afforded me. It gave me the chance to be on “Covert Affairs”! I would never have been on “Covert Affairs” if it hadn’t been for “Heroes.” So I’m thankful, I’m grateful, I’m still in touch with all my cast members. I was texting with four of them, like, 20 minutes ago.

BE: Yeah, but be honest: Greg Grunberg was just trying to sell you on his iPhone app, wasn’t he?

SR: Grunny was trying to get me to be on Yowza, yes. (Laughs) But, you know, we’re all doing our thing, and we’re all happy. Everyone’s really grateful for what happened on that show. And I do hope…against all hope, really, to be honest…that there is a way to tie up the story, because that was a season finale, not a series finale. I hope that that’s possible, but, realistically, I know it’s going to be tough to wrangle everybody. But we’ll see.

BE: Do you have a favorite and least-favorite Mohinder storyline?

SR: I think the whole Mohinder-turning-into-the-fly…the thing that I hated the most about that was that, like, I would have 3 AM call times to get all that prosthetic stuff put on. I hated that! (Laughs) But the actual stunt stuff that I got to do, that was pretty cool! And I think my all-time favorite storyline was in the first season , when Sylar and Mohinder go on that little road trip. (Laughs) That psychotic, messed-up road trip. That was a blast, working with Zach. That’s where we became really tight friends, during that whole first season, and that was a huge plus of that storyline. It was fulfilling as an actor, of course, but having that friendship with Zach was really great as well.

BE: And to bring it back to “Covert Affairs” to wrap up, can you kind of give a nutshell synopsis of your character for those who haven’t caught the show yet?

SR: Sure! I play a character named Jai Wilcox, and…he’s kind of CIA royalty. His father was actually the head of the CIA, and his father was, uh, not always the most liked person. (Laughs) And that image has kind of been pushed onto Jai, rightfully or wrongfully, and it’s one of those things where he’s kind of got daddy issues, and he’s trying to escape from his father’s shadow. Hmmm, where have seen that before? It seems vaguely familiar. (Laughs) So I’m treading over that right now, we’re working through it, and…Greg Itzen is playing my dad, and he’s just phenomenal. I’ve had a blast working with him, and I’m getting to do stuff that I’ve never done before. It’s USA, so it’s about the characters and really character-based, and I’m really enjoying that aspect of it, but I’m enjoying the action portion of it, too, because Doug Liman is a master of that stuff. He literally hops on his plane, flies up once a week, goes through the action sequences with us, then he hops back on his plane and flies back to New York. But thanks to that, we’ve got these amazing feature-film-quality action sequences. I did this whole car chase scene where they brought in a Cirque du Soleil performer to train me to do this. Who gets to do that on TV?

BE: Precious few, I’d guess.

SR: Very few people. In movies? Absolutely. But on TV? Almost never. And I’m really happy that they’re really pushing the boat out on that. It’s cool.

BE: Have you got any other irons in the fire? I know you said you auditioned for the ensemble comedy.

SR: I’m auditioning. I’ve got a movie coming out in September called “Shor.” It’s an independent film that I shot, actually, in the slums of Mumbai, which was an experience. I shot it for five and a half weeks, in January and February, and I’m really looking forward to that. It’s kind of a gritty crime drama. And beyond that…? We’ll see what happens!

2010 Interview – Desi Hits

October 28th, 2010 | Posted by Jenn in Interviews | Press - (0 Comments)

Original Link: http://www.desihits.com/news/view/covert-affairs-actor-sendhil-ramamurthy-dishes-about-shor-20101112
Author: Anita Chatterjee

He has lit up the big screen with roles like Jai Wilcox on the USA Network TV show, Covert Affairs, and Mohinder Suresh on ABC’s Heroes. Now the actor has performed in his first Hindi film, Shor (Noise) and he’s enjoying his international acting career. DesiHits.com caught up with Senhill Ramamurthy to see what he is up to and get his thoughts on his career and the state of the film and television industry in the East and West.

You are an established American Television actor, how did you find yourself in a Hindi movie?

It was last year. Last summer Raj (Director) and DK (Director) flew over to LA and they set it up through my agents and they showed me the short they made for Shor for MIACC two or three years ago. And then they asked me if I could play the role and I said I will take look at the script. I first watched the short and after that 14 minute short I said yes right away. I didn’t even read the script, I was like visually I have never seen anything like this come out of India and I thought that it was fantastic!

Have you been looking to get into Hindi films?

I had been looking, scripts keep coming, after you get known scripts start coming, and I was looking for something to take me to India whether it was a U.S. production in India or an Indian production, if I can keep one foot in Bollywood and Hollywood why not. But it had to be the right thing but nothing was capturing my attention until this came along.

What was your first time shooting in India like?

If we are shooting on a street here (in the States) you have 20 cops that shut the street down, there is no shutting a street down in Mumbai, it’s wait till that rickshaw goes by and start talking, that’s what you are doing. And it was so damn noisy and I found it really annoying but, that’s what the movie is about and it wasn’t pleasant always, but it added to the performance and it was a really great experience for me. And I got to see tons of Mumbai. First I was in a wealthy area and then the slums and it was a great way to see Mumbai. And it’s definitely an experience I want to do again!

Directors in the U.S. and India have different techniques when dealing with actors and there are differences in how they run the productions between both countries. Were there any major differences in India that you had to get use to?

Raj and DK are based here in the U.S. so they came at me with a U.S. sensibility, and they knew I would understand that, which I really appreciated. But the terminology is all different, when the DP would be ready to roll and he would be like ‘order,’ I would look for a menu but that means the camera is ready to roll. The people are different, but at the end Bollywood makes more movies than anyone else in the world, so at the end they are doing something right, so I went with it.

Now that you have returned from India what are you up to?

We just wrapped the first season of Covert Affairs, it’s going really, really well. It’s the number one new show on cable television, I start shooting again in March, and now I really need a vacation and I’m going to go away for a little bit somewhere, don’t know where but I’m gonna chill out a little bit.

You have two beautiful children; do you expose them to theater or your projects?

My kids are just naturally dramatic, my daughter kinda gets what I do just ’cause there are posters up all over LA and it’s like ‘look dad’s on the side of a bus.’ My son is two and a half but they don’t get it if someone comes up to me for an autograph, it actually pisses my daughter off cause it’s like ‘no no no this is my time so you go away.’ But they have never seen anything I have done mainly because none of what I have done is appropriate for children.

Speaking of family, what was it like for your parents when you decided to pursue acting?

Listen they were worried, now as a parent I know what that’s like ’cause you worry about your children. This isn’t an easy profession, especially if you are Indian and even if you are not Indian this is not a profession that you go into that will offer you stability. But they knew it was what I wanted to do so they supported it.

What is your message for young Indians who want to pursue acting?

The message is try and do something else seriously, only do this if you have to, if there is absolutely nothing else you can do then be an actor, if you can be a doctor and you will be a good doctor please go be a doctor, be a lawyer and if you can do that and be happy, do that because this is not an easy profession. But if you are passionate about acting and this is something you absolutely have to do, do it. And get trained. I don’t want young Indians to think I am the norm, I’m not; I got really lucky. But if they are passionate about this and ready to take all the rejection and obstacles, go for it. As an Indian, if you are auditioning for a non-Indian role you have to prove yourself even more so than the other actors who auditioned. In Covert Affairs my role was not written for an Indian and I had to prove myself.

Do you have a message for our readers?

Don’t eat yellow snow! I hesitate as an actor to give out messages because there are people far wiser that you should listen to, but I guess my message is pretty much what I gave before to South Asians who want to pursue acting.

2010 Interview – ViewLondon

October 28th, 2010 | Posted by Jenn in Interviews | Press - (0 Comments)

Original Link: http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/cinemas/sendhil-ramamurthy-interview-feature-3721.html
Author: Unknown

Best known for his role as Mohinder Suresh on Heroes, Sendhil Ramamurthy stars in Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha’s film It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, where he plays the childhood friend of unlucky-in-love Roopi, played by Goldy Notay. The actor was recently in London, where he took the time to chat with View’s Matthew Turner about accents, marriage, LA vs London and and life after Heroes.

Being Chicago born and sporting quite a thick accent, how was playing an English character for you?

Sendhil Ramamurthy (SR): It was challenging. I went to drama school here, so I had kind of a beat on it. But I worked with a dialect coach and went through the script a lot with her. I also stayed in the accent on-set, which really helped me as well. That was my contribution to the accent.

Was the accent much different to your Heroes accent?

SR: I softened it a little bit and didn’t make him as proper. But doing Heroes obviously helped me do this.

How did you get involved with the film?

SR: Gurinder called me and asked me to do it. So, I came over here, we met and had lunch for three hours. We talked about the film and what her idea was for the film and for this role. She wanted to know what I was looking to do. But our sensibilities really worked together, so we decided right then to go for it and do it.

There are a lot of scenes where you have to keep a straight face while knowing there are a group of people in the background you’re not supposed to be able to see. How difficult was that? Were there times you broke into laughter?

SR: I found it very difficult because I had very few scenes with the ghosts, whereas Goldy had them around all the time and got used to it. I struggled to get through my two scenes – we burned a lot of film!

You’re constantly being discussed in terms of what you look like in the film. Does that rub off on you at the end of the day?

SR: Yeah, you do… but you try and think of it as how it services the film. And Goldy did a great job of keeping my ego in check by letting me know that I wasn’t all that and a box of biscuits. But it’s part of what the film’s about. It’s not the outer appearance that matters, it’s what’s inside. So, if there’s going to be a moral to this film I would say that’s it. But that means appearances are going to be discussed in the film in order to get that message across. I think that’s how we both approached the film and I tried not to walk around thinking I was some kind of ‘himbo’ being discussed. We tried to do it in service of the film.

Does the arranged marriage theme have any personal resonance for you? Do you know people who have been put in that position, whether it be family or friends?

SR: I think my parents are just excited I settled down at all! So, they were totally cool with it and they really didn’t say much. They were just happy I was getting married, I guess. It really never came up. I just said: “I’m getting married.” And they were like: “Great!” And that was it. But they knew from the way I was growing up that [putting forward candidates] would never fly. So, they never bothered. They literally just left me alone to do my thing.

How much did being a part of Heroes change your life? And how hard is it to find roles in between your Heroes commitments?

SR: It’s really difficult to find roles because you shoot for 10 months of the year, so you have to find something that you want to do and that shoots in your two months off. So, that was one of the major reasons to do this; they were willing to shift the dates a little bit to fit me in. Heroes wrapped me out a week early so I could start on the film. Both sides really worked together to allow me to do the film, so I was very grateful to both NBC and to Universal Studios and to Gurinder.

Obviously, the profile from Heroes is what got me this job in the first place. It’s why Gurinder approached me. So, it’s been a real blessing. It’s opened up so many doors and I’m moving onto other things now. I’m just really excited and grateful for the opportunities that Heroes has given me, and that Gurinder’s film have given me, because Gurinder is very well liked in Hollywood. I’ve been going into meetings recently when all the press is coming out about It’s A Wonderful Afterlife and she’s got a lot of fans at all the studios in Hollywood.

So, 10 months of Heroes and several weeks of this – that leaves you with one week off! Are you a workaholic?

SR: I am actually. But I just think make hay while the sun shines, really, when you’re an actor. When the opportunities present themselves you just better take them, otherwise you just don’t know. If it involves being away from my family for too long, then I would think. But they were with me for the whole shoot. But my wife is British, so it was a no-brainer for me. We used to live here – we lived here for six years. So, it was literally the perfect opportunity. It fit in my eight weeks off, my family came with me and it was with people I wanted to work with. So, it was a very easy decision.

Where do you feel more at home?

SR: I feel more at home in London than in Los Angeles, definitely. If I could have my choice, I certainly would live in London as opposed to LA. I just prefer it here. But I love the work and in LA there’s just so much more of it, and as an actor you kind of have to go where the work is. Luckily, I’ve been able to get the work out there. If work brings me back here, and a project is here and I can do it, I’ll jump at the chance.

What’s next for you?

SR: I’m leaving tomorrow, actually, to go to Toronto and do a new TV series. I’ve left Heroes and am starting a new show called Covert Affairs. It’s abut the CIA and I play an American CIA agent. It’s being executive produced by Doug Liman who did all the Bourne movies and Mr and Mrs Smith and Swingers. I’m really excited to start. It’s a very different role to what I do on Heroes – it’s kind of a kick-ass spy. You get to run around, shoot guns and jump around a bit. So, it should be a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to it.

Does that mean you’ve tied yourself into another seven years of possible series?
SR: Six years… yeah.

2010 Interview – Collider.com

October 28th, 2010 | Posted by Jenn in Interviews | Press - (0 Comments)

Original Link: http://collider.com/covert-affairs-interview-sendhil-ramamurthy-tca-interview-covert-affairs/42676/
Author: Christina Radish

When a TV show gets canceled, it generally leaves the cast scrambling, looking to figure out what their next job will be. For Sendhil Ramamurthy, he was already actively shooting the new USA spy drama Covert Affairs when he found out that Heroes had been canceled.

Brought in after the pilot and introduced in Episode 2, the actor is playing Jai Wilcox, an agent with a rich family history within the walls of the CIA. During an interview at the NBC Universal portion of the Television Critics Association Press Tour, he talked about how Episode 5, airing this week, will be the episode that viewers will finally get to learn what his character is all about. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

Question: What can you say about your character on the show?

Sendhil: I’m playing a CIA operative. They’re not agents, they’re operatives. Jay is like CIA royalty. His father used to head up the CIA, and he’s living in his dad’s shadow, trying to break out.

Do you enjoy getting to speak with your own accent?

Sendhil: Yes. It’s a nice change.

How would you compare this show to Heroes?

Sendhil: It’s different. It’s a really different part for me, and a totally different experience. Heroes was a huge show with 12 cast members and giant special effects. This is more of a character-based show. There are five series regulars, in the entire thing, and my character is a slightly arrogant, cocky, smooth-talker.

Did you talk to any CIA operatives, in researching this role?

Sendhil: Not yet. I actually came on after the pilot. They shot the pilot while I was still on Heroes. And then, they decided to make some changes and I came in on the second episode.

So, you weren’t unemployed for long.

Sendhil: Actually, we found out Heroes was canceled while I was shooting the third episode, so I was never unemployed.

How were you able to do both shows at once?

Sendhil: Because it was an NBC show and I was still under contract, and they said, “We’ll let you go do this show because it’s for us.” We all knew there was a chance Heroes wouldn’t be back, so we were all covering our butts a little bit, and it worked out

What has it been like to work with this cast?

Sendhil: My job is to come into work every day and flirt with Piper Perabo. I have a very flirtatious relationship with her. Basically, what happens is that I’m called in by the new boss, who is the new head of the CIA, played by Peter Gallagher, and he tells me to get close to Annie Walker, Piper Perabo’s character, in any way that I can, to get information on her ex. There’s some question as to whether I knew her ex, which all comes into play.

Will we find out what he’s really up to before the season is done?

Sendhil: Oh, yeah. They wrote the first four episodes before I was cast, so they more or less slot me into them. I’m peppered through the first four. The fifth episode is my episode. That’s when you find out everything about Jay and why he is the way he is. You’ll learn about his background and what it is that he’s going to be doing for the whole season.

Where are you filming this show?

Sendhil: We’re in Toronto. That’s the only downside. My family is in L.A. They come up, and I’ve been flying back and forth, every other weekend.

How many more episodes do you have left to shoot for this season?

Sendhil: We’re on the penultimate episode now.

2008 Interview – Earl’s Blog

October 28th, 2008 | Posted by Jenn in Interviews | Press - (0 Comments)

Original Link: http://earlsblog.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/heroes-sendhil-ramamurthy-interview/
Author: IGN

With Heroes coming back in less than a week, IGN sat down with Sendhil Ramamurthy, aka Dr. Suresh for an interview:

Question: Your character flirted with the dark side a bit in Season 2. Was that fun for you?

Sendhil Ramamurthy: Yeah, absolutely. I kind of thought I got the darkness out of me until I found out what they were doing for me this season. It’s kind of deeply dark and twisted and completely messed up. I love it. It’s fantastic. It’s really, really dark in a comic book sense. It’s very comic book like.

Q: So the title “Villains” is not only about new characters, but exploring the darkness inside those we already know?

Ramamurthy: It is. Yeah, it’s exploring the good and the bad in everybody. A lot of the characters I think are kind of turned on their heads. They will still fundamentally be the same people that you know, but they will be in certain circumstances that cause them to behave differently than they have before.

Q: Even Sylar?

Ramamurthy: Everybody. Everybody, in some way. And a lot of them will not be ways that are very linear. You’re not expecting them, which is what makes good television.

Q: What was it like having such a long break, thanks to the writers’ strike?

Ramamurthy: As an actor, I could have done with a three week break. I didn’t necessarily need it to be this long, but I think ultimately, to be honest, it was very good for the show. The writers went back and were kind of reenergized and had re-tooled, and I knew they’d come up with something really extraordinary. Something that will equal or hopefully surpass the first season.

Q: Do you think your character will finally get a superpower?

Ramamurthy: Listen, anything is possible on this show. This character’s always been on the outside looking in at these characters and their abilities and trying to help them. It’s ultimately proved to be kind of fruitless endeavor. He keeps coming at it from different angles and he can’t quite find a way in to help these people. And this season he does – he finds a way in. But it has severe consequences. The way that he goes about things and the changes that he endures, because of how he does this. It’s kind of like this journey through this whole season so far. He will have to deal with the repercussions of his actions and it’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever done and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had.

Q: Who have you worked with this season?

Ramamurthy: I have so far worked with Dania Ramirez, Ali Larter, Adrian Pasdar, Robert Forster, who’s joining the show… I’m sure there’s more, but I’m spacing out a little bit.

Q: I liked the Chinatown thing you had going last season, with the bandaged up nose.

Ramamurthy: Did you really?

Q: Yeah, it was a fun little touch.

Ramamurthy: I was into it, except that it took like 45 minutes to put the makeup on and everything.

Q: When does Season 3 pick up in the timeline?

Ramamurthy: It picks up seconds after Nathan Petrelli gets shot in the second season. It’s directly after.

Q: How is it having an action figure?

Ramamurthy: You know what? It’s pretty cool. It’s pretty damn cool. Who doesn’t want an action figure? My daughter runs around with it. She wants to take it to school and I have to explain to her that the other daddies don’t have action figures and the kids will get jealous. It’s definitely good for the daddy ego, for sure.

2007 Interview – Digital Spy

October 28th, 2007 | Posted by Jenn in Interviews | Press - (0 Comments)

Original Link: http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/interviews/a41244/sendhil-ramamurthy.html

Author: Neil Wilkes and Kris Green

Lost, 24 and Prison Break are now firmly established with audiences as the kind of unmissable television guaranteed to spark conversation at watercoolers up and down the country.

But a new contender is about to enter the ranks of the elite. Heroes, the number one new TV series in the US, crosses to UK shores on the Sci Fi channel in February.

In the coming weeks Digital Spy will be chatting to the cast of the show about the key to its success and what to expect as the series progresses.

First up is Sendhil Ramamurthy, who plays Mohinder Suresh, a young Indian professor who decides to return to New York after his father – a genetics expert with some controversial theories about rapid changes in evolution – dies in a car crash. Seeking to get to the bottom of his father’s death, Mohinder immediately finds himself at the center of a mystery that runs much deeper than he had ever imagined…

How would you describe the show for someone who’s never seen it before?
“Well, it’s about groups of people all over the world who wake up one morning and discover that they have developed these extraordinary abilities. One person can fly, another can walk through walls, another can teleport, and it’s about how these people deal with these abilities that they’ve developed, and how the people around them deal with these abilities. That’s what I think makes the show interesting, because if it dealt with only the abilities themselves, the powers, it would be a one-trick pony, it would be a problem, but I think the writers have very smartly gone the way of dealing with the human reactions to these abilities.”

Could you tell us a little about how you got the part – what attracted you to the series in the first place?
“I was living in London when I got this part, I’d been living here for the past six years – I moved to LA for this show – and my agent in LA sent this script out and basically said ‘throw yourself on tape for it’. I read the script, I thought it was fantastic, but the part as it was written, was for my father, it was a 55-year-old man so I did the tape with no pressure at all, just because I thought I don’t have a chance, I don’t know why they’re seeing me. I did it, they liked the tape, they brought me out to screen test and they just kept asking me these random little things – like ‘come in, don’t shave for a few days’. Or ‘wear a suit’, or ‘just wear jeans’. It turned out they were refashioning the character around me. They made it change, they made the character the son of the character they had originally written. That’s how I got the part.”

So we nearly didn’t see you on screen, then?
“I never existed! It was never even thought that this character would actually be the son, the character was just going to be the father. For whatever reason, they changed it, and I’m eternally grateful.”

It adds another dimension to the show, to have the character with his powers and then his relationship with his father.
“I think that’s the smart thing that they’ve done, they really have made the show about relationships, and I think that’s why people have tuned in, and I think that’s what’s stopped us from being just a cult genre show. It has things the mainstream audience can be interested in – it’s got a bit of romance in it, for people who are into that, you’ve got the relationships between the single mother and her child. I think if it was just about the powers, it would get really old, really fast. The writers very smartly have shied away from that.”

What sort of reaction have you had to the show? Do you get recognized on the streets?
“The show has taken off in a way that none of us expected in a million years, and now it’s a daily occurrence. People coming up to you, while you’re walking down the street, or in the grocery store, or putting petrol in your car, whatever, you know, somebody comes up to you, or several people during the day, and it’s on everybody’s radar. Everybody comes up and says ‘really enjoy the show’. It hasn’t been intrusive yet, people are very complimentary – it’s really nice to hear, it’s always nice to hear. We all – I mean, there’s 250 people that make this show happen, so it’s great for all of us involved that people are recognizing it. Last week we got nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Drama, and to be mentioned in the same breath as 24, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy and these kinds of shows, it’s certainly a validation for all of us. We couldn’t be more happy!”

It’s not yet out in the UK, so could you give us a brief summation of what happens in the first half of the show, in the first 11 episodes?
“The first eleven episodes – you’re going to be introduced to all the characters. The pilot episode is a heavy episode, there’s a lot going on. You have to keep in mind that originally, the pilot was going to be a two-hour premiere, but the network decided to split them into two, so there is a lot going on in the first episode. I think that’s actually a good thing, because you’re introduced to every character, every major series regular character apart from one, who comes in in the fifth or sixth episode. You’ll be introduced to all of the characters, you’ll see the ones who have powers, what their abilities are, and for the ones who don’t have abilities, it’s very quickly established what people’s roles are going to be. Particularly for my character – my journey starts immediately. My father’s murdered and I have to find out who murdered him, if his theory was right, and if so where are all these people – how do I find them and bring them together. That’s the goal.

“And as in any story titled ‘Heroes’, there’s got to be a bad guy. In the first eleven episodes, you’re introduced to one, possibly two bad guys. There’s an ambiguity to a lot of the characters, particularly the Niki character [played by Ali Larter]. Nobody’s all good or all bad. There’s so many facets to each of these characters – you never know when somebody’s going to go rogue – or not! I think that’s another thing that’s made the show so incredibly compelling to watch, is you never know what can happen with these characters because they’ve left everything so open for all of us. It’s so much fun for us to say, because we know we’re not going to be playing the same thing over and over again. They change it up for us and they have that luxury, because they can go into the future, or backwards, see into the past. It’s a joy as an actor to be able to do those things.”

Do you think Mohinder has that side to him, then?
“I will be sorely disappointed if I’m all good. I certainly hope that there’s some bad. He wouldn’t be a real person if there wasn’t another aspect to his life. I have every confidence that the writers will explore all facets of all characters, should we be fortunate enough to carry on for a few years. Everybody’s going to get a crack at showing completely different sides to their character, and sides they never even thought were there. We all think we know our characters like the backs of our hands, but it’s not us who know the characters, it’s the writers, and they’re the ones who know where this is all going. We don’t, we get the scripts three days before we shoot them. We cram the lines in, and we go from there.”

What power would you like to see Mohinder have, if he did?
“I guess it’s hard, because the one I would really want is flight, and that’s already gone. Mohinder’s power, maybe if he could incinerate people, that would be kind of cool. What I hate is doing green screen work – they could do it with the computer and I wouldn’t have to do green screen. I have to do so much of it in the India scenes, when there were two of me on screen. It’s hard, because you have to stand there talking to a stick with a tennis ball on top of it, that’s what you’re acting to. Maybe that, I could be a flamethrower or something.”

Which of the heroes has the best power, and why?
“I would always go with flight, I think that would be the coolest. I think that Nathan Petrelli’s power (flight) is the best one. From a purely practical point of view, living in LA, it would be great to be able to fly and not be stuck in trafic all day.”

Tim Kring said recently that he isn’t afraid to kill off major characters, so of all the characters I guess you’re the one who feels safest because you push the main narrative. Is that how you feel yourself?
“I wish I felt that way, it’s absolutely not the case. You know why I know this? Because they tell us this on a daily basis, to keep us on our toes. Nobody is safe! People are going to die, that’s the nature of the show. It can’t continue for years and years – people die off and new blood is brought in. That’s just how it’s going to be. We know that some of us are going to die – obviously, we hope it’s not us, but I can’t see this season going by and one of us not dying. Maybe they’ll surprise us and not do that, but I really can’t see it happening, because just from a practical point of view they need to bring in new blood, and they have to make it regular – people can’t just come in and do guest spots, they need to be regulars.”

Original Link: http://www.heroesrevealed.com/cast/sendhil-ramamurthy/ali-larter-and-sendhil-ramamurthy-interview/

Author: IGN TV

IGN TV: How far into production are you on Season 2?

Sendhil Ramamurthy: We’re in the middle of the third episode.

IGN TV: A year ago you were here with the show before it premiered, having no idea how it would go over. What’s it been like in the past 12 months seeing it explode the way it has?

Ramamurthy: Ali?

Larter: I’m always anxious to hear what everyone else says to these things. It has been an absolutely amazing year. What I think is so incredible is that I feel stimulated creatively, and we took a lot of risks on the show in the first season. And to be able to feel fulfilled on that side of it is for me the most important thing as an actor. But to also have this appeal, on this global level, is extraordinary. It’s extraordinary that we really touched a cord.

Ramamurthy: Bouncing off her and what she said about a global level, it really is like a global thing. I was traveling around over the hiatus and I was in France and England and Mexico, and everybody knew the show; everybody knew who we were. I mean it really is nuts. You can hope to be on a hit show, but to be on a show that’s kind of like branched out, like this has, I don’t even know!

IGN TV: Sendhil, I remember talking to you on the set before the show had debuted, and you were telling me how you and Milo [Ventimiglia] were so excited just to see the big billboard painting on the side of NBC, and were going there to take pictures of it.

Ramamurthy: [Laughs]

Larter: Oh wow!

Ramamurthy: I still have that picture on my phone!

IGN TV: I know you guys have to be very secretive, but can you talk at all about where Season 2 picks up?

Ramamurthy: Season 2! I can tell you this, Season 2 picks up four months after Season 1 ended.

[At this point Larter taps Ramamurthy on his shoulder and nods towards some nearby girls]

Larter: These girls just looked over and went “Oh my god! Oh my god, there he is!” I swear!

Ramamurthy: [Laughs] The best thing about the show is standing next to her.

Larter: [Miming fans] “Ahhh!” Sendhil, do the girls come up to you and fawn? Because as a girl, you know guys aren’t like “Oh, you’re so lovely.” They’re like “How you doing?” or they hit on you.

IGN TV: But the girls get into more of the shrieking thing, right?

Ramamurthy: Listen, they pretty much leave me alone, because I’m mostly out and about with my wife. But a few come up.

Larter: And she’s got a big ol’ ring on her finger.

Ramamurthy: Yeah, exactly.

IGN TV: So where do we find your characters as we join them four months later?

Ramamurthy: Right now I guess I can say my character is undercover. He’s grown a big old set of balls. He’s generally kind of done a 180 from the first season, which is exciting as an actor to play something new.

IGN TV: Ali, last season you were playing two different characters, but Niki seemed to have integrated Jessica and come out as the dominant personality by the end of the year.

Larter: There’s definitely been an integration, and you know, it’s all Niki now. Just Niki; that’s all you get, which is great. I think that it’s about focusing it on the things that worked last year, and really kind of tightening up the storyline.

IGN TV: Last year I learned from some of your costars that Masi [Oka] is particularly good at prying information about what’s to come out of the producers. Do you guys make attempts to do the same thing?

Larter: We get nothing!

Ramamurthy: Yeah, I get nothing. I’ve kind of stopped trying. I kind of just go with the flow and you trust them, and you just see what happens.

IGN TV: You guys haven’t had a substantial scene together, right?

Ramamurthy: No.

Larter: You know, it’s coming now!

IGN TV: Oh really? Any hints on how that occurs?

Larter: We don’t really know exactly yet. We just know that we’re going to be coming together a bit.

2007 Interview – AV Club

October 28th, 2007 | Posted by Jenn in Interviews | Press - (0 Comments)

Original Link: http://www.avclub.com/articles/sendhil-ramamurthy,14159
Author: Sean O’Neal

Though he can’t fly, read minds, or stop time, few fans would argue that Mohinder Suresh isn’t an integral part of Heroes. For one thing, it’s Suresh’s quest to continue his father’s research into the mysteries of “advanced evolution” that drives the show (it’s no coincidence that Suresh is the one who narrates every episode). And for Sendhil Ramamurthy, the Texas-bred actor who plays him, the character of Suresh has done something even more important than saving the cheerleader: It saved him from years of dealing with Hollywood’s continuing inability to cast Indian actors in roles that aren’t variations on the stereotypical terrorists or convenience store clerks. The son of two physicians (his sister is also a doctor) and a classically trained performer who studied with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Ramamurthy came very close to abandoning acting altogether until Heroes came along, and with it the opportunity to create one of television’s most fully realized Indian characters—not to mention being in one of the most popular shows on the planet. Just prior to the premiere of Heroes’ second season, The A.V. Club spoke with Ramamurthy about breaking those race barriers, why he doesn’t have “superpower penis envy,” and what viewers can expect from Suresh’s surprising turn this season.

The A.V. Club: How did your parents feel about you being an actor as opposed to following in the family footsteps?

Sendhil Ramamurthy: They were less than thrilled at first. [Laughs.] I was pre-med, so I was going to go into the family business more or less. But I came to my senses, luckily, and backed out, and decided to go to drama school. Now they’re happy that I’m playing a doctor on TV at least. And once they kind of got their head around the whole thing, they were really supportive. They paid for drama school, and when I was with the Royal Shakespeare Company they flew out to England to see all of my plays. Of course, now that I’m on TV, they don’t understand what the hell Heroes is all about. Every Tuesday after the show airs I have to have the Tuesday morning conversation and explain to them what happened the night before.

AVC: One thing they should be happy about is you’ve helped break stereotypes for Indian actors on TV. Do you think there’s still an ingrained racism in the way Hollywood writes and casts for Indian actors?

SR: I think so. There isn’t any question about that. I’ve managed to luck out that they’ve given me a fully rounded character on the show, but in general, yeah. And you know, now more than ever I get everything “Indian” that’s ever written. It all comes across my desk. Since Heroes started I’ve probably had about 15 or 16 film scripts sent to me with Indian characters, and out of those maybe one was good. And the depressing thing is, they’re all being written by Indians! Like, how many more scripts can there be about an arranged marriage or an abusive husband? It’s the same thing over and over again. I think that Indian writers think this is the kind of thing that people want to see, and it’s kind of sad. I literally fling those scripts across the room as soon as I start reading them. [Laughs.]

AVC: You’ve said that you refuse to even audition for those kinds of roles. If Heroes hadn’t come along, where do you think you’d be right now?

SR: Literally, I had bought my GMAT book, and I was going to take the GMAT and go to business school. I was ready to chuck it all in. I couldn’t do those parts. I would just rather do something else. And then this thing fell into my lap. It was bizarre. I was unemployed, and I had just had a baby, and I needed to do something. I thought, “Well, I’ve given it more or less a good crack, and at least I had the chance to do some really great theater.” Film and TV-wise, it just wasn’t happening. I did some guest spots, and I did a series in England and stuff like that, but nothing that I was overwhelmingly proud of, or that had given me a lot of notoriety, or that even stretched me as an actor. Heroes came along and everything changed after that. Now I’m getting a lot of scripts that have nothing to do with being Indian, and I think that’s amazing. I’m really happy about that.

AVC: Is there anything you’ve signed to?

SR: Nothing I can talk about. There’s something in the works that I hope can work out, but it’s tough with the shooting schedule because we shoot for nine months of the year. So I have to find something that I love—and if it’s “Indian” it has to be something I can do morally, something I will allow myself to do—and the scheduling has to work out to those three months. This thing I’m hoping will work out now, it’s not an Indian movie. The character’s name is “Miles.” I really, really, really want to do it, but so far the dates don’t work. We’ll see.

AVC: You just completed a Heroes world tour.

SR: It’s really been a whirlwind, these past three weeks. They’ve been insane. But fun, so much fun. You spend most of your time as an actor unemployed, so you’re not going to hear me complaining that I haven’t had a day off in three weeks.

AVC: What are Heroes fans like overseas?

SR: Much more vocal. [Laughs.] Me and three other castmates did Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Tokyo was okay, because it hasn’t come out yet in Japan, so we were really under the radar. The only people who stopped us were American and Australian tourists. In Hong Kong it’s come out, but it’s on a cable channel right now. We still had some paparazzi and people following us around. In Singapore the whole season has aired on normal television, and we went to a fan event where they told us it would be like 500 to 800 people and we got there and there were just under 8000. That was freaky. It was scary but cool. These people screaming for you, you’re kind of hoping they don’t kill you too. The group that went to Europe all had the same response. It’s great to see that the show hasn’t become just this genre, sci-fi show. It really has become this global thing.

AVC: It definitely has its genre following, though. Are you already sick of answering fanboy questions about whose power could defeat whose and so on?

SR: [Laughs.] Yeah, that segment of our fanbase really does take it all pretty seriously. You just have to laugh at it. You also have to respect it, because without them we wouldn’t have a show. They’re our hardcore fanbase that we can always depend on. It’s hard for me because they ask me these questions, and it’s literally things I’ve never thought of before. They ask me comic book questions—I’ve never read a comic book in my life. I read Archie when I was a kid. I never read X-Men, or Superman, or Spider-Man, or any of the other “mans,” so I never have the answers to these questions. I’m not a Trekkie. I’ve never seen the first three Star Wars movies. It’s just not really my genre. I just politely defer to the two castmates on the show who are sci-fi people and let them take the question.

AVC: And who are they?

SR: Masi [Oka] and—actually, it’s just Masi. He knows everything about comic books. He knows everything about… manga, I think it’s called? The first time somebody asked me about manga, I thought he said “mango.” I honestly had never even heard that term before. I was like, “Why are you asking me about fruit?” That didn’t work out so well for me.

AVC: Being both a critical and commercial hit in your debut season puts a huge amount of expectation on the follow-up. How is the show dealing with that?

SR: It starts out very much like the first season with a big, sprawling story—and it’s a new story—but then starts to change very quickly afterwards. We’re more unified. There were so many separate stories going on last season, and now we come into contact much quicker in the second season. A lot of our stories intersect, and I’m working with a lot more of the regulars than I did last season, which is great. We’ll be doing scenes where there will be five or six of us in the one scene acting with each other, and that never happened until the last two or three episodes of the first season.

AVC: All of the heroes working together? Sounds like the Justice League.

SR: Nooo. There will be no Justice League. [Laughs.] Far from it, actually. There’s some antagonism going on. It’s a lot more exciting, I think. I like the way that the second season is going a lot more than the first season.

AVC: One of the big—and only—complaints from last season was that the finale was really anticlimactic. Did you agree with that?

SR: I understand the criticism, because there was such a build-up to the fight between Sylar and Peter. And I think people were probably expecting a lot more from that, special effects-wise. They were expecting more bang for the buck, and I can totally understand that. But from the story’s point of view, because we start with a whole new story in the second season, last season’s story had to be wrapped up, to tie up everyone’s storyline in a way that didn’t leave dangling ends. This season we’re not going to have one overarching storyline. The first 23 episodes of last season were “Volume One,” and this season the first episode through the eleventh episode are “Volume Two” and that’s going to wrap up at the end of the eleventh episode. Then a new story starts “Volume Three,” and “Volume Four” ends the season. We’re telling more compact stories to avoid having a 23-episode build-up that’s inevitably going to be a letdown for some people.

AVC: How much are you sworn to secrecy on scripts? How much of the story do you know at any given time?

SR: We get one episode at a time, and the first page of every episode that we get says, [Reads from script.] “In accordance with the production, there is zero tolerance for revealing script pages or ideas contained herein to any person outside the production…Remember: We are a family, and a family is only as strong as the secrets we keep.” That’s the first page of every single script.

AVC: Fair enough. So what can you tell us about the upcoming season?

SR: The overall story is that all of the main characters are spread out and getting on with their lives—or trying to, anyway. If the first season was about ordinary people becoming extraordinary, this season is about everybody trying to be ordinary. Everyone wants to be as normal and under-the-radar as possible. My character is the most changed. They really flipped Suresh and did a 180—which I’m really happy about. He’s a man of action this season. I think it’s really going to shock the audience. It’s one of those things where they’ll probably be yelling at the TV when they see some of the stuff that Suresh does. He’s still the same person that he was at the core, but there’s a different thing driving him, and he’s working with and coming into contact with old and new characters who nobody ever thought that Suresh would be associating with. It’s kind of a bold thing for the writers to do, to flip the character like that. Hopefully it works. I think he’s a much smarter character than he was last season. There’s a lot less of Suresh being completely in the dark and every other character and the audience knowing what’s going on except him.

AVC: Yes, a lot of last season, Mohinder—for a scientist, especially, someone who’s supposed to be naturally skeptical—seemed especially trusting. Some would even say gullible.

SR: [Laughs.] Yeah, I think he’s learning his lesson, but that’s always going to be his Achilles’ heel. At heart, Mohinder is the good in the world, and he will always see the good in people. That could end up being his undoing, or it could end up being something great. He has a questioning nature, but he also wants to believe that the best is true in everybody. Sometimes that really doesn’t work out so well for him. I do think he’s learning, not only about other people but he’s learning so much about himself. There’s a lot of introspective moments, actually, in the first nine episodes that we’ve shot so far where he sees who he is. He may not like some of the stuff that he’s seeing. He certainly doesn’t like some of the stuff he’s doing. Not only will the audience be shocked, but I think Mohinder is really shocked at what he’s able to do. I don’t know if he even knew some of the stuff that he was capable of doing this season. It’s kind of nuts. I have to say, when I read what they had in store for him, I wasn’t sure. It’s really different. But I think it’s going to connect with the audience because it is so different, and because there’s a damn good reason for everything.

AVC: Does the major change in his motivations have something to do with caring for Molly?

SR: Yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of scenes with Adair Tishler. She’s great. Basically, Greg Gunberg and I are like—what is it?—Two Men And A Baby. My character is actually traveling a lot—I’ve been in four or five different countries within the context of the story, and we’re only in the ninth episode—so I’m away a lot from Molly, but she is absolutely at the core of all of the changes that are occurring with Mohinder.

AVC: Last season it was revealed that Mohinder’s blood is the cure for “Shanti’s virus.” Does that become a major plot point?

SR: I would say that’s the major thing in “Volume Two.” It’s all about Shanti’s virus, and obviously Mohinder’s blood is very important to that.

AVC: Would you consider that to be Mohinder’s superpower, that he has blood that can cure people?

SR: I don’t look at it as a superpower. When I first started the show, it was pitched as a show about superpowers, and I was like, “This sucks. I’m the only guy on the fucking show who doesn’t have a superpower. This totally blows.” But now I’m actually really glad that Mohinder isn’t flying and running through walls and stuff, because I think it makes him more relatable to the audience. I wouldn’t call it a superpower, but I don’t know what I would call it. A genetic anomaly? I’ve thought about it a lot. He was more or less born to cure his sister’s virus, and that’s why his parents decided to have him. He’s been produced to do something. I like that about him. While I wouldn’t say it’s a superpower, it’s certainly something that drives him.

AVC: Considering you’re one of the only cast members who doesn’t have a superpower—besides Jack Coleman—do ever find it emasculating?

SR: There’s some penis envy going on. [Laughs.] No, we’re all very aware of the nature of the show and the mythology, and it’s something that [creator] Tim Kring talks about all the time. We all—and certainly Jack and I—see our place within the mythology. I see myself as searching for good in this world—as well as being the narrator on top of it. I’m kind of everybody’s eyes. I don’t really try and change it. I don’t hang out in the writers’ room and campaign for a power.

AVC: The fact that you’re the narrator does seem to hint that Mohinder has some sort of omniscience.

SR: It does, and I’ve purposely never asked where the voice-over is coming from. I don’t know if it’s coming from a book that he’s written, or if it’s a book that his father wrote, like a diary. I have a lot of theories in my head what the real answer is, but I think only Tim Kring knows and I’ve never, ever asked him. I think there will come a point where I’ll want to know. Whether he’ll tell me or not is a different story. Right now I’m okay with not knowing.

AVC: Does it give you a feeling of job security? Like, your character’s probably not going to die anytime soon since he’s the narrator.

SR: Um, I wouldn’t say that. [Laughs.] There are a lot of people who can talk. They can change narrator midstream. I’d certainly like to think that, but the reality is I don’t really see it as job security. I do see it as another way my character is important to the story. I think it makes this character more and more valuable to the show, and that can never be a bad thing. But can they write an episode where Suresh gets two bullets to the head? Yeah. Of course they can.