2010 Interview – IBN Live

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

Original Link: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/sendhil-on-its-a-wonderful-afterlife/112728-8.html?from=hp&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=ping.fm
Author: Shweta Parande

He became famous as the geneticist in hot TV series Heroes. And now he’s playing a major role in Gurinder Chadha’s It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, releasing in May 2010. IBNMovies spoke to Sendhil Ramamurthy in an EXCLUSIVE interview on his experience, and also his Bollywood plans.

First up, let’s talk about your experience working on the much loved TV show, Heroes.

It was an amazing experience to be a part of a show that blew up to be so big and has captured the imagination of people worldwide. It runs in 226 countries, and there’s no place where people don’t know who we are. It’s been four great years of working on it, and the show has opened doors for more work – for all of us.

How kicked were you playing a geneticist in Heroes?

Well, I’d really been doing theatre when I landed the role. So, I was just excited to have a job, because it paid well. And it was a sprawling concept, very filmic in nature. They have spent a lot of money.

You mean, Heroes was shot on a movie camera?

Yes, it was fully shot on Panavision film, which is very rare these days.

Had you seen any of Gurinder Chadha’s films before you accepted It’s a Wonderful Afterlife?

I had seen Bend It Like Beckham, which was terrific. I knew that she was doing very commercial, popular films. I accepted Wonderful Afterlife…because was very different from Heroes, and also, it fit into my schedule.

How was it working with Shabana Azmi?

Amazing. We don’t have too many scenes together, but even watching her was great – someone so much more experienced than I am.

Tell us about your B’wood project, Shor. How did you land the role?

I finished shooting it in February. The writer-directors Krishna D.K. and Raj Nidimoru flew to LA and offered the role to me over breakfast. They showed me their short film which went to Cannes, called Short, which I liked. My role in Shor is that of an NRI who comes to set up a non-profit organisation in India and gets caught up in corruption and the mafia. I work with a terrific new actress, Preeti Desai who’s been Miss Great Britain in 2006.

Are there anymore Bollywood films in your kitty?

I don’t speak Hindi, so only if films are being made in English, I can do them. There are three stories in Shor, and my story is in English. So, I’m looking at more crossover and character-based kind of films. But say, if Ashutosh Gowariker is making a film in English, I can be a part of such projects.

You’re a Tamilian. Have you been approached for a role in south Indian cinema?

I have been recently approached for a Tamil and a Kannada film. But I will wait for the right script.

How do you research for your role? What is your approach?

It depends on the character. In Afterlife…, I play a cop. So, I roamed around with the London Metropolitan Police, and talked to them.

Will you go back to theatre?

Yeah. I did theatre in New York and London, and would love to do something on the West End or Broadway.

2010 Interview – The Hindu

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

Original Link: http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/metroplus/article390805.ece
Author: Harshikaa Udasi

With “It’s a Wonderful Afterlife” premiering this week and a new TV series lined-up, Chicago-born Tamilian Sendhil Ramamurthy has a lot to look forward to.

It’s 10.30 at night in LA when we manage to speak to an exhausted Sendhil Ramamurthy, done with the day’s interviews and trying his best to not let the hoarseness in his voice show. “Anything for the film,” he says, speaking of Gurinder Chadha’s It’s A Wonderful Afterlife in which Sendhil plays a British cop. He’s dejected that he won’t make it to India for the promotions or the Mumbai premiere on May 7 (though he is flying to London this week for its premiere) as he begins work on the new NBC series “Covert Affairs”. Needless to say, he wants to pack in as much as he can from overseas to familiarise with Indian audiences.

If you are still wondering Sendhil (who?), then the introduction goes thus. This man of Indian origin is all the rage in the U.S., thanks to a television series by Universal-NBC called “Heroes”where he plays a geneticist by the name Mohinder Suresh. Incidentally, this role was initially etched out for a 55-year-old, but Sendhil’s audition and screen test turned the tide in favour of this much younger person.

The Tamil boy was born in Chicago after his physician parents migrated from Bengaluru. If fate had not intervened in the form of a necessary class involving introduction to acting, then Sendhil would have gone the medical way. But here he is: Making his own space in the acting world in the U.S. and ensuring that he stays miles away from stereotypical ‘Indian’ roles.

“I don’t find them interesting,” he says of stereotypical Indian roles that Indian actors abroad mostly get. “But acting is horrid business; sometimes you just need the work to pay your rent so I don’t fault Indian actors who end up taking those roles. I have just been fortunate that I don’t have the compulsion to accept roles defined by my ethnicity.”

While his role in “Heroes”stands out among the many he has done for “Casualty”, “Guiding Light”, “Ultimate Force”, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Numb3rs”, Sendhil’s wheel of fortune is once again expected to turn with his two films: Gurinder Chadha’s It’s A Wonderful Afterlife and DK and Raj’s Shor. In Gurinder’s IAWA, Sendhil plays an undercover cop who is sent in to investigate a spate of murders in an Indian neighbourhood. The film stars Shabana Azmi as a mother who is obsessed with the idea of getting her daughter married. “It’s a romantic comedy with two parallel love stories: between me and the daughter, and the mother and the daughter. Gurinder makes unabashedly commercial films and I think it’s not a bad thing to do.”

A pot-boiler

Ask how he fitted into a Gurinder Chadha movie that has all the ingredients of a pot-boiler complete with song and dance sequences and a loud Punjabi flavour to it, and he cannot suppress a chuckle. “If you are asking me whether I did a jig in this film, the answer is yes but only at the roll of the credits in the end which is mandatory in all of Gurinder’s films. But there you have to do your own thing not be your character in the film. So that was fine! Fortunately for me and the audience, my role didn’t demand me to shake a leg,” he laughs.

Shor, on the other hand, is a gritty drama involving three storylines — two in Hindi and one in English. Shot in Mumbai early this year, the film is expected to release by year-end. “What made me pick up Shor,even when I didn’t know much of the directors, was I realised that they had the potential to make a fabulous film when they showed me a short film on which they have based it,” says Sendhil.

The actor is interested in doing roles in crossover cinema, notwithstanding the length of the role. “I really don’t care if it is the lead or a supporting role or even a cameo. The script has to speak to me. Otherwise an office job is a much more stable option than acting. Also the director should be someone I can trust,” he says.

New TV show

There’s a lot of excitement this year for the actor as he embarks on a new TV series, titled “Covert Affairs”,playing an American CIA agent. “It’s a very different show from ‘Heroes’ as the latter was a sci-fi theme, while this belongs to a sleek sexy spy genre. We begin shooting on April 20 and it will take the next five months.” So does that signal the end of “Heroes”? “No decision has been taken on the fifth season yet. But I was looking to do something new and ‘Covert Affairs’came along. Thankfully, it was the same studio producing the two series and I asked if I could switch. But I may be asked to guest act in ‘Heroes’ to wrap up my character.”

And if that’s not all, Sendhil even has a Hollywood film waiting in the wings. But hush! We’ll have to wait a while before we get the details on that one.

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.”