EXCLUSIVE! Sendhil Ramamurthy Interview!
Greetings Sendhil Fans!
We trust that all of you have ordered Her Nightly Embrace but if you haven’t yet, click on the photo above and grab your copy! If you haven’t seen our interview with author Adi Tantimedh, please check it out here.
As promised, here is Sendhil’s exclusive interview with us – Enjoy!
SR.net – Sendhil, first of all, thank you for again granting us an exclusive interview about this incredible project! In the four years we’ve been doing this, we’ve seen your work on television, film, producing and now there’s a new aspect to your experience in the entertainment business with the Her Nightly Embrace: Ravi P.I. project.
Did you bring any personal experiences to the character of Ravi?
Sendhil: I didn’t consciously bring any personal experiences to the character, rather I tried to find different areas in my acting that I wanted to explore through the character. In particular, the comedic aspects to the character were my focus. Ravi has a dry, sometimes morbid, sense of humour that I wanted to play with.
SR.net: Were you involved at all in the development of the character with the author?
Sendhil: I was/am very involved in the development of the character. I would fly back from Toronto while I was filming Beauty & The Beast to meet with Adi. We would bounce ideas off of each other and Adi would send me pages as he wrote them and I would tweak little things. Luckily, Adi and I have been pretty much on the same page with RAVI from the beginning.
SR.net: I don’t know if the audience realizes how far back your involvement in this project goes. Your collaborative relationship with Adi seems quite unique. How and when did he pitch this project to you and what piqued your interest to encourage you to take this leap?
Sendhil: Leopoldo Gout who is our fearless producer on the TV project side, pitched the show as a vehicle for me to my London agent, Roger Charteris, in mid-2013. Originally the plan was to only do a TV series, but as we went through the different stages of development, it seemed natural to also have a book component since Adi is such a strong writer. It was also a way to protect the IP (Intellectual Property).
Getting Ravi to the point where I felt he was the character I wanted to play was a slow but steady process. There were so many drafts I can’t count. But finally, we got it to a point where it felt right. Adi and I had A LOT of meetings at Soho House going over notes, drafts etc. Me, Adi, & Leo pitched the book to Simon & Schuster (Atria) in NYC right before I started Season 1 of Lucky Man and they loved the idea of the book and the fact that there are plans for a TV series and podcast. Everyone there really saw the potential and they signed on for a book deal straight away.
As far as what piqued my interest, first and foremost, it is the fact that I have been involved from the ground up and have a voice in the character I will be playing from the outset. Second, I loved that the project is set in London because I love London and love living there. Third, I thought Adi had a really great take on the crime fiction genre with RAVI P.I. There is social commentary, mixed in with dark humor, messy romance, and original, and downright bizarre cases. I think when people read the books, their minds will automatically drift to a TV series. It is eminently and hopefully imminently deserving of TV adaptation.
SR.net: What characteristic of Ravi stands out to you as something you hope the audience appreciates most?
Sendhil: I hope they appreciate how flawed this character and all the other characters in the project are. I didn’t want this piece to be a highly polished TV project where everyone is perfect and the “hero” always makes the right decisions and gets the bad guys in the end. Even when Ravi “solves” a case, there is sometimes the question of whether he did more harm than good. I don’t like TV or characters in general where everything is black or white. Grey, whether it be moral or otherwise is far more interesting to me.
SR.net: With your past experience on the production end of projects, what has it been like taking on different mediums with the Ravi project?
Sendhil: We are just getting started so my answer to this may change, but in general, you usually start out having to compromise from the very beginning. Sometimes it’s for budgetary reasons, sometimes for reasons of time, but with Ravi, I hope we won’t have to compromise AS MUCH. If there is something we simply can’t cover in the TV series, it can be covered in the book, or in the podcast. The different mediums enlarge your canvas and that is what I am most excited about- to be able to create as complete a world as possible for the audience to enjoy these characters.
SR.net: What did you learn from the process of recording the audiobook?
Sendhil: I learned to try not to drink so much water while recording because you have to get up to pee all the time. Other than that, I was surprised by how much I learned about Ravi just by reading out loud. I felt like I really started to find his voice. I was also surprised by how much I learned about my character by reading aloud what the other characters say about Ravi. What they say about Ravi and how they interact with him was very, very helpful.
SR.net: Since your first ‘performance’ of Ravi that audiences will be exposed to will be the audiobook, will that impact the way you play Ravi in the upcoming television series? Did you get more insight to the character by performing the audio book?
Sendhil: I don’t know how much the audio book performance will affect my TV performance. The script hasn’t been written yet so much will depend on that. I definitely gained more insight as I said, but scripts are a different beast. Hopefully the dialogue captures the essence of the book. That’s the goal as we discuss writers.
SR.net: Speaking of television, you’ve spent a great deal of time lately on UK TV screens, where you got your start. Was the experience of making Lucky Man different coming into it after working in American network television?
Sendhil: It’s funny because I have acted in US, UK, and Indian productions and the process of acting and interacting with other actors is always the same. No matter where you are. People may have different techniques of arriving at the end result, but in general the way we interact with each other is the same. The big difference is budget. There is less money so crews tend to be smaller in the UK and India therefore the scale of the projects tend to be smaller. In the end, it’s all about the script. If the script is bad, it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at it, you can’t polish a turd.
SR.net: Has the UK television experience changed since the days of Casualty and Ultimate Force?
Sendhil: I will say this, the TV experience has stayed the same all the way down to the craft services. The UK has some of the worst on set food EVER. It’s quite brutal. I think it’s one of the many ways we are spoiled by the budgets in the US. Then again, we all complained about the food on Beauty and the Beast too. The only person that complains more than an out of work actor? A WORKING ACTOR!
SR.net: In terms of projects you want to be a part of, has your motivation changed over the years or do you see the multichannel approach as something inevitable in today’s entertainment landscape?
Sendhil: My motivation has changed over the years. At first, I just wanted to work. That was hard enough. Now that I have had some measure of success, control over the end product is more of a motivation. I am not content to just be an actor for hire anymore who comes in and hits his mark and delivers his line without bumping in to the furniture….unless you pay me a ton of money in which case I’m unreservedly yours!
SR.net: Thank you again so much for your time. Is there anything you’d like to say to all of the Sendhil Ramamurthy fans out there reading this?
Sendhil: Just want to say thanks to all the fans that have stuck with me over the years. I am continually amazed and encouraged by your messages, tweets, posts on sendhilramamurthy.net, and other sendhilfans sites. It’s a tough business and on the toughest days all it takes is a message from one of you guys to lift me up so THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE AN SUPPORT!! And finally I want to say thank you to Jenn and Meaghan for creating the sendhilfans community. You guys are amazing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.