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Another love story from 'lover boy' Jayam Ravi

Last updated on: May 5, 2011 11:37 IST

Another love story from 'lover boy' Jayam Ravi

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Shobha Warrier in Chennai

Engeyum Kadhal (Love everywhere) directed by Prabhu Deva, starring 'lover boy' Jayam Ravi and Hansika, is said to be the perfect summer release.

Shot beautifully by Nirav Shah in the stunning locales of France, the film is expected to storm the box office this weekend.

Jayam Ravi, who has had an impressive record so far, talks exclusively to Rediff's Shobha Warrier about the film and being directed by Prabhu Deva.

When the film was offered to you, what was more attractive to you: the story or Prabhu Deva as the director?

Only a person like Prabhu Deva can direct a story like this. It was because of him that the film happened.

How was Prabhu Deva as a director?

It was an amazing experience. He not only tells you what to do but shows it to you also. Of course, he gives a lot of creative freedom too. Yes, it is tough to match up to his energy level. I had to really extend myself to reach that level.


Image: A scene from Engeyum Kadhal

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'It was tough to have the attitude of a playboy'

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Was it a tough role to portray the role?

It was easy as well as tough. Whenever I found it tough and was a bit scared, Prabhu Deva took extra efforts to make me feel relaxed. I used to feel nervous quite often, and every time it happened, he was there to help me. That way, he was a great director to work with.

What was the toughest part about your character?

The way Kamal, the character, behaved was very tough for me to portray. I haven't done a character like Kamal before. Kamal is a playboy. It was tough for me to have the attitude of a playboy! (Laughs) Prabhu Deva helped me with my body language.

Did you have to flirt with girls all the time in the film?

(Laughs) Yes I did.

Did you enjoy doing that?

Not really! Not after my marriage! I know I was doing a job and had to be a professional.


Image: A scene from Engeyum Kadhal

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'I enjoy being a lover boy'

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You have a lover boy image in Tamil. Do you like that?

I like the image and enjoy being a lover boy! But not a playboy. To get an image is tough, and getting the lover boy image is even tougher. So I am really happy that I have achieved something in Tamil films.

Do you feel you are trapped in the lover boy image? Would you like to do different roles?

I am too young to be trapped in any image. I am at an age where a lover boy image suits you. I still have a lot of time and slowly want to experiment and do different kinds of roles. In fact, Jananathan's Peranmai was such an experiment, and I enjoyed doing a film that was totally different from my other films. In fact, I am trying to do different kinds of films but directors want me to do only love stories. Perhaps they feel I am better in such films.

In Ramesh's Aadi Bhagawan I am not a lover boy; I am a gangster. As an actor, I want to do a variety of roles.

Do you feel only then, you can grow as an actor?

Exactly. If an actor wants to grow, he has to portray different kinds of characters. Otherwise, an actor himself will feel repetitive and I also did feel repetitive. Peranmai was a good thing that happened to me. I am trying to experiment.


Image: A scene from Engeyum Kadhal

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'Engeyum Kadhal is for my female fans'

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Do you think your female fans will like your experimentation, away from love stories?

That is why I am doing films for them. Engeyum Kadhal is definitely for them. I like my look in the film. Prabhu Deva made the stylist try out various looks on me, and it was he who decided on my look. He also came with me to select my costumes.

Kamal is actually a guy who lived in India but goes to France and now thinks he is a foreigner. On the other hand, Hansika is from France but has the mind of an Indian.

Where did you shoot in France?

In Paris and Lyon, and also in Cannes. What I like about France is that people are very friendly. Another thing that impressed me was the way they respect heritage. Even if they change the interiors of the buildings, they are not allowed to touch the exteriors of any building, and that is what gives their cities the unique look.

How was it dancing on the streets of Paris? Did people stare at you?

In fact, all of them enjoyed watching us dance. Behind the camera, they also started dancing like us! It was good seeing them enjoying our dance moves.


Image: A scene from Engeyum Kadhal

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'I was nervous dancing in front of Prabhu Deva'

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You are a good dancer. Did you feel nervous dancing in front of a great dancer like Prabhu Deva?

Definitely, I felt nervous! Whenever he found me nervous, he used to come and cheer me up. He even complimented my dance steps. It was such an inspiration to do better. Once I showed a dance step to him, he really liked it and congratulated me. And, when he showed a dance step, it took me two hours to practice it.

Your brother Raja directed most of your films. How was it coming out of the comfort zone and being directed by others?

Yes, initially, it was tough to go outside the comfort zone. As I learnt the art of acting and the nuances of film making working with my brother, I adjusted to all directors and worked like a true professional. I must thank my brother for making me think like a professional.

Now, you are working under different directors and Raja is also directing other actors. Was it a conscious decision?

Yes. I felt my brother was making films for my success only. I felt bad that he was stuck with me. I wanted him to work with bigger heroes. My Dad also wanted him to work with other heroes. So Velayudham with Vijay will be a big step for him.


Image: A scene from Engeyum Kadhal

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'I want to be a filmmaker'

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Since your brother, father and you are all a part of film fraternity, are your dinner table conversations about films?

My mother sees to it that we speak something else, other than films. Still, as all three of us are in films, conversations veer towards films unconsciously, much to her annoyance.

What kind of films do you enjoy watching?

I watch all kinds of films. I enjoy watching European films a lot. I generally try not to miss any international film festivals in India. Every year when the Indian International Film Festivals happen in Goa, I take a break to go there and watch films.

Do you want to be a filmmaker?

Maybe. Being born and brought up in a film family, you cannot escape getting interested in films. Right from my childhood, I was into films.

What kind of films would you be interested in making?

I like emotional films. I also enjoy comedy films. 


Image: A scene from Engeyum Kadhal

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'My role in Peranmai was the most challenging role'

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You said you watch European films but you act in commercial films. There is a lot of difference between the two.

It is like survival and existence. I act in commercial films to survive and reach out to more and more people. I like to do experimental films but unless you have a base, you can't do that. I am trying to build that base. By base, I mean wider audience.

Of all the characters you have done so far, which  one was the most challenging?

It is definitely the one in Peranmai. I had no reference to portray Dhruvan, who was a tribal youth who was also a forest guard. I changed my look completely from what people used to describe as 'chocolate hero' to a tough man. First, I lost 14 kilos to be a fit Dhruvan like a tribal youth.

On the day of the release of your film, do you feel nervous?

Of course, I do. The very first show of the film will tell you whether several months of your hard work has paid off or not.

Is it like waiting for the exam result?

No. You can write an exam again if you fail but you cannot make a film again. It is a do or die on a Friday for all those connected with films. You don't get a second chance in films. I would say film making is tougher than writing an examination!

Image: A scene from Engeyum Kadhal

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