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'I am happy that I was the first choice for Ivan Veramathiri'

December 11, 2013 08:46 IST

'I am happy that I was the first choice for Ivan Veramathiri'


Shobha Warrier in Chennai

Ganesh Venkataraman was a successful model who had won the Gladrags contest, and also a television actor who acted in serials such as Antariksh and Mayavi.

Then he made an amazing debut as an actor in the Tamil film Abhiyum Naanum directed by Radhamohan, with Trisha as the female lead.

He went on to act with Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal in Unnaipol Oruvan, the Tamil remake of A Wednesday. He played Amitabh Bachchan's son in Major Ravi's Kandahaar.

His next release is Ivan Veramathiri directed by M Saravanan where he once again plays a police officer.

In this interview Ganesh Venkataraman talks about Ivan Veramathiri that will release this Friday, December 13.

After the successful Unnaipol Oruvan, you are once again acting as a police officer in Ivan Veramathiri....

I am happy that I am Saravanan's first choice for the role of Aravindan, IPS.

When he recommended my name to Lingusamy, the producer, he said, correct choice!

I was overwhelmed that a producer like Lingusamy, with many successful films to his credit, and a director whose first film was so much appreciated, thought of me for one of their important characters. 

Image: Ganesh Venkataraman in Ivan Veramathiri



'Saravanan made sure that Aravindan IPS was quite different from Arif Khan in Unnaipol Oruvan'

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What was your reaction when you were told that you were to be a police officer in Saravana's second film?

Much before he contacted me, I had seen his Engeyum Eppothum and in the theatre, I saw people giving the film a standing ovation.

It had a huge impact on me. But at that time, I never thought that I would be acting in his next film.

When he contacted me and narrated the script, my role, and also my scenes, I was blown away. I immediately said, ‘I am on board.’

How different is Aravindan IPS from Arif Khan IPS of Unnaipol Oruvan?

Saravanan made sure that Aravindan IPS was quite different from Arif Khan in Unnaipol Oruvan.

This one is a thinking cop in an action thriller. He is an intellectual and a passionate officer, unlike Arif Khan who was impulsive and did more of action.

Aravindan IPS leads the investigation in solving a case by connecting all the dots using his intelligence rather than muscle power.

Saravanan had told me that he wanted a part of my personality in the character and that made me really happy.

The characters created by Saravanan remain with you even after you leave the theatre. Even today, people remember his characters from Engeyum Eppothum. 

Image: Ganesh Venkataraman in Ivan Veramathiri

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'I do more acting than action in this film'

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Was it easy for you to portray Aravindan IPS?

I won't say it was easy or difficult. Before I portrayed Arif Khan, I did a lot of research as I was playing a police officer for the first time, and I was working with Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal.

This helped me the second time. But it took more effort to see that Aravindan is totally different from Arif Khan.

As Saravanan wanted a similar look, like no moustache and clean haircut, I had to try hard to make the characters different in the portrayal.

I cut short the impulsiveness of Arif Khan in Aravindan, who is an ACP with a whole team working under him. I showed him as a mature guy who was more controlled in the way he behaved.

I must say Saravanan chiselled me and moulded me as Aravindan IPS.

Did you have to do many action sequences?

There is some amount of action, though he solves the case using his intelligence rather than his fists.

I do more acting than action in this film. Saravanan told me before we started shooting that this character would give me a good name. I am looking forward to the response.

The climax is a long chase sequence and that would be the highlight of the film. 

Image: Ganesh Venkataraman in Ivan Veramathiri

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'I had great fun shooting the film'

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Was the atmosphere quite tense on the sets as it is a serious action film?

On the contrary, Vikram, Vamsi and I had great fun shooting the film. We were the three musketeers on the sets and we vibed really well and surrendered ourselves to the director. It was a great experience working in the film.

What was interesting for me was that as soon as I finished playing Aravindan IPS, I started playing a gangster in Guns of Benares, the Hindi remake of Polladhavan (a Dhanush film).

I thoroughly enjoyed the contrast in these two characters.

Did you have any interesting experience shooting in the city?

There was a long chase sequence that we shot in Chennai city and then in Pondicherry. I had to drive at insane speed through some narrow lanes.

I drive a white Mahindra Scorpio which is my police vehicle. In the chase, bikes and autos fall, people run, cars crash and many such things happen, and we were shooting that chase sequence for five or six days. I feel it will be the highlight of the film.

Another interesting action takes place in an under-construction building where I chase the bad guy from the ground floor to the terrace.

The action was shot from a camera mounted on a chopper brought from Bangkok. It was simply amazing.

Image: Ganesh Venkataraman in Ivan Veramathiri

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