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'Yes, extra-marital affairs happen'

April 25, 2024 12:43 IST
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'Sometimes things get stale in a relationship and people seek solace elsewhere.'

IMAGE: Sendhil Ramamurthy with Vidya Balan in Do Aur Do Pyaar. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sendhil Ramamurthy /Instagram

US-based actor Sendhil Ramamurthy says his presence in Shirsha Thakurta Guha's Do Aur Do Pyaar was unexpected.

"My friend Tanuj Garg, who produced It's A Wonderful Afterlife and Shor in the City, sent me the script for Do Aur Do Pyaar and tell him what I thought of it. I loved the script. I thought it was a mature examination of marriage and extra-marital affairs that didn't judge any of the participants. The script, plus the chance to work with Vidya Balan sealed the deal for me. I had a Zoom chat with Shirsha Guha Thakurta and we got along really well, and that was it," Sendhil tells Subhash K Jha.

In Shor In The City, Sendhil just had 15 words of Hindi to speak. In Do Aur Do Pyaar, there are many more.

Sendhil confesses his Hindi has not improved, but his prospects in Hindi cinema are not limited by his limited command over Hindi.

"I have never really thought about my prospects in Hindi cinema. I have always assumed that if I have any sort of opportunity in Hindi films, it would be as an NRI. I am very realistic about my opportunities here. If the right script comes along with a good team behind it, I would jump at the chance. I loved making both Shor in the City and Do Aur Do Pyaar."

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sendhil Ramamurthy /Instagram

To play the 'hot' photographer in Do Aur Do Pyaar, Sendhil took the help of a fashion photographer in New York.

"I shadowed her for a week, accompanying her on her shoots and observing and filming her with her subjects so I could feel comfortable with the camera. It doesn't really feature in the film so much but I wanted it to be in my muscle memory. As for the 'hot' part, I regularly went to the sauna and jacuzzi at my gym so I could get as hot as possible."


IMAGE: Ileana D'Cruz, Pratik Gandhi, Vidya Balan and Sendhil Ramamurthy in Do Aur Do Pyaar.

Almost all of Sendhil's sequences were with Vidya Balan, and he adored working with her.

"She is such a generous actor. She welcomed me with open arms and made sure I had what was needed on set and in our scenes," he says.

"I was really struggling with the final scene where Kavya returns the house key to Vikram. I couldn't find the right emotion. Vidya held my hand off camera while I read the letter. That was all I needed. That's the take in the film."

"The dialogue in the film is scripted, but Vidya and I would sometimes start an improvisation before the cameras started rolling, and then go into the scene once Shirsha called action."

What is Sendhil's take on infidelity?

"Yes, extra-marital affairs happen. I don't think anyone wants them to happen. Sometimes things get stale in a relationship and people seek solace elsewhere. After the experience of doing Do Aur Do Pyaar, if a friend came to me saying they were straying from their marriage, I wouldn't judge them. I’d just listen. Sometimes when people talk things out, they find a solution."

In real life, Sendhil is happily married.

"We will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year. My wife hasn't seen the film yet. I watched it on my laptop a few months back but she wanted to see it on the big screen. We are going to see it at the cinema in Times Square this week."

Sendhil says he comes from a family of doctors.

"I had zero interest in acting before going to university. I was studying medicine and planned on being a doctor. I needed an arts class in order to fulfill a requirement to graduate so I took an introductory acting class because I thought it would be easy and there were lots of pretty girls in the class."

"I fell in love with the entire acting process during that class and changed course and went to drama school in London. The rest is history.

"I am grateful for the opportunities I've had in both the US and UK but feel like I've only scratched the surface. I am excited for what's to come. I am starting a movie this summer in the US but not allowed to talk about it. It's a screwball romantic comedy with a terrific cast and I am very excited to get started."

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