Three films a year — that’s the target Jayam Ravi has set himself for the future. The actor opens up to Udhav Naig about his upcoming releases Nimirnthu Nil, Bhooloham and a yet-to-be-titled film with his brother Jayam Raja
Jayam Ravi’s relaxed demeanour suggests that this New Year seems to have begun well. Unlike the last two years, during which he had only one release — Ameerin Aadhi Bagavan — which sank without a trace, he has three films now in his bag. Two movies, Nimirnthu Nil and Bhooloham, are ready for release, and he has begun work on an untitled film with his brother, Jayam Raja. Nimirnthu Nil, in which he joins hands with filmmaker Samuthirakani, is due to release on Valentine’s Day.
The failed experiment seems to have forced Jayam Ravi to focus on what he needs the most right now — a commercial hit to keep the cash flowing. “I have always tried to better my previous effort. I want to do at least three movies a year,” he says, talking about his target for the next few years.
Right now, he has a pretty decent line-up. He plays a dual role in Nimirnthu Nil and a heavy weight boxer from North Madras in Kalyankrishnan’s Bhooloham.
But what made Ravi take up Nimirnthu Nil despite Samuthirakani’s reluctance to cast him in a double role after Aadhi Bagavan? “I don’t believe that the audience really care about an actor doing double roles in two consecutive films. Ultimately, the film needs to work its magic. In Nimirnthu Nil, I had a fascinating time playing the role a 45-year-old man, which was out of my comfort zone. But I loved the challenge.”
The actor further says he is trying to shed his Romeo Ravi image and become Rocky Ravi. ‘‘This is my biggest challenge. In the last ten years, I seem to have acquired the Romeo Ravi tag, which refuses to go away. I am trying to get rid of this with films such as Peraanmai and Bhooloham. At the end of the day, the industry is such that one is required to be an action hero to succeed,” he says matter-of-factly.
It is evident that Ravi has grown wary of every sort of experiment. Two years ago, he would have done the role of an effeminate don, but today he wants to play it safe. “I am open to pushing the envelope as long as directors are committed and earnest. For instance, the tribal protagonist in Peraanmai is a role without a reference. In such cases, the director needs to do his/her homework and chip in with valuable nuggets of information. Otherwise, the entire effort could prove to be a disaster.”
While Nimirnthu Nil boasts a big star cast comprising Sarath Kumar, Amala Paul and Suri, Ravi discloses his brother’s efforts to rope in either Irrfan Khan or Arjun Rampal for his next film, which will see Nayanthara team up with him. “The plot unravels like a cat-and-mouse game and requires a strong antagonist, which is why we are exploring the possibility of getting one of them on board,” he says.