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The Angrez is now Abhi’s boyfriend

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Life is a duet Ganesh Venkat Ram
Life is a duet Ganesh Venkat Ram

Ganesh Venkat Ram makes his Tamil debut with Radha Mohan’s “Abhiyum Naanum” opposite Trisha

This Gladrags Manhunt 2003 find had no clue what a huge sleeper hit the crossover film “The Angrez” would become.

Tamil debut

“I had never been to America all my life. They thought I had been to the U.S.,” says the star who is making his Tamil debut with Radha Mohan’s “Abhiyum Naanum” opposite Trisha, recalling his modelling days in Mumbai where he trained for an acting career with theatre workshops.

“I went prepared for the role for three days, learnt to roll my Rs and spoke in an American accent when I went for the audition.”

The 2005-film “The Angrez” went on to run for 150 days. “I got a lot of offers for crossover films after that, but the script wasn’t as appealing. Also, I wanted a larger canvas, a bigger project. An actor at the end of the day is considered to be only as good as the budget of the film, his director and co-stars.”

Biding his time with a little TV, he latched on to a few larger-than-life roles he got — “Antariksh” on Star Plus and the 3-D series “Mayaavi” with GV Films. “‘Antariksh’ was on the lines of ‘Star Wars’, a superhero story with a lot of computer graphics, and was fresh on TV in the middle of all the soap opera fare. TV is a great medium to learn from.”

“Mayaavi” went on to win an award at the Seoul Drama Awards.

“Before ‘Mayaavi’, India had not even got a nomination at this prestigious awards show for the past eight years. We were nominated along with the likes of Ugly Betty, Friends, Sopranos and won.”

Incidentally, only two months before his audition with the Duet films team, he had seen “Mozhi.”

“It left a deep impact on my mind and I was hoping I would get to work with that team some day.” So when he heard about the casting call in Mumbai, he made sure he was there.

“I could sense Radha Mohan liked me but he was trying to find the character in me.So, I did my homework and went back the next day, dressed as the character, spoke like the character he had in mind and behaved like the character had to. I think that sealed it for me.”

Great chemistry

“There are two men in any girl’s life. One is the father and the other is the man who is going to be her life partner.

So I guess my role is important too but it’s been kept under wraps because it involves a twist,” he says. “No hero will get a debut like this. I bonded with Trisha really well. Our chemistry looks great.”

Duet Films, he says, has become second home to him.

“The kind of mentoring and support I get as an actor with Prakash Raj is fantastic…

In fact, whenever I’m in Chennai, I use the Duet Films office for meetings.”

SUDHISH KAMATH

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