Hungry for more

Thambi Ramaiah.

Thambi Ramaiah.  


Thambi Ramaiah tells subha j rao how he cannot resist the magic of movies even at the age of 52 and how he gets a high translating his idea on screen as a director

He set out to be a music director, but got a chance to direct ( Manu Needhi and Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan) and write comedy tracks. Success courted him when he turned actor — he bagged the National Award for Mynaa. He’s played them all — comedian, villain, a cop with a conscience, a failed director… but Thambi Ramaiah is hungry for more. The actor, 52, who has projects with top heroes, speaks about his directorial venture and the enduring magic of movies.

Which of your roles do you cherish — director or actor?

Acting has given me an identity; people recognise me. But being a director is a different high — it’s my idea on screen. But even as an actor, I do contribute with dialogues.

You are a constant presence on screen, cutting across genres…

I feel blessed when directors tell me they wrote the part for me. This is how I used to think when I was a writer. The actor aids the characterisation process, warts and all.

After some successes, actors tend to get slotted. How do you beat that?

I am popular as someone who brings in the laughs, but I’d love to play a cobbler or a beggar sitting by a temple — see the immense possibilities of such a role! Their world view will be different. The audience must be surprised. If you don’t innovate, they will only see the actor on screen, never the character.

How do you prepare for your roles?

Earlier, books were my guru. Now, I hit the street — I meet at least four people every day. That’s the only way I can enter their world. I speak to the flower seller, the auto driver… every person’s life is a book! Sometimes, I hail an auto, and tell the driver to take me somewhere. That’s a lovely way to study people from a vantage point. Else, all we do is raise our car windows and travel in a bubble.

You’re full of life on screen? How are you off screen?

I’m very quiet. Luckily, my family understands my need for occasional silence.

Are your direction dreams still alive?

I’m ready to direct Aanandha Kanneer, for which I’ve written the script and dialogues and will act in and compose music. I’ll start work on it sometime in 2015. I’m also writing a book, Anubava Mugadugal, about experiences close to my heart.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 1:29:35 AM |

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