‘Bad boy’ Richie

all primed up Richard Raj  

Richard Raj is excited about his film Thalai Ezhuthu and his villain role in Jaggubhai

When in New Zealand he’s busy doling out steaming idlis and dosas to famished customers at his restaurant ‘Roti Chennai’. Back in his hometown Chennai, he’s busier acting in films. Meet Richard Raj, the villain in K.S. Ravikumar’s forthcoming release Jaggubhai.

Says Richard: “I was crazy about films even as a kid. This craze continued even after I moved to New Zealand 20 years ago. I enrolled for a part-time course in acting, and took up a few modelling assignments too.”

Meanwhile, his father Ethiraj, a script writer and theatre person, informed him that they were on the look out for a villain for Vijayakant-starrer Vallarasu. “And, I became the ‘bad boy’,” laughs Richard.

After the film he got so busy with ‘other things’ that he missed many offers from the industry. Till one night when he got a call from Ravikumar, who was looking for someone to play a villain in his film. “I am delighted to be working in a big-budget film with big names such as Sarath Kumar, Shriya Saran and Goundamani.”

But what Richard is more excited about right now is his production Thalai Ezhuthu. The film is inspired by a physically-challenged software engineer who visits his restaurant. “I just got the germ for the story from him, and have given it a twist. It’s a thriller.”

Richard, who plays the lead, says he followed the engineer for two years watching every little move of his. The film is slated for release this month. He says it was difficult juggling production and acting, and frustrating to handle technical snags, but the end product has been worth it.

Does he have any specific roles in mind? “I’ll take up anything that comes my way. In fact, when people watch these two films, they’ll see two completely different characters.”

What next? “I’ve no plans. I’m in no rush; I can wait. I want to see the outcome of both the films,” says Richard, whose favourite villains include Raghuvaran and Prakash Raj.