Open to coming back and doing more work in India: Sendhil Ramamurthy

The actor, 49, last worked in a Hindi production in Shor in the City in 2010.

Sendhil Ramamurthy (Photo by Unique Nicole/Getty Images)

By:
Mohnish Singh

Indian-American star Sendhil Ramamurthy says he loved working with Vidya Balan in Do Aur Do Pyaar and hopes the film brings many more opportunities from Bollywood, an industry he stayed away from due to language barrier and familial responsibilities.

In Do Aur Do Pyaar, Ramamurthy stars as Vikram, an NRI photographer who falls for Vidya Balan’s Kavya, a married dentist. The film, directed by Shirsha Guha Thakurta, is earning praise for its depiction of an urban marriage where a long-time couple seeks love outside of the relationship.

The actor, 49, last worked in a Hindi production in Shor in the City in 2010. He said his absence from Hindi cinema was not driven by “a lack of desire”.

“I didn’t want to be away from the children for far too long and be so far away where I couldn’t fly home on a weekend. I hope to be doing a lot more because my kids are teenagers now and it’s not cool to hang out with your dad. So I’m much more open to the prospect of coming back and doing more work in India,” Ramamurthy told PTI in an interview.

Best known for his film and TV projects such as It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, Heroes, Covert Affairs, New Amsterdam, The Flash and Never Have I Ever, Ramamurthy said language was also an issue that kept him away but with the global proliferation of platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney everywhere, the opportunity for crossover has never been better.

“I want to do more work in India, but previously, there was always this language barrier that I couldn’t overcome. I had very realistic or low expectations, depending on how you look at it. I felt like it was a bridge too far and I can maybe dip my toe in, but then I’m going to have to dip right back out because there’s not going to be an opening for me,” he said.

Do Aur Do Pyaar happened by chance for Ramamurthy with one of the film’s producers, Tanuj Garg, reaching out to him with the script. Garg was also involved with Shor… and It’s a Wonderful Afterlife. The character of Vikram was tweaked to make him an NRI after Ramamurthy came on board.

“I sat down and read the whole thing in an hour and a half and then I went back and read it again just because I thought, ‘Can it actually be this good? Did I miss something?’ I just read the Vikram-Kavya scenes again and realised that he doesn’t say a whole lot. He has to convey everything with looks and gestures and I thought, ‘that’s such a great acting challenge for me’.”

Working with Balan was the cherry on top but Ramamurthy did his homework by connecting with the director via zoom to understand her vision for the film, which is a remake of the American film The Lovers.

Balan, he said, was a pure joy to work with.

“She’s Vidya and I didn’t know what to expect from her. I went in kind of expecting the worst like, ‘What if she’s like a big diva and all of this attitude and everything’. And then she disarmed me from the second I laid eyes on her. She just came up, gave me a big hug and I just felt okay… I was in an environment where I could give my best performance,” he recalled.

Ramamurthy said the ease shown in the interaction between their characters was a direct extension of the comfort he shared off screen. The Sherni star even helped him out in a key emotional scene.

“Her natural instincts are some of the bests I’ve ever worked with,” he recalled.