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“Vidya Is  Such A Generous Actor,”  Sendhil Ramamurthy On His  Do Aur Do Pyaar Co-star



US-based  Indian  actor Sendhil Ramamurthy  says his  presence in  Shirsha Thakurta Guha’s  Do Aur Do Pyar was totally  unexpected. “My friend Tanuj Garg, who produced both It’s A Wonderful Afterlife & Shor in the City, sent me the script for Do Aur Do Pyaar  and asked me to read it and tell him what I thought.I loved the script. I thought it was a mature examination of marriage and extra-marital affairs that didn’t judge any of the participants. The script, plus the chance to work with Vidya sealed the deal for me. I had a Zoom chat with the  director  Shirsha Guha Thakurta  and we got along really well, and that was it!

The  last  Hindi film   Sendhil did  was Shor In The  City where  Sendhil had  just fifteen words of Hindi to  speak. There  are a lot more words in Do Aur Do Pyaar.  Sendhil  confesses his Hindi  has not improved.However his prospects  in  Hindi cinema are not  limited by  his   limited  command  over Hindi. “I have never really thought about my prospects in Hindi cinema. I have always assumed, if I have any sort of opportunity in Hindi films, it would be as an NRI. I am very realistic about my opportunities to come back to Bombay and work. If the right script comes along with a good team behind it, I would jump at the chance. I loved my time making both Shor in the City, and Do Aur Do Pyaar.”

  To play  the “hot”  Photographer  in  Do Aur Do Pyaar Sendhil took the  help of a  fashion photographer in  New York.  “I shadowed her for a week, accompanying her on her shoots and observing and filming her with her subjects so I could feel comfortable with the camera. It doesn’t really feature in the film so much, but I wanted it to be in my muscle memory. As for the “hot” part, I regularly went to the sauna and jacuzzi at my gym so I could get as hot as possible.”

Almost all  of Sendhil’s   sequences  were  with the astounding Vidya Balan  barring  a very  interesting  mute-moded  interlude with Pratik Gandhi . Sendhil says he adored working with Vidya. “She is such a generous actor. She welcomed me with open arms and always made sure I had what was needed on set and in our scenes. I was really struggling with the final scene where Kavya returns the house key to Vikram, and leaves the letter letting him know it won’t work out between them. I couldn’t find the right emotion. Vidya came and held my hand off camera while I read the letter. That was all I needed. That’s the take in the film. I want to work with Vidya again ASAP.All the dialogue in the film is as scripted, but Vidya and I would sometimes start an improvisation before the cameras started rolling, and then go into the scene once Shirsha called action.”

  Since Do Aur Do Pyaar is about  infidelity in  a broken marriage,  I asked Sendhil his take  on  infidelity . “My take on extra-marital affairs is that they happen. I don’t think anyone wants them to happen. Sometimes things get stale in a relationship and  people seek solace elsewhere. After the experience of doing Do Aur Do Pyaar, if a friend came to me saying they were straying from their marriage, I wouldn’t judge them. I’d just listen. Sometimes when people talk things out they find the solution.”

   In real life Sendhil is  happily married. “I am married and we will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year. My wife hasn’t seen the film yet. I watched it on my laptop a few months back, but she wanted to see it on the big screen. We are going to see it at the cinema in Times Square this week.”

 Sendhil says he comes  from a family  of doctors .  “I had zero interest in acting before going to university. I was studying medicine and planned on being a doctor. I needed an arts class in order to fulfill a requirement to graduate so I took an Introductory acting class because I thought it would be easy and there were lots of pretty girls in the class. I fell in love with the entire acting process during that class and changed course and went to drama school in London. The rest is history!I am always striving for more. I am very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in both the US & UK, but I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. I am excited for what’s to come!I am starting a movie this summer filming in the US, but I am not allowed to talk about it. It’s a screwball romantic comedy with a terrific cast and I am very excited to get started.”

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