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Exclusive! Kanna Ravi: I'm happy with my growth in recent years, but dejected that I can't be part of Lokesh's LCU

The young actor gets candid about his career, ambition and preparation of roles

Exclusive! Kanna Ravi: I'm happy with my growth in recent years, but dejected that I can't be part of Lokesh's LCU

Kanna Ravi

  • Thinkal Menon

Last Updated: 03.31 PM, Jan 07, 2023

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Kanna Ravi, who has played significant characters in a few notable films in recent years, headlined the recently released movie Rathasaatchi, which dropped directly on aha Tamil. Quite elated with the response he has garnered for his performance from several quarters, he has now pinned hopes on a web series which he is currently shooting for.   

In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, the young actor talks about his journey, working with acclaimed filmmakers, approach towards acting and the missed opportunity to be a part of the most-celebrated 'Lokesh Cinematic Universe'...

Unlike most of your previous films, Rathasaatchi had a direct-to-OTT release. How different was the experience this time in terms of response from movie buffs?

It has been quite amazing. I was aware of its potential to attract film lovers, but the love from unexpected quarters left me stunned. It was gratifying to see people appreciating my performance and the effort of others in a detailed manner. It was something which made the whole team excited. As far as the OTT release is concerned, the 2021 film Mandela in which I played an important character, too, had skipped theatrical release. It was quite disappointing then, despite the film winning National Awards later. One big advantage of Rathasaatchi skipping theatrical releases is that we didn't face any creative restrictions from the Censor Board.  

Kanna Ravi
Kanna Ravi

How did you land the project and the character of a revolutionary hero in it?

I'm someone who is a bit hesitant when it comes to requesting acting offers. Today, you need to have a portfolio to make directors and producers notice you. Your work should speak for you. The film's director Rafiq Ismail had watched the series Livin’ in which I essayed an important character. Later, I underwent an audition after which I was chosen to play the lead in Rathasaatchi.

How do you approach the process of acting? Are you someone who completely surrenders to the director?

My preparation for a character depends on the requirements in the script. A project usually takes a few months to go on floors after the script has been delivered to actors. I utilize this time to work on my mannerisms and tweak body language based on the character offered to me. For Rathasaatchi, I was inspired by the life of Che Guevara. I started imagining my character Appu as a bigger revolutionary leader. I let my imagination fly when I get into characters' shoes. 

A still from Rathasaatchi
A still from Rathasaatchi

You had four releases this year. Saani Kaayidham, Kuruthi Aattam, Fingertip 2 and Rathasaatchi. Was 2022 the most satisfying year of your journey?

Of course. I attended an acting course in Balu Mahendra's film institute a decade ago. I was under the impression that I would become a hero and lead life as a star as soon as I complete the learning. One of my gurus there told me that it would take at least 10 years to attain what we aspire for irrespective of the field where we belong to. I have had many failures, faced rejections and made small attempts before Rathasaatchi happened. I'm happy that I had multiple releases last year; I would like to believe that this is just a beginning.  

You played a character in Lokesh Kanagaraj's runaway hit Kaithi. The most-wanted filmmaker is now getting ready with 'Lokesh Cinematic Universe' (LCU) consisting of several characters and stories connected with each other. What are the possibilities of you teaming up with him again?  

I would love to be part of all projects which have him at the helm. When we met the last time, he expressed regret for not being able to include me in LCU as my character died in Kaithi. I'm happy for the recognition he is garnering now, but at the same time, I'm slightly disappointed that I can't be part of LCU. I was happy that I could dub for a character in his Vikram. If he is making a movie which is not part of LCU, I will surely approach him for a character.

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