Fenil and Bollywood

Sendhil-From Hollywood to Bollywood

Posted on: January 13, 2010

LOOKING AHEAD: Sendhil Ramamurthy

Sendhil Ramamurthy, the Indian in Hollywood, bites the Bollywood bait with Ekta Kapoor’s film

PRIYA SUGATHAN Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 12, 2010)

The tall, dark and handsome superhero of the Golden Globe nominated series Heroes is as self-effacing as his screen counterpart, Mohinder Suresh, but for one pleasant difference. He smiles more often. Sendhil Ramamurthy, India’s newest sensation abroad, is a fast-rising name in Hollywood; however, it’s Ekta Kapoor who’s managed to get him here. Ekta and Balaji Telefilms’ initiative, Alt Entertainment’s Shor.

Sendhil, whose trips to India means making trips to Bangalore, his hometown, says this is his first trip to Mumbai. “I’ve been looking for a project to bring me here. For the past two years I’ve been getting a lot of Bollywood scripts, and they just weren’t for me. But the script of Shor was laid out perfectly. In fact, before reading the script, I saw the short film that the directors Raj Nidimoru and DK Krishna had made. I was blown with what I saw and I said ‘yes’ right there. It’s a gritty drama!”

He’s comfortable with English and Kannada, but saw his lack of Hindi skills a problem for the film. “I had to make it clear to them that I don’t speak Hindi. So they told me that my storyline was in English. But I do have 15 Hindi words that I’ve been working on diligently. Since the character is from America, I didn’t have to sound authentic, that was the saving grace,” he laughed.

His entry into cinema is somewhat incredulous considering he came from a family of doctors and showed no inclination for acting. But it just happened. “When I graduated, I told my family that I wanted to go to the drama school. It came out of nowhere. Once they got over the shock, they were incredibly supportive. My first work on television was for Gray’s Anatomy. I’ve been told that actors here can either be a TV or a film actor. But in the States, I can really name major stars that started with TV. Like Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington — every movie star has been through the cycle of TV before making it big on TV,” said Sendhil.

Excited about his Mumbai jaunt and Bollywood film, he was quite surprised when people recognised him as the Heroes guy. “They tell me that they feel proud to see an Indian doing so well on television in the States. That was really sweet,” said the actor, adding, “I’ll do another Bollywood film, provided the long absence from the family is justified. It has to be amazing.” Meanwhile, it’s party-time… Ekta and Tusshar have planned a private bash for Sendhil tonight.


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