Ponniyin Selvan 1 actor Jayam Ravi reveals how he prepared for his role as Raja Raja Chola: ‘Go home and behaved like a king…’
Actor Jayam Ravi will be seen as Raja Raja Chola in director Mani Ratnam’s theatrical adaptation of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s novel Punyan Selvan. Ravi revealed that he had to think like a king to get into the skin of the character.
At a press conference in New Delhi, the actor recalled the time he first met Ratnam to discuss the role. “He (the king) is. Punian Selvan alias Raja Raja Chola and it is an important character. I was feeling that pressure but Mani sir made sure that he took it away from me by telling me some details about the character. He told me, ‘Ravi, this is very important to me. We both have to do this and I can’t do it alone. So, whatever concentration you have, put it on the table. Let’s do it together.'”
Ravi added, “I am a director’s actor and if it is Mani Sahib, there is no question. I give my full attention to him. First of all, I faced that one-hour delay because I Mani continued praising Sahib… and then he said to me, Ravi, snap out of it. We need to do this and we need to deal with it.”
Jayam Ravi further revealed how Mani Ratnam described his character. He said, “Mani Sahib said, ‘Wherever he (Raja Raja Chola) looks, it is his people and his kingdom. He is politically correct. He is socially correct, he is of his family. How is it with, how is it with other kings. At the age of 19-20 he has built so many dams.’ These are the things he said. This came to my mind and Mani Sahib told me to stay in that mood, go out of your office and become Raja Raja Chola for six months. It’s not in a day. Could be.”
Ravi movingly presents how he changed the way he looked at everything around him to understand how a king like Raja Raja Chola would behave. He said, “I went to my house, sat on my terrace, I looked at the people around me and I thought, ‘These people are my people and I started to realize. Then I looked at the beach and said to myself. That the shore is also mine and the fleet of 100 ships in it, everything is mine. It started comically but it helped. The focus changes in the eye and it gives a beautiful feeling. It’s a difficult role because It should be right for everyone.”