Indhuja Ravichandran: Acting is a drug

Indhuja Ravichandran, who plays the female lead alongside Harish Kalyan in the upcoming Parking, talks about how she chooses a project, her acting process, and the appeal of being an actor 
Indhuja Ravichandran: Acting is a drug

For an actor, every nod to a project creates ripples that affect their careers. These ripples metamorphose into waves that could either move you forward, stall your journey or topple your boat and sink it forever. In an industry where progress is measured by a succession of choices, Indhuja Ravichandran's journey is plotted by a gradual ascension from playing the lead’s sister to a strong supporting character to playing the female lead. But Indhuja is clear about what her North Star is. “I see what’s in store for my character first but the story is my guiding light. The overall story has to impress me to take the plunge. If I think my character is good but the story isn’t good, then there’s no point in doing it,” says the actor.

When asked if such distinct clarity will be reflected in her upcoming film, Parking, which revolves around the ubiquitous problem of car parking restrictions in the city and how that creates strife between neighbours, Indhuja says, ”Of course, it’s a brilliant story but I can’t talk about it too much before the release.” However, she does reveal what drew her to the character. “I don’t think I’ve done a role like this before. It is not a character that our South Indian heroines typically get to play. Every woman would have gone through what she goes through in the film. She is a balanced person and I loved playing the role.”

In her fledgling career, Indhuja has tried her best to avoid being typecast, and the actor believes in a rather interesting factor that might help actors find a way around it. "The makers might struggle to imagine someone in a role beyond what they have already seen them in. This is where social media plays a major role in altering your perception and showing people that you could look different than your previous role,” says Indhuja, adding, “My evolution from playing a sister in Meyaadha Maan to then playing a female lead was not easy. Even if I believed I could do a role, the makers have to believe that too. That is where social media comes in and shapes your image, it helps people think that you will be suitable for a role. Even though I am not a big social media person I have come to learn and appreciate the importance of that medium." 

Social media might be a prism that helps draw out an actor's versatility, but why is bringing out their many shades that crucial in the first place? “Actors are basically greedy people,” she chuckles before continuing, “I don’t want to limit myself to a certain type of character. If I have to restrict myself to being a heroine then I have to protect that image. It can get exhausting and even take the fun out of acting. I want my freedom as an actor.” 

Indhuja shares that  her thirst for versatility precedes her entry into the film industry. “Years ago while thinking about making my career choice, I was like Sivakarthikeyan sir’s character in Don. I wanted to become a lot of things. Now that I’m an actor, I am able to play so many characters, and I could be anybody. It is an amazing feeling. In fact, acting is like a drug.” Be that as it may, she calls herself a “slow-paced actor” who cannot really jump from one film set to another, and then to another. "I know actors who can act in one film in the morning and do a wildly different one in the afternoon. But I like to take time with my characters. I am a perfectionist and I don’t want to rush into every role that comes my way. I guess that is why I am a slow-paced actor.”  

Considering how she takes her time with a character, her rapport with her co-stars, who she inadvertently spends most of her time with, must be a significant one. When asked how that was in Parking, she says, “Harish (Kalyan) is a friend and I’ve known him for a long time. It was our director’s (Ramkumar Balakrishnan) debut film but there was a lot I learned from him. It was a fun set and It was amazing watching MS Bhaskar sir perform. He has such a meaty role in the film and I am sure the audience will talk about it a lot.” 

We journey upon the waves wrought by the ripples of our choices. However, it is upon the sailor to set a course and pick a direction to look upon the horizon. When asked what she would like to do next, Indhuja says she would love to do a romantic film. “There are so many perceptions of love but I want to show my idea of love,” she signs off,  hoping she gets to hear a story that is more in line with her idea of love. As for what that is, we might have to wait and see.

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