News Karnataka
Saturday, April 20 2024

I don’t have to be a lead to showcase my talent: Siri Ravikumar

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From working as a show producer to RJ, to acting and anchoring, the career trajectory of this Bengaluru girl who doesn’t entertain iPhone Siri jokes, has taken turns that she didn’t expect herself. As Arbeen in the recently released first ever Kannada web series Kyaabre, Siri Ravikumar has gained much attention, apart from her ardent fans of her shows in Radio Mirchi. In an exclusive interview with NewsKarnataka, the artist opened up about her multifaceted journey. 

Radio Mirchi: Origin of a path

Before diving into the profession of acting, Siri Ravikumar worked as a Radio Jockey in Radio Mirchi for 7 years. “I did my Masters at Christ University and I had to do a compulsory internship. I was supposed to intern either in a radio company or a print media house. Since I had experience in the latter, I chose the former for the internship,” a nostalgic Siri said. During the beginning of her work in Radio Mirchi, FM was still booming and it had a slightly different ‘vibe.’ The workspace, however, made her reconsider her decision. She said, “I was quite young when I joined Mirchi, I absolutely had no idea what I was getting into. I wasn’t sure if I could be the right fit. It seemed alright, although I was extremely intimidated by the personalities of jockeys in Radio Mirchi station. The fact that they’re supposed to be so knowledgeable, informed, outspoken and possess a personality that appeals to the listeners, made me think that this wasn’t for me. Gradually, I began to understand the medium and its potential. I was a quiet and shy person. Certainly RJing changed me. It unleashed a side of me that I totally love, from being timid to being confident. So I’m grateful for that decision I made.”

Juggling between RJing and Theatre

Siri has been associated with theatre and films since 2010. Before RJing that began in 2013, she was acquainted with the renowned actor-director, her Guru and inspiration, Prakash Belawadi. Speaking on the turn of events, the former RJ said, “everything wasn’t planned in my life. I only intended to be a singer. I was extremely interested in music and I attended a number of classes. But I realised that there are many who are better. This realisation demotivated me as a child. I’m one from the restless kind, so I explored. Then I rushed into a play with Prakash Belawadi sir, working for 2-3 months. Then, Mirchi happened. When I was in Mirchi, I acted in my first film with Ananya Kasaravalli. I started meeting people, building my network. Then it dawned on me that I could do a lot more.”

In conversation about the intricacies of acting stemming from theatre, she said,“I’m a director’s actor, who takes in instructions and then makes it her own. If my director is happy, I’m happy.” She contended that with years of practise in theatre, and the understanding of the script, a novel meaning emerges. “It’s more about the writing than the acting. Acting plays a big part after that text. If the text helps you build something, then it’s the biggest plus point to an actor,” Siri added.

Assistant directing: An internship

Siri has not only been indulgent in acting and RJing, but has also dealt a hand at direction. For an internship, she worked as an Assistant director in Mr. Joe B Carvalho, a Hindi Arshad Warsi and Soha Ali Khan starrer, directed by Sameer Tiwari. “They were shooting in Bengaluru for 45 days. They were looking for assistant directors and I got the opportunity. The experience was very different, I got yelled at too often. It was very hectic, we slogged 16-18 hours a day,” Siri affirmed. She maintained that if she would want to get into direction, she’d probably start from working as an assistant director and learn the craft.


Playing Geetha Muttana in Kavaludaari

Fresh concepts and novel ideas in Sandalwood have found their way to the audience in recent years. With Hemanth Rao’s Kavaludaari released in 2019, Siri received a great opportunity to play the role of Mrs Geetha Muttanna, young wife of Muttanna (Ananth Nag). Talking about her experience, she confessed, “I wanted to work with such minds. Then I came across Hemanth Rao’s second title Kavaludaari (called Ardha Satya initially), and I contacted him. He told me that this character will probably not have a big screen space, mostly montages. I was delighted to do it. It’s more than a role, it’s to be associated with people like Hemanth and PRK productions. It was shot in Mysuru. Hemanth had instructed me that the scene has many emotional elements and wanted me to do it naturally. My performance went on smoothly.”

I never had a plan of becoming a ‘hero’: Siri

With ten years of experience in theatre under an eminent personality such as Prakash Belawadi, Siri’s talent surely took time to be recognised in the industry. The artiste said, “I don’t consider myself as a sandalwood actress. I’d rather call myself an artiste. Honestly, I think I didn’t try that hard to be recognised. I was happy wherever I was. I always wanted to do good roles. The Kannada film industry welcomed first-time filmmakers with young content only recently. I’m happy that I did something in this vicinity, irrespective of the time of its arrival. I don’t have to be a lead to showcase my talent. My work in theatre never aimed at popularity. I was enjoying the entire process of theatre acting.”

As a part of the cast of Sakutumba Sametha, produced by an acclaimed banner – Paramvah Studios, Siri acknowledged the opportunities that came her way. “I know Paramvah is a big production banner from Rakshit Shetty and I’m happy that I’m a part of the cast of Sakutumba Sametha. I think this is the kind of work I would want to do in the future. Less or no work is not a problem, but I’d definitely love to do some good work.”

The unforgettable Arbeen from Kyaabre

Siri claimed that the process of acting more or less remains the same, be it for a film or a web series. Kyaabre hosted by Tharlebox, a comedy club, was directed by Siddhant K. S. “It was just a bunch of friends who got together and made something crazy. I’m really grateful to Kyaabre because this was the first project I got after the pandemic began. I just had to be myself a lot of times to play Arbeen, so it was a lot of fun!” the former host of Kannadada Kogile narrated.

With the OTT platforms flourishing amidst the pandemic, Siri assured that the medium doesn’t really matter, as long as the art is delivered to its audience. “According to me, the only point for an actor is to reach people. I think I’m not too stuck up on where it releases, as long as I get work and I do great things.”

Siri held that acting has shaped her personality and her journey has been wonderful. “We all have flaws. I cannot idealise anyone. But I believe I want to be a full person, in terms of my craft and as a human. Since this profession gives me that sort of satisfaction, I’m doing acting gigs to kill time and simultaneously earn,” she added. Throwing light on future endeavours, she disclosed that there are three projects she is currently part of. “Provided the pandemic allows us to start shooting again, we shall start working for one of the projects very soon,” Siri signed off.

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Siri Shekar

The author is a student reporter who is also pursuing Psychology and English Literature. A wanderer searching for faces that inspire an optimistic place about the world, she hunts for different human experiences, not just leads for a story.

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