The popularity of the dance show 'Boogie Woogie' made actor Ravi Behl one of the household names in the late 90s and early 2000s. He also went on to become part of blockbusters like Narsimha, Dalal, and Agni Sakshi in the 90s. However, after starting an acting career so early in his life, he decided to take a break. He has now made his acting comeback with the Disney+ Hotstar's ‘The Night Manager’ which started streaming on February 17.
In an interview with Outlook, Ravi talks about his hibernation phase, why he thought this is the time for the acting comeback, and being a part of a project that also stars Aditya Roy Kapur and Anil Kapoor and is an adaptation of the BBC series of the same name.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. What was your first reaction when you first heard about the project?
I was pretty excited when I heard that they are going to be making 'Night Manager' in Hindi as well because I had seen the show a long time ago and I remember I loved it so the first reaction was excitement and then immediately my question was which character I am playing and then when I was told who I am playing, I think that was again very good because I have loved the gentleman who had played the original as in the English.
Q. Would you like to talk about the preparation for the role?
Okay so I remember before the first schedule, I met up with Sandip the director of the show and he narrated my character to me in full length and I just imbibed what his vision was in this character and I took it from there, I kind of avoided not watching the show again because I didn’t want to be influenced by the character the person who played it. I played it with instinct and went ahead with Sandeep’s vision of it and I guess I did it accordingly.
Q. Your experience working with Anil Kapoor and Aditya?
Oh, it was fantastic, first of all, you guys have to understand that 'Boogie Woogies' happened 10 years ago. We kind of wrapped up 10 years ago and as an actor, it's been good 20 years since facing the camera. For me, this was like a biggie. My first scene was with Anil Kapoor and I was pretty excited with a few butterflies in my stomach. In fact, I was telling my sister yaar thoda nervousness hai. I am coming after so many years and she said don’t worry. There are two-three things you never forget in life- swimming, cycling and of course acting.
Q. You got Little appearances here and there so this was the full-fledged project that you took on? Did you ever consider before saying yes that I want to take up something like this?
The whole idea was to get back to acting because when we were done with Boogie Woogie, I could have taken up a lot more shows, more stuff like that but I just went into hibernation because I have been working ever since I was 11 years old and I was like 'I do not want to do anything now'. For 10 years I was lazing around and my friend used to laugh at me – bro you can do so much more I was like I don’t feel like working and then lockdown happened. That gave me a lot of opportunity to really think of what I want to do now and I am the kind of person who definitely prefers to do something which excites me. So I finally thought about what I should i do and then I came back to my first love- acting it is. Once that happened, there was no looking back. I was very keen to do some quality projects and this was something that came into my lap.
Q. Are we going to see more of you in the OTT space?
Of course, a wise man once said that always make your hobby your profession and you are never going to have a single working day in life. I love being in front of the camera, playing a different character. It's another high altogether.