Within the ever-evolving landscape of Malaysian Tamil cinema, a solitary figure has been generating significant buzz and cementing an enduring legacy among both audiences and critics alike. That prominent figure is none other than Ravin Rao Santheran. Hailing from Taiping, this talented actor has not only captivated hearts with his charismatic presence but has also become a symbol of pride for the Malaysian Tamil community. His innate talent and unwavering determination were evident right from the start. As one of the rising star of our Malaysian Tamil cinema industry, he has a separate fan base in Malaysia.
Ravin Rao’s journey in the world of creative endeavors began with his school friends after they completed our SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia). They started by experimenting with cover songs, channeling their shared passion for music into their initial artistic pursuits. It was during this time that they forged a deep bond and a shared creative vision.
He explained that,
Our first foray into filmmaking came when we decided to collaborate on a short film titled ‘Gopeng.’ This endeavor allowed us to explore storytelling through a visual medium and test our abilities in cinematography, scriptwriting, and acting. “Gopeng” marked the beginning of our journey into the world of filmmaking. Encouraged by our first project’s success, we embarked on our next venture, a short film called “Not on Our Watch.” With each project, our skills continued to evolve, and our passion for filmmaking grew stronger. We were driven by the desire to tell compelling stories that would resonate with our audience. Our dedication to our craft led us to create “Marupakkam,” our most ambitious short film yet. While it received a modest response, the experience of bringing our vision to life on screen was incredibly fulfilling. It was during this time that my path intersected with that of my university senior, Joel Raj. Joel Raj approached me with an exciting proposition: collaborating on another short film. This encounter marked a significant turning point in my artistic journey.
This shows that Ravin Rao’s collective passion for storytelling, whether through music or film, was a driving force that united them. These early experiences, from humble beginnings with cover songs to the evolution into short films, have shaped his artistic identity and continue to inspire him to explore new avenues of creative expression.
He also added that,
During this period, I was also delving into wedding photography and videography, a venture I embarked upon with the guidance and support of my cousin brother, Pratab Jee. He not only introduced me to the intricacies of camera equipment but also connected me with some of his industry contacts. This proved to be a pivotal moment in my creative journey as it allowed me to expand my network and take steps further into the world of filmmaking.
As I continued to hone my skills, I began to explore the realm of short films. These endeavors were instrumental in shaping my understanding of storytelling through the lens. Alongside my growing involvement in short films, I received my first television appearance opportunity in 2017. I was invited to participate in a small opening scene for an episode of the show “Thigil,” directed by Karthik Shamalan.
In the early months of 2018, I was offered the role of Assistant Director for Karthik Shamalan in the “Thigil” series. Serving as an Assistant director for 11 episodes of “Thigil” was a transformative experience that provided me with invaluable technical knowledge and insights into the logistical aspects of filmmaking. It was during this time that I truly grasped the intricacies of scene preparation, both from a technical and an actor’s perspective. I even had the opportunity to take on the lead role in one of the episodes during that season.
Subsequently, I received an invitation to join the cast of the “Kalvanai Kandupidi” series, also directed by Karthik Shamalan. This marked the beginning of my journey into the world of series, which continued with projects such as “Kalyaanam 2 Kaathal,” “Manmadha Bullets,” “Kadhanayagi,” “Kalyaanam 2 Kaathal S2,” “Virus,” “Oru Kalainganin Diary,” and “Manmadha Bullets S2.” This transition allowed me to explore a different facet of storytelling, one that required a more prolonged commitment to character development.
In addition to my television and series work, I also had the privilege of portraying various characters in two to three feature films. Among these, the films “Moondram Athigharam” and “Aivar” have already been released, while “Rajakkal“, a theatrical film by Martin R. Chantheran is eagerly anticipated but yet to be released.
This man eventually has experience in all the fields in the industry. His exceptional skills and dedication towards his passion has brought him to this extend beyond boundaries. Even though we have the passion in achieving our dream, definitely we will have something which drives us to put all the efforts despite failures and tiredness. That is what we identify as our source of motivation which tend to inspire us. In that case, Ravin Rao stated that,
My source of inspiration has been none other than Thalapathy Vijay. I first encountered his influence when I was just five years old while watching a song from his movie “Thullatha Mannamum Thullum.” As I matured, my fascination with him deepened, not just as an actor but as a person. Learning about his character, values, and his positive impact on society became a significant source of motivation in my life, propelling me forward to this day.
Moreover, my parents have played an equally vital role in shaping my aspirations. Understanding the hardships they endured to raise me from a young age has been a constant reminder of the importance of making them proud. Their sacrifices and unwavering support have been a driving force behind my determination and ambition. Together, the inspiration drawn from Thalapathy Vijay’s example and the love and sacrifice of my parents have been the pillars upon which I continue to build my journey.
His dedication to making his parents proud serves as an exemplary model for all. The deep love and gratitude he holds for his parents stand as a source of blessings that have undoubtedly illuminated his path to success in his career.
Ravin Rao’s journey in the world of acting commenced in the year 2012. Although he embarked on his acting career 11 years ago, it’s only in recent times that he has garnered recognition as an established actor, thanks to his remarkable contributions in notable projects. His relentless dedication and unwavering pursuit of success have earned him a well-deserved place of prominence in the local film industry.
Remarkably, Ravin Rao has lent his talents to an impressive tally of almost 50 over projects throughout his career—an astonishing achievement that reflects the depth of his extraordinary talent and commitment to his craft. The actor stated few of his notable projects.
I’d like to discuss three projects that hold significant meaning for me: “Kalyaanam 2 Kaathal,” “Oru Kalainganin Diary,” and my upcoming series, “project MR” by Martin R. Chantheran.
Firstly, let’s delve into why “Kalyaanam 2 Kaathal” is so close to my heart. This project became special because of the unexpected response and love it received from the audience. This recognition bestowed upon me a profound sense of responsibility to continually enhance my skills and focus on self-improvement in every subsequent project. The character I portrayed in this series had a unique Malaysian essence, and I had the privilege of bringing it to life with guidance from Karthik Shamalan, the writer and director. This role allowed me to express myself in a way that felt deeply personal and culturally resonant.
Moving on to “Oru Kalainganin Diary,” I found the character “Varun” to be a transformative experience. It pushed me to my physical and emotional limits, even leading me to shed about 6 kilograms to attain a specific appearance. This physical transformation was exhilarating, and it motivated me to invest more in this role. The 45-day journey with the team was a roller coaster ride that challenged me both mentally and physically, enabling me to explore new facets of acting and learn valuable lessons.
Now, let’s touch upon my next project, “Project MR” which I couldn’t reveal the title yet. This character is the most intricate and multifaceted one I’ve portrayed thus far. Written by Martin R. Chantheran, it serves as a doorway for me to further develop my skills and delve deeper into the character’s psychology. As actors, we diligently conducted research on our respective characters, delving into the nuances that would help us understand them better. This process was particularly exciting for me, as I had never taken on such a role before. I hope the audience will connect with this character, as it embodies the complexities of a one-sided love story—a sentiment that many can relate to. Additionally, this role marks my next leading role in a series after “Oru Kalainganin Diary.”
I’m eager to share these experiences and characters with the audience, hoping they will find them as meaningful and transformative as I have.
I find myself still marveling at how an artist can juggle multiple projects at such a young age. It is a testament to his unwavering dedication and boundless enthusiasm for the craft. He embrace a wide array of characters with open arms and pour his heart and soul into each portrayal, ensuring that the character’s essence and personality shine through brilliantly.
What’s particularly striking about Ravin Rao is his openness to working with a diverse range of directors. He doesn’t limit himself to established names but readily extends opportunities to newcomers in the industry as well. This willingness to collaborate with directors of varying experience levels underscores his commitment to fostering fresh talent and exploring diverse creative avenues.
Ravin Rao’s also has a very different but positive perspective when was asked about the challenges he has faced in his career. His answer was:
One of the significant challenges I encountered when attempting to break into the Malaysian cinema industry was the lack of guidance upon my arrival in Kuala Lumpur. I found myself in a new city, unsure of where to turn or whom to seek advice from regarding the steps newcomers should take to pursue opportunities in the industry. This initial uncertainty made the process of gaining entry and striving to secure opportunities quite challenging. But, then I had the spirit to keep striving which finally opened the doors of opportunity for me.
I don’t perceive the various situations I encounter in my acting career as challenges or struggles; rather, I view them as integral parts of the creative process. Regardless of the level of difficulty or complexity, I wholeheartedly embrace each task because I consider it my duty, entrusted to me by the directors.
In the world of acting, I’ve come to understand that every situation, no matter how demanding, offers an opportunity for growth and learning. It’s through these experiences that I refine my craft and push the boundaries of my abilities. I believe that as an actor, it’s my responsibility to find a way to overcome any obstacles that may arise during a project, ensuring that I bring the director’s vision to life to the best of my ability. This unwavering commitment to my profession fuels my determination to excel, no matter what challenges come my way.
That was such an inspirational factor about him. Probably, the determination and the positive mind set would be his secret of success. The vision is steadily driving him towards trying and giving his best no matter how hard a situation gets.
Ravin Rao is not only known as himself but , he is also well received as ‘Bintang Terang’ among all of us. This title is inextricably linked to his standout portrayal of the character ‘Bintang Terang’ in the popular “Kalyaanam 2 Kaathal” series, a role that can be regarded as his breakthrough performance.
Despite his involvement in numerous projects following the series, the character of ‘Bintang Terang‘ continues to shine as a remarkable highlight in his career. Ravin Rao’s portrayal in this role has resonated deeply with the audience, garnering him a dedicated fan base that admires his unique talent and the magic he brought to that particular character. The enduring popularity of ‘Bintang Terang‘ reflects not only Ravin Rao’s acting prowess but also his ability to connect with viewers on a profound level.
Ravin Rao shares that,
I would say that ‘Bintang Terang’ significantly shaped my career. The audience’s response to it was truly unexpected but heartwarming. I am deeply grateful to the series director, Karthik Shamalan, for entrusting me with the character of ‘Bintang Terang’. He was the first person to express his belief that the audience would warmly embrace ‘Bintang’, and as fate would have it, his prediction came true. I will forever appreciate him for the opportunity he gave me.
Moreover, my heartfelt gratitude extends to the audience who have consistently showered me with their love and support. Their unwavering affection serves as both motivation and a profound responsibility for me to continually better myself. I consider it as my duty to strive for continuous improvement, always with their trust and affection in mind.
‘Kalyaanam 2 Kaathal‘ is one of the popular Malaysian series. It was related to advanced technology and time travelling. Director Karthik Shamalan took the Malaysian cinema industry to the next level. The series had a different kind of concept which was quite new in the industry. Cast of the series includes Ravin Rao, ‘Vikadakavi’ Magen, Pashini, Yuvaraj Krishnasamy, and many other popular artists. The series had a continuation of season 1 as well.
In the series, Ravin Rao’s character was portrayed as someone who maintained a reserved demeanor, seldom engaging in extensive conversations with others. His countenance rarely displayed a smile, and he often came across as a young man with a somewhat aloof or even rude disposition. However, beneath this appearance, he revealed himself to be a remarkably caring, affectionate, and genuinely good-hearted individual in real life.
Ravin’s character was designed to challenge stereotypes and assumptions, highlighting the profound contrast between his outward appearance and his true nature. This intriguing character development added depth and complexity to the series, encouraging viewers to look beyond surface impressions and discover the warmth and kindness that lay beneath his seemingly stern exterior.
Ravin also stated that all the characters which he has played till date, are his favourite ones where each of them is close to him in some way. Each role that he has taken on is exceptionally special to him, and they’ve all left an indelible mark on his journey as an actor.
I’m sure all of you should be excited to know about his upcoming projects. When asked about his upcoming projects, his answer was:
There are 3 upcoming projects which ‘Diary’ which is directed by Vathani Kunasegaran, “project MR” directed by Martin R. Chantheran and project RJ by Tinesh Sarathi Krishnan. For the projects MR and RJ, I’m not allowed to break the suspense at the moment. Let’s keep it suspense till the official announcement arrives.
“Diary” marks my first collaboration with Vathani in which I play a leading role. Previously, I had a supporting role in her “Virus” series, and since then, we’ve been discussing the possibility of working together on a project, which led to “Diary.” This film also introduces my first-ever pairing with the incredibly talented Hamsni Perumal. Working with her has been a fantastic experience, offering both valuable acting lessons and personal inspiration. She is an exceptionally inspiring individual.
I would like to express my gratitude to the entire crew who put in tireless efforts day and night to bring out the best in this project. “Diary” also marks my first appearance as a lead actor in nearly a year, with my last lead role being in “Oru Kalainganin Diary.” In “Diary,” I portray a character set in the 2000s backdrop. I hope the audience will appreciate my performance. The film promises a captivating love story entwined with elements of thrill and horror, and I hope our work resonates with the audience’s expectations.
Upon contemplating this remarkable collaboration, we can anticipate witnessing a distinct portrayal of Ravin Rao in this television movie. Lately, we’ve been treated with glimpses from “Diary” in social media platforms, and Ravin Rao’s presence alone is indicative of a refreshing aspect within this telemovie.
Ravin Rao’s involvement in the project has sparked considerable intrigue. His mere appearance suggests that there is something fresh and distinct about this telemovie that sets it as another milestone in his career. The anticipation is fueled by the expectation of Ravin Rao’s transformation within the telemovie, suggesting an intriguing interpretation of his character.
“Diary” has piqued the audience’s curiosity and heightened excitement about what this unique combination of talent will bring to the screen. The telemovie is all set to premiere on 16th September 2023, tomorrow at 9pm on Astro Vinmeen channel 202.
Ravin Rao’s remarkable dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to the industry have not gone unnoticed, as he has garnered prestigious awards in recognition of his outstanding contributions. Particularly noteworthy are his wins at the ‘Ulagam Awards 2021,’ where he received the ‘Ulagam Shining Star’ award and the ‘Popular Actor in a Supporting Role – Male’ award. These accolades serve as clear evidence of his exceptional talent and the significant impact he has made in the industry.
Furthermore, Ravin Rao’s talent has also earned him a nomination in the ‘Best Actor’ category at the BMW Shorties 2023: Evolve awards for his role in the short film “Inmates.” This nomination underscores his versatility as an actor and his ability to deliver compelling performances across different genres and formats, further solidifying his status as a respected and accomplished figure in the world of entertainment.
The next question that was directed to Ravin Rao and his answer for the question is:
In your opinion, where do you think the Malaysian Tamil Cinema industry will be in 5 – 10 years time?
I hold the belief that the Malaysian Tamil cinema industry possesses the potential to compete on the international stage. We have the capacity to vie with global counterparts in terms of storytelling, concepts, and filmmaking prowess. In our industry, there are numerous exceptionally talented individuals who, despite their potential, may not have had the right platform or timing to showcase their work.
The current landscape of world cinema has evolved, removing geographical barriers and allowing any country to participate on a global scale. I sincerely hope that our filmmakers will get to seize this opportunity to present their talents to the international audience. Many within our Malaysian Indian Cinema Industry possess projects that are rooted in compelling stories and well-developed characters.
The wealth of untapped potential in our industry awaits its chance to shine on the international stage, and I believe that our commitment to narrative depth and character-driven narratives can set us apart in the global cinematic arena. Our Malaysian artists are much talented and we all will grow together. Every artist should be recognised for their effort and dedication. I wish we all will work together in developing the Malaysian Tamil cinema industry.
We could witness Ravin Rao’s reply depicts a positive and inclusive perspective on the potential of the Malaysian Tamil cinema industry to expand its horizons and compete on the global stage. He expresses a hopeful outlook on the industry’s growth, emphasizing that this growth should be collective. His answer suggests a desire for collaboration and unity among industry professionals, a sentiment that can foster a more supportive and cohesive community. It advocates for embracing international opportunities, supporting emerging talents, and focusing on storytelling excellence as key elements of the industry’s positive evolution.
Lastly when asked about what would like to contribute to the Malaysian Tamil cinema industry and its audience as an actor, he responded:
On a personal level, my aim is to gradually break down barriers within myself. I view each of my previous works as a competition against myself, pushing me to continuously improve with each new role. If there’s a way my acting can help bring our industry into the global spotlight, I would dedicate my utmost effort to achieve it and support our industry’s growth. My sole objective is to draw global attention to our Malaysian Indian content.
Additionally, I am committed to constant self-improvement and refusing to settle, as I believe this is my way of repaying the knowledge imparted by my directors and the love bestowed upon me by the audience. I firmly believe that our industry is already in a phase of growth, and we are handling it well. However, there may be room for initiatives that nurture young directors and writers, thereby offering more opportunities for fresh stories and new talents to emerge. This approach could contribute to the expansion of our industry. This is merely my personal viewpoint.
Observing our colleagues in the industry, it’s evident that many are doing an exceptional job, inspiring us on a daily basis. My hope is that we can collectively continue to grow and expand as an industry, ultimately gaining international recognition together.
Ravin Rao’s mindset of fostering collective growth and his fervent hope for the recognition and advancement of fellow artists within the Malaysian Tamil cinema industry stand out as invaluable assets contributing to his success. His unwavering commitment to the idea of artists growing together is a testament to his vision for elevating the industry to new heights.
This positive mindset, driven by a genuine desire to see everyone succeed, is a powerful force that can bridge gaps, build relationships, and open doors to new opportunities. It not only reflects his character but also augments his reputation within the industry. Such a mindset not only enhances Ravin’s own journey but also contributes significantly to the growth and vibrancy of the Malaysian Tamil cinema industry as a whole. His outlook is a beacon of optimism and unity, ensuring that he continues to thrive and make a lasting impact in the industry.
In the world of entertainment, true talent and unwavering passion serve as beacons of inspiration. Ravin Rao, with his extraordinary journey and exceptional talent, stands as a shining example of what can be achieved through dedication, hard work, and an unyielding determination to make an indelible mark in the realm of cinema. As he continue to grace the screen with his presence, the emerging star is destined to leave a lasting legacy in Malaysian Indian cinema and beyond.
At this point, Ravin Rao’s telemovie “Diary” directed by Vathani Kunasegaran starring Ravin Rao and Hamsni Perumal as main leads is all set to hit our home theaters tomorrow at 9pm. Tune in to Astro Vinmeen channel 202 to catch this exciting telemovie and elevate your weekend entertainment experience!
We wish the best for the emerging star’s upcoming projects!
Source: All the information provided by Ravin Rao