– Rinku Gupta

Post the success of Bogan actor JAYAM RAVI is on a roll. Close on the heels of the release comes the first look and teaser of his next film, Vaanamagan. Dressed as a tribal, a wide-eyed Ravi is seen swinging from a tree. In a chat with him we get a peek into the complete transformation he underwent for this role.

I play a tribal in the film directed by Vijay. It’s a very different role from what I have done earlier. It’s basically a love story mixed with action, about a tribal boy and his people who are hidden from the outside world. Its high on human emotions and is a mass entertainer and something kids especially will enjoy,” says Ravi.

I Climbed 50 Trees For Vanamagan

The ‘Tribal’ training

Set in jungles with camerawork by Tirru, shooting has not been easy for this role. For starters, he had to first lose weight and real fast. In addition, being bare torso-ed all through, he had to look fit and be in perfect shape. “I had to lose 10 kgs in 45 days. Tribal bodies are different. They don’t work out. They run, hunt and chase animals so their bodies are naturally fit and chiselled. So my work out regimen had to incorporate this factor. I had to exercise but my body could not look bulky, looking like I had worked out! I had to have lean muscle mass. So my trainer designed special floor exercises, 45 minutes of cardio and exercises lifting my own body weight,” reveals Ravi. He was also on a strict diet of fibre and proteins apart from this 2-hour daily workout in the gym.
Sitting bare-bodied on sets with just a loin cloth and a wrap around skirt like clothing was something he had to get used to. “They wear unstitched clothing so I had to do the same. It took a little time but I got used to it after a while since there were 100 other junior artistes around me in the same costumes,” he chuckles.

I Climbed 50 Trees For Vanamagan

Before shoot began director Vijay gave him several video references to watch. “I had to observe how the tribes eat, live and move around in order to get into character,” discloses Ravi.

Ravi has learned archery for Peraanmai which came in handy here. “I had to just brush up on my archery practice for Vaanamagan,” he says. We see him swinging from a tree in the teaser. Did he really climb trees for the shots? He laughs, “I would have climbed more than 50 trees for Vaanamagan. Every time we shot in a forest I had to go up a tree for the shoot! It was one really memorable and new experience all through!