Ravi Patel American actor of Indian origin seen with Charlize Theron in the political comedy The Long Shot and soon to be seen with Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman is currently seen as Swara Bhaskar’s NRI love interest in the Netflix series Bhaag Beanie Bhaag. Ravi Speaks To Subhash K Jha.
What brings you to India For Bhaag Beani Bhaag?
It's been a lifelong dream to make something in India, and I love working with friends. Neel Shah and Dave Bernad are two of my closest friends. We all wanted to make something in India together. Neel and I because we are Indian, Dave because he's Jewish, and Jews are basically Indian.
Ha ha. This was a fun adventure between close friends from the start. And I specifically already wanted to do something in the Indian standup comedy scene, knowing that It's playing an important role as a platform for emerging voices. And that last statement is why we insisted on the lead character being female.
Tell me about your growing up years?
I grew up going to my parents' villages in India. The biggest cities I really experienced were Baroda and Ahmadabad. To live and work in Mumbai, to see this innovative and creative side of India was mind-blowing and amazing. I made some lifelong friends, went to some of the best restaurants in the city, and made zero progress on my Hindi. Making a show in India was really difficult with many literal "lost in translation" moments, but that was also why it was so fulfilling. I just hope the show is better than terrible because I have no idea what to expect.
You even got to share a kiss with Swara?
You’ll have to ask Swara about the kiss. I think we can agree she was the lucky one there? (laughs)
How did you develop a taste for acting?
I fell into acting! I was working in finance and got laid off, came to LA. I was bartending and tutoring, and I got to be a last-minute replacement emcee for a variety show that my sister was producing, I did like 30 minutes of improvised comedy throughout the show that night, and the next week I got like fifteen calls. I was a full-time actor within a few months. Crazy, right?
But I was never comfortable with being an actor. I didn't respect the career, and I never thought I should be doing It. It wasn't until my sister and I made Meet the Patels that I really got to understand how this career can be fulfilling, and that's when I really started to enjoy being an actor.
You got to work with the incandescent Charlize Theron in The Long Shot?
Haha, Charlize and Seth Rogen. Two of the greatest actors in the game. It was incredible to watch them work.
I have noticed that a lot of Asian actors are playing very important roles in American and British films e.g Riz Ahmed in The Sound Of Metal. Are we over those times when Asians played cabbies and terrorists?
Ha have you seen my career? I've done ALL of those roles. I'm happy that I’m past that point in my career, and I'm even happier that society is past those stupid tropes.
What were your breakthrough roles?
Meet the Patels and Master of None are the roles that really took my career to another level, by far. In terms of future plans, see bio (and feel free to ask followups as needed of course). Overall, my plan is to make my own stuff, and find a way to help others in the process.
Who are your favourites in Bollywood? Whom would you like to work with?
The sad truth is I know nothing about Bollywood outside of the classics. And I don't care much for celebrities. Probably the one dream person I'd like to work with is Ronnie Screwvala. His daughter worked on Meet the Patels, and they are very much like a family, so It would be nice to do something together.
Hey, you are also in Wonder Woman, what do you play here? What was it like working with that wondrous woman Gal Gadot?
Yep! She’s an impressive person. Like full package. Kind witty charming talented and perfect.
I’m not allowed to discuss my role, but it’s a fun one! I don’t play an Indian.
Image source: instagram/showmetheravi,instagram/reallyswara
They say the best things in life are free! India’s favourite music channels 9XM, 9X Jalwa, 9X Jhakaas & 9X Tashan are available Free-To-Air. Make a request for these channels from your Cable, DTH or HITS operator.