It’s a dream induction into the film industry any aspiring actor would wish for. And that’s what happened to 21-year-old Ritvik Varun, son of director Vasanth, when ace director K Balachander formally introduced him recently.
His father’s upcoming film Moondru Per Moondru Kadhal will be the launch vehicle for Ritvik, but in a slightly different way. Ritvik is not playing the hero, but doing a dance number in the film.
“Dad told me there was a song I could do in his film. He said though it was an unusual debut, if I impressed people with my talent, I could take it forward from there. So, if I get offers to act after this, I’ll take them up,” explains Ritvik.
Did he always want to get into cinema? “ The fantasy was fuelled by my grandmother who termed me ‘hero’ when I was six. Her dream was to stand on Mount Road and see my huge banner on it! Unfortunately, she died last March. She would have been the happiest person to see me in a film today,” says Ritvik.
Looks like his relationship with cinema started when he was born, for he was named after Ritvik Ghatak, the renowned Bengali filmmaker, who was a contemporary of Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen. The fact that his mother’s brother was the late cameraman-turned-director Jeeva pushed him to photography, later paving the way for a degree in Visual Communication from Loyola College.
Ritvik fuelled his desire to be part of cinema by doing his college internship with director Mani Ratnam during Kadal and also worked under photographer Sunder Ramu for six months to learn the nuances of photography. What’s more, like his director father, he also has a script ready, which he claims Mani Ratnam loved when he narrated it to him.
The song, Just Stop the Paattu, for which Ritvik has shaken a leg, was shot in four days at the Mahendra Infotech food court in Salem. Ritvik discloses: “I also have a few scenes in the film. In the song, there is a surprise element. I’ve done something never attempted before by a new actor.” Dinesh Master has choreographed the number. What advice did his father give him? “He told me to be simple always and not to be disappointed, if I don’t get opportunities,” he signs off.