A touching story behind Ramesh Aravind’s stubble look

A touching story behind Ramesh Aravind’s stubble look

In 150 films, he avoided sporting one lest it reminds him of the painful days when he had no money even for a blade

The audiences entering cinema halls to watch Akash Srivatsa’s Shivaji Surathkal are likely to be baffled by the stubble on Ramesh Aravind’s face.

Why didn’t he ever sport a beard all these years? In a career spanning three decades and 150 films, the versatile actor has donned diverse roles in Kannada, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil. He sported a moustache and no beard.

In Kannada, Shivaji Surathkal is his 101st film. “There’s an interesting tale behind the beard,” he says.  It goes back three decades. “Despite seven releases in the early 1990s, I had no money at all,” he says.

Without realising the importance of money, he had signed many projects. He wasn’t even given money for the lead roles as he would not demand any.  

“That was when I hadn’t shaved for two days, which was unusual. My wife Archana asked me the reason for the stubble. I cooked up a story that it was needed for a role,” he recalls.

The truth was that Ramesh didn’t even have two rupees to buy a razor. Suddenly there were no film offers either.

“It was scary. Running a family was difficult. I was unemployed. Those days made me realise the importance of money,” he recalls.

Considering the hard days associated with the beard, he made up his mind not to grow a beard. 

“It may also be a coincidence,” he admits, “that I was never offered a role that needed a beard.”

Ramesh has sported a stubble in a couple of scenes in movies including Shaapa (2001) and Aryabhata (1999). In some films, he wears fake beards, but a beard has never been part of his hero persona.

For Shivaji Surathkal, he had to work on two characters and two timelines. “The beard was needed to show a particular character as having grown up physically. We needed to project him as being depressed. The stubble was needed,” he says.

For his son Arjun and daughter Niharika, he looks fabulous with a stubble. Archana, his soul-mate, has accepted him both with and without a beard, he says. 

 

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