On Set Interview with Sendhil Ramamurthy of COVERT AFFAIRS

Covert Affairs - Sendhil Ramamurthy

A couple weeks ago I traveled to the beautiful city of Toronto to visit the set and speak to the cast of USA’s Covert Affairs. You can check out my article and photos from the Covert Affairs set here. While I was there I also visited the set of the new hit series Suits, and you can check out that article and photos from the Suits set here.

While we there, we were lucky enough to sit down with many of the actors from the show and first up that day was Sendhil Ramamurthy, who plays Jai Wilcox in the series. We did quite a few of these interviews that day and I know you’re all going to eventually grow tired of hearing how “nice” everyone was, but I can’t help it. Sendhil and everyone else seemed genuinely happy to have us there and he was great fun to chat with. I could really tell that he’d done a lot of this type of thing, being the Comic Con veteran that he is.

On what it’s like to work with a smaller cast after being part of such a large ensemble on Heroes

Sendhil said that working with the smaller cast of Covert Affairs is just different because it means more work for each individual cast member. He said: “You know, in Heroes, if you worked two days a week, three days a week, that was your norm.” Though he also said that with the show being a smaller production than Heroes (which had two units going at all times), it is much more chilled out and makes their jobs a lot easier to do.

On the the mystery of Jai

When asked about his character, Sendhil admitted that he didn’t know a ton more than the fans do. He did promise that as the season progresses, we will continue to get more of Jai’s back story. Jai’s story will unfold in what Sendhil referred to as a “very, very, slow burn” and will apparently take him through some dark places. He also promised: “By the end of the first 10 [episodes] it’ll kind of become apparent what Jai’s end game is for the season.”

On what made Jai bring a puzzle to Ben in the hospital

Sendhil said that, to him, Jai bringing the Soduku’s to Ben was a genuine moment for him. He felt that Jai felt somewhat responsible for Ben getting shot and brining the puzzle was his way of saying: “I hate you, but sorry you got shot.”

On whether or not we’re ever going to find out ever why there’s so much bad blood between Jai and Auggie

When asked about Jai’s relationship with Auggie, Sendhil said that we will definitely find out more about what went on between them. He said that part of it is the fact that Jai is Henry Wilcox’s son and everybody just assumes that he must be just like his father. He mentioned that Jai wants to change that perception and may even be trying to “redeem the family name a little bit and, and just cut his own path.” He also said that there’s a “little bombshell” coming at the end of a conversation between Jai and his dad in an upcoming script and he was very excited to play it.

On the relationship between Annie and Jai

Sendhil said that, again, he doesn’t quite know what the writers have up their sleeves but for now, it looks like “Jai has quite a few fires to put out on his own this season.” He said that the relationship between Jai and Annie will get touched on but so far it’s just a friendship between the two. He remarked that the two get along really well but he personally doubted that it would become romantic. He also mentioned that we will get to see a little bit of that friendship and camaraderie between them in an upcoming episode.

On whether he prefers playing the bad boy, or likes playing a character with more scruples

When asked about playing Jai, who is a bit of a bad boy, and whether or not he’d like to play a guy with more scruples, Sendhil replied: “No, I’m pretty anti-scruples. It’s much more fun to not have scruples.” After playing a good guy on Heroes, he said it’s nice to play someone who’s not quite as nice. When asked where he gets the inspiration to play that bad boy, Sendhil laughed and said that a lot of it was coming from his youth and it was “surprising easy” to draw on his past to play the role.

On whether he did anything special to prepare for the second season

Sendhil told us that he did prepare physically before they started shooting this season. Because it was established earlier that Jai is fluent with Parkour, he decided to limber up. He said he started doing a lot of yoga and pilates and being more active about working out a little bit more. He’s always been active and athletic, and plays a lot of tennis, but wanted to take it up a notch as we will get to see Jai in action a bit more this season.

Covert Affairs airs on Tuesday nights on USA Network at 10/9c.

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