COVERT AFFAIRS: Inside Scoop from Sendhil Ramamurthy - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

COVERT AFFAIRS: Inside Scoop from Sendhil Ramamurthy

August 24, 2010 by  

COVERT AFFAIRS is already one of USA’s biggest hits, with a passionate fan base who have already earned the show a second season. Armed with a fresh take on the spy world and a cast full of familiar and talented faces, COVERT AFFAIRS is well-positioned for a long run in prime time. Before tonight’s episode, titled “Communication Breakdown,” I thought GIVE ME MY REMOTE readers would appreciate a peek behind the scenes with one of the program’s most influential characters.

Sendhil Ramamurthy is no stranger to enthusiastic TV fans, most notably for his run on NBC’s HEROES. After four seasons as Dr. Mohinder Suresh, Ramamurthy was eager to take on a new challenge, free of superpowers and overarching storylines. Recently, Sendhil took time out to offer insights about his background, the journey to join COVERT AFFAIRS, and scoop about his character, Jai Wilcox.

-How Sendhil became a part of the COVERT AFFAIRS cast:

USA decided to make a little change from the pilot and bring in the Jai Wilcox character. They kind of approached me about it… and I did a chemistry read with Piper Perabo and I got the job the next day. It was a script that I really liked. It was a very different character for me to play from what I had been doing before.

On the research each actor was able to do with the CIA prior to shooting:

There was a lot that we found out through doing all the research, from the fact that the CIA encourages dating within the agency, which I thought would not be the case to kind of the way that things operate there. I didn’t know even the basic things, like you can’t have your cell phone with you inside the CIA. I didn’t know that the CIA didn’t carry weapons on U.S. soil. So it’s interesting, we actually just shot a scene where I’m chasing somebody and they’re shooting at me and I have no gun, but I keep chasing them, like I keep going after them, even though I have no weapon.

Responding to fan interest in the romantic tension between Jai & Annie:

Jai, as the season goes on, kind of becomes a little bit jealous of the friendship between Auggie and Annie. They are best friends. They really are. There’s a trust between them that Annie’s character doesn’t have with any other character. She can be completely who she is with Auggie. She can’t do that with Danielle, her sister; she can’t do it with me because, well, there are various reasons that will come out, but it’s a relationship not entirely based on truth and so that kind of makes that impossible. Having said that, I think there’s an attraction. There’s definitely an attraction between Jai and Annie and Annie and Jai and I’m having fun seeing how it’s all playing out.

Hints about Jai’s background being explored more in future episodes:

…You do find out kind of where he’s from and as the season goes on you actually find out a little bit more about where he was and what it was that he was doing where he was, which is kind of important to the overall end game of the season.

On Chris Gorham’s intense interest in a big-screen HEROES movie:

Can Gorham be in it? You know what, if there’s a Heroes movie, I’m guaranteeing that we’ll get Gorham in it. Right here, you heard it here first. I don’t know if there’s going to be a Heroes movie. I’d love for there to be one. I think that it would be great for the fans to have the story wrapped up properly because that finale was a season finale; that was not a series finale and I feel like we owe it to the fans who were incredibly loyal and supportive of us through all the ups and downs of Heroes, it would be nice to do it for them to have some sort of closure.

In response to a question about Jai’s possible history with the mysterious character of Ben Mercer:

. I’m not going to answer that question in any way that you’re going to find satisfying. I’m going to just say that upfront right now, but yes. That’s my answer… And, again, that’s probably one of the frustrating things for viewers of series television is you want all the answers right away, but then you don’t. You want something more and from a writer’s point of view, they don’t want to burn through too much story. They’ve got to crank out 13 episodes…but there are definitely things in Jai’s background and what he was doing prior to arriving at Langley that make him a really, well, the only choice to be dealing with Annie and the Ben Mercer situation.

On the possibility that Jai’s abilities will be revealed to be “super” in nature:

I think I’m done with that for a while. I’m very grateful to the sci-fi fan base for all the support that they’ve given me and Heroes throughout the past few years, but I think I’m going to pump the brakes a little bit on the sci-fi super strengths, walking through walls, being indestructible cheer leader, which I tend to be on my days off and take a step back and try and be a kick ass CIA operative for a while; kick ass spy sounds like a nice little change.

COVERT AFFAIRS fans, are you enjoying Sendhil’s contributions to the show? Are you rooting for Jai & Annie to become a couple? Which ongoing storyline has you at the edge of your seat? What questions would YOU have asked about the show?

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6 Responses to “COVERT AFFAIRS: Inside Scoop from Sendhil Ramamurthy”

  1. Emily on August 24th, 2010 6:00 pm

    Please no relationship between Jai and Annie. I’m at the point where I don’t hate his character anymore, I find him merely annoying/ But if they try to do any relationship – yuck! I did not like the replacement from the pilot to bring in Jai, and so he’s been a thorn in my side ever since.

  2. Erik on August 24th, 2010 7:09 pm

    Emily: Sendhil alluded to a “playboy” streak in Jai several times during the satellite interview. Does he seem like an unfaithful character, or do you find Jai to be simply incompatible with the rest of the Covert Affairs cast of characters?

  3. Alex on August 24th, 2010 9:42 pm

    I’m with Emily on this one. I definitely see no chemistry between Jai and Annie at all. I don’t in particularly hate Sendhil Ramamurthy as an actor but don’t know how he passed the chemistry test with Piper Perabo.

  4. Debbie on August 25th, 2010 11:08 am

    I agree with Emily and Alex – no relationship between Jai and Annie. I don’t really want her with Auggie, though, either. I think all of the guys we have seen at Langley have been playboys in a way and encouraged to meet and date the gals in their CIA playpen. It is a rather strange way for a business to operate, non?

    In any case, I like that Covert Affairs is finally coming together as a watchable show. After the first episode, which I thought was too deeply entrenched in Arthur and Joan’s sham of a marriage and why that made them ill fitting runners of the DPD, they have finally given us some more back story and heart to the characters much involved in this CIA team and committed to the job of the week.

  5. Erik on August 25th, 2010 12:45 pm

    Emily, Alex, & Debbie: USA has done a good job of repeating the first batch of Covert Affairs episodes in mini-marathons, but would the show still be accessible to a brand new viewer? Many GMMR readers have “found” shows later in their run, but are concerned about knowing everyone’s backstory.

  6. bkj on May 25th, 2012 4:11 pm

    There is definitely no chance now for Annie and Jai to end up together, but i still think they will have a good working relationship even if he is opposing Arthur and Joan. And the fact that they brought in Jai has really given a diversity to the series, may not work well with people who are not used to a character from a completely different ethnic background and accent, but is definitely appealing for general viewers.