Last year, Ramachandran Nair, who was waiting at Payyannur railway station to board a train to Bengaluru, didn’t imagine his life would change in a few hours. Someone took his photograph seeing his uncanny resemblance to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and uploaded it on the internet. Within no time, he became an internet sensation. Soon, media reported about Nair, a native of Payyannur, Kannur. And in less than a year, he is turning an actor, playing Mr Modi. It was an interview that he gave for a television channel that landed him in tinsel town.
Ramachandran, who is making his acting debut in the Kannada movie Statement 8/11, says everything happened unexpectedly.
“I have a few scenes in the movie. I deliver the statement speech. There is also a scene of the Prime Minister meeting his mother,” says 64-year-old Ramachandran, who lives alone in Payyannur. “I worked as Steno Secretary in Bombay for 30 years and then I worked in the Gulf for five years. I returned home in 2006 and settled here. My mother and relatives are here. Since I have a spiritual temperament, I decided to stay alone. My children are settled in Bengaluru,” he says with a smile. “I spend my time visiting temples.”
People have mistaken him for Modi many times before. “I travel a lot. People observe me, and sometimes take selfies with me.” The resemblance has never been an obstacle in Ramachandran’s life. “Whenever I travel, people identity and respect me for my similarity with the PM,” he says.
The offer to act in the movie directed by Appi Prasad was unexpected for him. “When we copy a personality, we will have to learn about that person’s mannerisms,” he says about his preparation for the movie. “The whole thing—facing the camera for film shooting and interviews—were new to me. I am learning it,” he smiles. “The shooting of the film was in Bengaluru and Coorg. The whole crew was supportive. I am happy to reprise the role of such a prominent figure,” he says. And Ramachandran doesn’t like doing anything that disgraces the Prime Minister. That is the reason why he has denied offers from television comedy shows. “I don’t want to do such shows,” says Ramachandran who believes this acting opportunity is a gift from God. “As a child, I yearned to act in cinema. But, that desire got washed away in life’s struggles. Now, at this age, God has granted my wish. I am happy,” he concludes.