The 43 year old actor from UP, didn’t have a red carpet laid out for him on his path to stardom. In a recent interview with a leading daily, he got candid about his early life and rise to fame.
Hee says, “I was born and brought up in a 10×12 sq ft chawl in Santacruz. We are five siblings and I was the youngest of them. My father was a priest and had a small dairy business. When I was 10, due to a dispute between my father and his brother, the dairy had to be shut down, as a result of which we moved back to his hometown, Jaunpur in UP. I stayed in Jaunpur for seven years and was simply not interested in studying. We just had some land on which we would do farming and were very poor. We lived in a mud house and could not even afford a sari for my mother on Diwali.”
He tried a lot to get into Bollywood but that didn’t work out in the initial stages. Then by a stroke of luck, he was offered a role in a Bhojpuri film. He agreed to do the film as his mother-tongue is Awadhi, which is close to Bhojpuri. “I became a Bhojpuri superstar and that changed my life. I had no house till then and no money. But Bhojpuri cinema gave me the respect, recognition and money. My parents now live in a bungalow like a raja and rani and entire Jaunpur comes and clicks pictures with them. People have now started naming their kids Ravi Kishen. Being a big star of Bhojpuri cinema got me Bigg Boss that made me famous. When I came out, I did films with Shyam Benegal and Mani Ratnam,” Ravi adds.
When asked whether being the son of a priest helped him in any way, he explains “He feels I am God born in the house. I never felt angry towards him. He used to hit me and I used to love it. Had he not hit me, I could have turned to drugs, or made bad friends or become a womaniser and would have certainly gone wayward in life. He also taught me the habit of getting up early in the morning. He made me spiritual. He taught me everything about life, woman, maya, attachment, detachment and sex in a polished indirect manner. He used to tell me save your mind and your body. Don’t waste your energy. Don’t become a male prostitute. Don’t give a false commitment. He was very strict about being a one- woman man. I am a full Shiva bhakt.”
The actor is also known for his dancing skills; which are a result of a great love and passion for dancing right from early childhood. “I loved music and would be mad about dancing. Ganesh Acharya and I used to dance together in a cottage in Santacruz railway colony when we were young and I would borrow a few steps from him,” he concludes.
He plays the role of a eunuch in the upcoming movie Bullett Raja.