SAN LEANDRO, Calif. — As Season 4 of “Jessie” comes to a close, young Indian American actor Karan Brar is preparing to portray Ravi Ross in a whole new context.
Brar told India-West last week that if fans enjoyed “Jessie,” then they “should be just as excited for the spin-off,” which will premiere almost two months after the Ross family’s three-episode family vacation that marked the end of the fourth season.
“Bunk’d,” scheduled to air July 31 after the premiere of the Disney Channel movie “Descendants,” gives viewers the opportunity to see Ravi in “two different environments.”
“One is in a luxurious penthouse and the other is a camp,” Brar explained.
In “Bunk’d,” Ravi and the other Ross children get sent off to a summer camp in Maine where their parents first met at the age of 16. The setting is a big transition from the New York penthouse in which the Rosses are usually seen.
“We’ll be in a whole new environment we’re not used to,” Brar said.
Even though the Rosses were relatable as normal children in the original, Brar said now the kids will be even more relatable since they will be in a situation many kids can relate to — going to summer camp.
Ravi, however, has been adjusting and adapting for the last four seasons as a 13-year-old boy who was adopted from India.
The Washington native told India-West (http://bit.ly/1F0tcYg) how Ravi portrays the experience of “thousands of kids who come into America every single day, wondering, ‘What is this place? It’s so new and so different.’” That made Ravi relatable to other kids who are “learning how to behave” in the U.S.
In order to make the role appear more realistic, Brar said he had to work on his accent with a coach constantly since he was born in the U.S. and doesn’t have one.
“We have to make it clear enough so that people can understand it, but thick enough to make it hilarious so that people will just crack up when they hear the lines,” he told India-West.
Brar explained how getting the accent just right was a challenge, especially when moving from shoot-to-shoot.
“When I shot ‘Jessie,’ the first couple of episodes, the producers kept saying, ‘Make the accent thicker, thicker, thicker, since this kid just came from India a month ago,’” Brar said. “Then for a month I went back to shoot ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid,’ and they said, ‘The accent is too thick!’ It was constantly ‘Cut! Cut! Cut!’”
But Brar said he enjoys working on the set with the cast and crew, who are “like family” and teach him anything about the production process he wants to know.
He said what he enjoys most about being on set is “how much you get to learn.” With “new directors every week” and guest stars who have been acting longer than he’s been alive, Brar said the opportunities to learn never cease.
The three-episode Season 4 finale of “Jessie” aired June 5, 6 and 7 on Disney Channel.
The 16-year-old star will also be seen in the Disney Channel movie “Invisible Sister” later this year.