Ravi from Jessie is unrecognizably gorgeous now! Disney Channel fans will be familiar with the popular show, which aired from 2011 to 2015 and focused on the exploits of the titular character, who takes on the role of a nanny for the four Ross kids in New York City. Karan Brar played one of those kids, Ravi, capturing the hearts of viewers over the show’s run.
Many years after Jessie wrapped, Brar is all grown up and looking quite handsome — not to mention making quite the name for himself in Hollywood. If you haven’t checked in on Brar since his Disney days, you might be quite surprised. He’s definitely come out of his Disney kid shell and has racked up quite the list of acting credits, including roles in Epic Night, Schooled, Stargirl, Cleopatra in Space, and Youth & Consequences. Here’s a closer look at what the unrecognizably gorgeous actor who played Ravi in Jessie is up to today.
The character of Ravi in Jessie was written for Karan Brar
It’s hard to imagine Jessie without Ravi, but the original concept for the show didn’t have the character in it. When Karan Brar auditioned for the hit Disney show, it was for the role of Luke, which ended up going to Cameron Boyce instead. Losing the role wasn’t the end for Brar, though. The young actor’s several auditions for the part were so impressive that the role of Ravi was written especially for him.
Instead of being flattered, Brar was initially distraught. “I thought, wow I did such a bad job they kind of gave me a pity role,” he told Talk Nerdy With Us. Brar added that he was quickly assured by Jessie‘s executive producer that the role was anything but and that such characters [are rarely written] for people.
Jessie was an early part for Brar, whose only role before landing the part of Ravi was as Chirag in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid films. Brar told Bitmap Mag that he “started not knowing anything about sitcom,” but that his role on Jessie helped him “grow as an actor and produce work that I’m proud of.”
Karan Brar said playing Ravi on Jessie made him "mature faster"
Karan Brar was just 12 years old when the first episodes of Jessie debuted, and he pretty much grew up on the show. While being a child star can be difficult, thrusting a kid into the spotlight before they’re ready for it, Brar doesn’t look at being a child star as a bad experience.
That being said, starring as Ravi on Jessie was definitely a unique experience that affected Brar’s upbringing. He told Bitmap Mag that he “grew up just like any other kid,” although he “also had to mature [at a] faster rate.” Brar also explained that he was in “a predominantly adult environment” on the set of Jessie, which meant that he always had “to be professional” at a young age.
Thankfully, Brar’s childhood wasn’t all about filming. “I still had time to hang with my friends and I don’t feel like I missed out when I was growing up,” he recalled.
After Jessie, Karan Brar reprised the role of Ravi in Bunk'd
While Jessie wrapped in 2015, it wasn’t the end of Ravi; Karan Brar went on to reprise the role that made him famous in a spinoff called Bunk’d. Brar played Ravi on the series from 2015 to 2018, although he also make an appearance in a 2021 episode of the series.
On Bunk’d, the Ross kids are uprooted from their New York City penthouse and sent to the summer camp Camp Kikiwaka, which made for a more approachable experience for Brar. The actor joked to Talk Nerdy With Us that he “did a lot of research for” the show since he “actually went to camp for a whopping two days back in fifth grade.”
Playing the character of Ravi for so long could have easily gotten boring for Brar, but he told Boys By Girls that he was excited to have the opportunity to keep telling Ravi’s story. “It didn’t feel like it was over yet, so we kept it going,” he shared.
Karan Brar had guest roles on several TV shows
While Karan Brar may be best known for his role as Ravi on Jessie and its spin-off, Bunk’d, the actor has appeared in a lot of other shows. Some other places you might recognize Brar from are his guest arcs on the shows Pair of Kings, Lab Rats: Bionic Island, The Night Shift, Champions, Epic Night, and Solar Opposites.
Brar also portrayed the role of Ravi in crossover events for some other Disney shows, appearing in episodes of Disney Monstober, Austin & Ally, and Ultimate Spider-Man. But there’s one crossover that Brar had hoped to do that never came to fruition: a Bunk’d/Bizaardvark special. He even proposed how the crossover could work, telling Talk Nerdy With Us, “I think one of the things on that show, they do like a live show with their music, so we could have it crossover that way, where we somehow get a plane ticket to meet them in LA.” Alas, Bizaardvark wrapped in 2019, so it’s unlikely we will ever see Brar’s dream play out.
Karan Brar has done a lot of voice acting
You might first recognize Karan Brar’s face from his role as Ravi in Jessie, but he’s been in a lot of productions that you might not know about unless you pay really close attention. That’s because Brar has lent his voice to a number of shows and films, including Sofia the First, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Solar Opposites, Cleopatra In Space, and Mira, Royal Detective.
Brar has been doing voice acting since almost the very beginning of his career, after landing his role as Prince Zandar in Sofia the First in 2013, just two years after the premiere of Jessie.
Brar’s voice roles provide a change of pace for the actor from his live-action roles, but he told BSC Kids that both types of acting “are hard to do” in different ways. The big difference, he said, is that with voice acting “you don’t have to worry about blocking or props,” but that in live-action roles those things “help” convey the character.
Karan Brar appeared in this sci-fi franchise
One of the biggest roles Karan Brar landed after he played Ravi in Jessie is that of Cadet Suresh in 2018’s Pacific Rim: Uprising. Appearing in the science fiction film, a sequel to 2013’s Pacific Rim, was quite a change of genre for the Disney Channel star, but Brar crushed the role and showed just how diverse his range is.
Playing a soldier also required Brar to be in peak physical shape, which he told Crush Fanzine was the hardest part of the role. “I have never worked on a project that had me working out the entire time and was this stunt heavy,” he confessed. But Brar rose to the challenge, saying, “It’s always good to mix things up!”
Brar was still playing Ravi on Bunk’d when he starred in Pacific Rim: Uprising, which made filming a bit complicated. He told Boys By Girls that working on both projects at the same time required him to fly back and forth from Australia, but that he loved it. “It’s always what I imagined as a kid: travel the world, shoot a gigantic film… and meet these amazing people from all around the world,” he gushed.
After playing Ravi on Jessie, Karan Brar starred in this Adam Sandler film
Another big role that Karan Brar landed after he played Ravi on Jessie is that of Deli Mike Mundi in 2020’s Hubie Halloween. Brar starred alongside the legendary Adam Sandler in the Netflix flick.
Comedic fare is obviously right up Brar’s alley after so many years of portraying Ravi on Disney sitcoms, but the role in Hubie Halloween offered up a big twist for the actor as Mike isn’t exactly the nicest of characters. “No, I just have never really played a villain before,” Brar told Screen Rant. Brar relished exploring a different sort of character, saying that “playing Mike was just the most fun.”
Brar added that Mike is a huge contrast from his typical “nerd” parts, but that he infused some of his own “goofy and nerdy self” into the “really mean character.” He said, “I thought that made for a really interesting dynamic.”
Karan Brar had this to say about the #MeToo movement
The actor who played Ravi on Jessie may be on the younger side, but he’s quite outspoken in his beliefs and is a staunch supporter of the #MeToo Movement. Karan Brar talked to Crush Fanzine about his stance on the movement and his support for the women in the industry who spoke out about the horrifying treatment they face in Hollywood.
Brar called the women who have lent their voices to the movement “strong and brave,” and called on his fellow men in the performance industry “to listen” as well as “to check our privilege and see how we contribute to the problem subconsciously.”
Brar also urged men in the acting industry to “contribute to the solution” to end such harassment. The actor also vowed to “try harder to ask more questions and listen more,” counting himself as “an ally” to women in the #MeToo Movement.
This is the big lesson Karan Brar learned from playing Ravi in Jessie
The character of Ravi from Jessie is one that fans of the series will never forget, but Karan Brar also learned a lot about himself from portraying Ravi for so many years. Namely, there’s one big thing in particular that sticks out in Brar’s mind from his time on Jessie, which he opened up about in an interview with Talk Nerdy With Us. “In the workspace, it’s ‘never stop learning,'” he shared. He also explained that “It’s SO easy to get cocky and just assume” that you know everything, but that “it’s important to remember” to learn from those with more experience “so you can understand how the machine works.”
Brar explained that he always tried to do this on set, saying “it keeps you more humble when you’re trying to learn more,” adding that it’s not just the more senior actors on set who had something to teach him. Brar then concluded that he and Ravi are “complete opposites,” but that Ravi taught him to be more confident.
The death of his Jessie co-star, Cameron Boyce, had a huge impact on Karan Brar
Karan Brar was crushed when his best friend and roommate, Cameron Boyce, died in 2019 from epilepsy (via Today). As Brar told Boys By Girls, the two first met when they both auditioned for the role of Luke on Jessie. The role went to Boyce, while Brar ended up playing Luke’s brother, and the two spent years working together on the show, forming a close bond.
Brar opened up about the devastating loss in an Instagram post, in which he called Boyce “the greatest thing to have ever happened to me.” He added, “Wish I had more to say… but I don’t think words will come for a while.”
Several months after Boyce’s death, Brar got a tattoo on his arm to commemorate their friendship. The image is based on a photograph of the two actors, and has text taken from a letter Boyce once wrote to Brar that reads “your partner in crime, Cam.” What a sweet memento to remember such an important person in his life!
Karan Brar keeps his fans updated on social media, but it comes with "pressure"
Karan Brar’s internet presence proves just how popular he is, largely thanks to his role as Ravi on Jessie. The actor has a modest (at least for a celeb) following of over 750,000 followers on Twitter, but has a staggering 4.8 million fans following his posts on Instagram. While Brar isn’t the most prolific social media user, he does use the platforms to support causes he believes in such as voting and the Indian farmers’ protest
Brar used to post more on social media but, as he explained to Boys By Girls,he decided to take a step back as he “felt it was a job,” and that he “felt the pressure to put out an image.” Brar was uncomfortable with the feeling that he “needed to cater to it,” and now has a “healthier” approach to social media. He admitted that his posts are a bit sporadic, but “prefer[s]” when the posts he puts out there are “authentically [him].”
Karan Brar wants to see more diversity in Hollywood
As an Indian American actor, Karan Brar is all too aware of the fact that there’s not exactly a lot of diversity in Hollywood. “Not only are there a lack of roles out there for you but you’re also having to deal with the constant stereotypes people place over you,” he revealed in an interview with Crush Fanzine. It may not be easy, but Brar is determined to keep growing his career, saying it’s important not to “allow other people to hold you back.”
Brar’s hope is that the industry continues to become more diverse, pointing to his own casting as Ravi on Jessie – Disney’s first Indian series regular — as “a big step,” as he told upfrontNY. He added, “I feel like it is really cool that now they are… expanding their ethnic horizon.”
That being said, Brar told Boys By Girls that he often finds it “frustrating… because it feels slow.” Still, the actor is optimistic. “The fight seems tough right now but I do think the position is better than it was even ten years ago,” he added.
Ravi from Jessie is a self-confessed "workaholic"
Karan Brar has enjoyed a lot of success in his career from a very young age. Not everyone is fortunate enough to find their passion so early in life, let alone accomplish so much before they even graduate from high school. And just as Brar worked hard to land the part of Ravi on Jessie, he also worked tirelessly to snag other parts over the years. He admitted to Boys By Girls that, while he is “an ambitious, hard-working, and caring person,” he sometimes takes things too far. “I’m very dedicated to what I do, but to a fault sometimes,” he said, calling himself, “such a workaholic.”
Brar says he inherited his workaholic tendencies from his mom and dad, but even they sometimes need to urge him to take a break. Brar refuses to be complacent, though, saying he’s “always trying to stay hungry.”
Giving back is important to Karan Brar
Karan Brar has become incredibly successful since he starred as Ravi in Jessie. Per Celebrity Net Worth, Brar has an estimated $2 million net worth — not too shabby, especially for someone so young. The former child star isn’t content just to build his career and his fortune, though. As he told Boys By Girls, he’s also “a firm believer that when you get to the top of the hill, you don’t want to be alone when you get there, you want to send a rope down to help other people.”
Brar is all about giving back, and does so in several different ways, such as through GenerationOn, which he explained to Sweety High is “aimed to encouraging youth to take action that changes the world through service.”
Brar is also involved with the Thirst Project which “focuses on providing clean water to developing countries.” The actor explained to Bitmap Mag that his busy work schedule means he can’t be “hands-on” with the organization, but he works on “educating people and spreading awareness.”
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