R Amarendran (also known as Amarendran Ramanan or Amar) is an Indian theatre director and actor who has directed and acted in several plays in English and French staged in Chennai and Pondicherry.
R. Amarendran's love for acting started in the 1980s when he was a college student. He took part in the Loyola college production of Girish Karnad's Tughlaq which soon led him to get minor roles in Mithran Devanesan's Gilbert and Sullivan musicals in Chennai, India. He later acted in English plays for several theatre groups in Chennai. In 1989 he was one the four Indians to be selected by the French government to go the L'ecole Nationale d'art Dramatique at the Theatre National de Strasbourg in France to train in acting and to act in a French play that was staged in Delhi, Calcutta and Strasbourg. On his return from France he decided to direct plays himself and in 1992 he founded the Theatre Arlequin. He staged more than 25 plays in English and French the most notable of which were Tartuffe by Moliere, The Lesson by Eugene Ionesco, The Maids by Jean Genet and Tony Kushner's adaptation of Pierre Corneille's L'Illusion Comique.
His film career started in 2008 when he landed the main villain’s role in the movie Bale Pandya directed by Siddharth Chandrasekhar. He has acted in a major role in the critically acclaimed Vidiyum Munn which was inspired by the British film London to Brighton. He also played the role of the history teacher in the multi-Oscar winner Hollywood film Life of Pi. His most memorable roles are in Jil Jung Juk, Vidiyum Munn and Kabali.