Away has just landed on Netflix and the emotional space series follows astronaut Emma Green (played by Hilary Swank) and her crew as they try to reach Mars and create new life. Emma put her trust in her right-hand man, Ram, who ended up developing feelings for her. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know about who plays Ram in Away.
Who plays Ram Arya in Away?
Ram is one of the main characters in Away and he is an Indian Air Force fighter pilot who joined Emma on her Mars mission.
Unlike the other astronauts, Ram did not have many ties with Earth and he was excited to explore space.
However, fans did learn his brother died after contracting a disease Ram suffered from as a child, and the loss continued to haunt him.
Ram is played by English actor Ray Panthaki, whom fans may recognise from his early acting days as Ronny Ferreira in EastEnders.
He is perhaps best known for his role in Marcella, and he starred in the recent Sky hit Gangs of London.
Away Netflix: Ray Panthaki plays Ram Arya
Away Netflix: Ram suffered from an illness in space
The producer and director has performed on the stage and big screen as well as in TV series, and he starred in the West End play In My Name in 2008.
He directed the film Life Sentence which earned him Best UK Short at the East End Film Festival back in 2013.
The following year Panthaki, 41, was named one of 18 BAFTA Breakthrough Brits and he has since gone on to star in lead roles in many popular TV series.
The star is on Instagram and he has been sharing plenty of behind the scenes photos from the Away Netflix series.
He posted a photo with co-stars Vivian Wu, Mark Ivanir and Ato Essandoh with the message: “J’adore these people! first ever photo taken of us together, shoot day one (just missing our wonderful Hilary!).”
Away Netflix: Ray Panthaki and Hilary Swank
Fans went on to praise him for his tear-jerking performance, with one saying: “The series is really great, Ram is one of my favourite characters!”
Ram has plenty of emotional storylines throughout the series, including an episode in which he caught a virus which almost took his life.
His brave colleagues stepped in to save him and he was lucky enough to make a full recovery, but during his period of illness, he expressed his love for his married boss Emma.
The astronauts ended up developing a strong bond by the time they reached Mars and Panthaki shared a photo of the stars holding hands in prayer during the filming of the scene.
He said: “I love this screenshot taken of us praying. It represents a lot to me, not only has mediative prayer been a big part of my own spiritual growth in recent years but I love these guys I’m in the picture with and the bond we created.”
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Panthaki is known to have dated EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella between 2005 and 2010, and he has also been in a relationship with Jamie Brindle.
In an interview with Entertainment Studios, Panthaki explained what drew him to the role of Ram in Away.
He said: “The first page of the script has a list of all the people involved on it…these are incredible storytellers.
“You immediately know you are in safe hands, these guys know how to tell a story. Then you open up the script…for me personally I’m not particularly a fan of sci-fi, but I love drama.
“This is a character-driven family drama set in this epic world, it was taking the ordinary in terms of the intimacy and putting the characters into the extraordinary.”
Fans are waiting to see if the series is renewed for season two as they are keen to find out whether the relationship between Emma and Ram progresses any further.
They are also looking forward to finding out more about Ram’s history as an astronaut, and his heritage. The creators had commented about the incredible cultural diversity when casting for the series.
One fan said on Instagram: “You’re so good. Amazing job! Can’t stop thinking about this show. Thank you!” Another fan added: “My husband and I just finished watching this, and I’m rewatching it again! Hands down one of the best acting and best shows to come out recently.
“Totally on the edge of our seats the whole time and I cried every episode. Thanks for bringing Ram into life – I love his tenderness and empathy he brings to the table, and although I am rooting for Emma and Matt, I am curious to see where the storyline goes for Ram and Emma!”
Away season 1 is streaming on Netflix now