Interview: R Madhavan

Posted on January 18, 2018

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R Madhavan, star of the Amazon Prime original Breathe, talks about his 20-year-old career (his first major role, in the Kannada film Shanti Shanti Shanti, was in 1998). He laughs about being too “mature” for romantic roles, and discusses opting for quality over quantity, and his biggest reality check. He speaks about upcoming projects like Chanda Mama Door Ke, a sci-fi film about an Indian astronaut landing on the moon, and Savyasachi, his Telugu film with Naga Chaitanya. He talks about whether a Rajinikanth or a Shah Rukh Khan is possible anymore, and about the differences between Bollywood and the Tamil film industry — including Dhanush’s role in Raanjhanaa. He speaks on Pushkar-Gayatri’s Vikram Vedha, and about his experiences of working with Mani Ratnam, Anand L Rai, Rituparno Ghosh, Kamal Haasan and Rajkumar Hirani.

Quotes
“Mani Ratnam has demon-like commitment; Anand Rai’s set is a pleasant party; there’s never been a deleted scene in a Raju Hirani film”
“I had entered a cruise-control phase in my early 40s…”
“Falling from grace from an audience that’s so discerning today is the biggest risk”
“Quality over quantity isn’t a decision, it’s a survival technique”
“Today’s audiences are far more intelligent than the makers”
“I haven’t seen a series finale better than the one in Breathe”
“Actors are saying: What the hell do I do next?”
“On the first day of shoot, I still feel naked”
“I had no doubts about the success of Vikram Vedha”
 “Kamal Haasan taught me to take a back seat for the benefit of a film”
“Amitabh Bachchan inspires me greatly”
“My father won’t let me buy him a car; my mother won’t take jewellery”
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