Actor R Madhavan hasn’t had a Hindi release in the last four years. That, however, doesn’t perturb the actor, as he feels he hasn’t faded away from the collective memory of the nation.
Madhavan, who will be seen next in the soon-to-release Tanu Weds Manu Returns, says that taking a sabbatical was a conscious decision and he is now back with renewed vigour. The actor spoke to HT City on films, career and more.
Four years is quite a long gap according to Bollywood standards.
(Chuckles) Yes, I know it’s has been quite a long time that I have done a Hindi film but the decision was taken very consciously. I too was missing films but there were a few reasons I wanted to take this break. I feel a lot fresh and hope to do some good work now and justify my work.
The decision to take a break came quite suddenly.
(Smiles) Yes, for the audience it was very sudden because I was getting good offers and my films too were doing well. But I was considering this break for some time and then after Jodi Breakers I thought I should take a break. I wanted to reinvent myself during this time. I was getting offers but they weren’t exciting me because most of the roles required me to do the same thing. So, I decided to make myself feel lonely as an actor. I wanted to feel like a jobless actor so that the urge for doing better work comes. I completely withdrew myself from Bollywood and travelled a lot. I did not want to get the attention of a star, which though is very difficult in India, so I at times went to other countries and spent some time alone.
So, have you been able to reinvent yourself?
Of course, or I wouldn’t have been doing films now. I feel a lot rejuvenated, much like a newcomer. I am ready to experiment and do more good work. I hope I am offered good roles.
What would you have done had Tanu Wed Manu Returns not been made?
I really don’t know. I understand that when you are not in the industry for some time, people tend to forget you. That thought did strike me before I took a break but as I said, I wanted to grow that fear of being jobless, so that I become hungry for better work. It has happened with so many actors that even after doing quality work, they were suddenly left with no good offers. Had Tanu Weds Manu Returns not happened, I would probably have been still looking for work or may be I would have had to produce a film and work in it for creative satisfaction.
Isn’t that a very scary feeling?
It’s so very scary. There were so many people who had warned me not to take a break. But I am happy because I am getting good offers once again and I have quite a few films on hand now.
This film is a sequel to a Tanu Weds Manu, which was a surprise hit.
(Smiles) I think that’s how good films are made. Content is more important than stars. It was a small budget film but everyone loved the subject and that’s the reason we took the decision to make a sequel. There wasn’t a single actor from the first film who didn’t want to be part of the sequel.
How difficult does it become for an actor to be part of a sequel, which is being made after a gap of four years but the story takes off exactly from where it had ended in the first film?
It definitely does become quite difficult when the story takes off from the same place. There are a lot of things that change such as the look and other physical aspects of the actors. That was a reason the story starts four years after the marriage of Tanu and Manu. The more difficult part was the detailing. Director Anand L Rai made sure to rope in all the actors who were there in the first film so that the continuity does get affected. There were a few actors who were quite young but have now become adults. So getting their looks right was a bigger challenge.
Kangana Ranaut recently won the National Award. Don’t you think that you will be overshadowed by her?
Of course I will be overshadowed by her. It is bound to happen more so because of my absence but I don’t mind that. I am confident about impressing the audience with my performance.
Now that you are back what are the kinds of roles you want to do?
I don’t have a set plan but I want to work with new directors who are open to experimenting. That’s the reason I took this break. I don’t want to do the same things. I am also doing Saala Khadoos, which is a very challenging and a very different kind of role. I want to work in such films.