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‘I wanted to do a love story’

I have always done one film at a time. And this is solely because it is very difficult for me to be convinced about the script.

After a plethora of character-oriented roles,R Madhavan is looking for that perfect on-screen romance,a genre he has made his own

Two years ago,when you shifted base to Mumbai,we hoped to see more of you in Bollywood.

I have always done one film at a time. And this is solely because it is very difficult for me to be convinced about the script.

Post 3 Idiots,did more doors open,with the industry perceiving you differently?

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Definitely. The market value went up. More offers came to me and,if I had accepted all of them,I’d have had seven releases this year. But after 3 Idiots,I was sure about not being a part of an ensemble cast. I am too spoilt playing solo leads throughout my career,and being in control of your film is a huge kick.

Besides doing a solo lead,was there a specific genre you were targeting?

Movies like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai brought in the trend of love stories,which were at a grassroot level. Later,the love stories became too metrosexual and NRI-based. I was looking for a love story which went back to the roots and that’s when Aanand L Rai came to me with the script of Tanu Weds Manu. I heard the story and I was blown away because this was exactly what I was looking for.

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You still own the romantic hero tag,despite doing just two romantic films Alaipayuthey and Rehnaa Hai Tere Dil Mein prior to Tanu Weds Manu. How did that happen?

Often my wife and I think about how I can break this mould. I wonder if I should grow a beard and beat up people on screen. But then,I have played a wife-beater in a Tamil film,and yet the tag remains. Then it occurred to me that actors

die for a tag like this and it is essential to the longevity of his career. Being a nice guy works for my films,endorsements and also my off-screen image. Fortunately it is stuck,and I shouldn’t be asking why.

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Was it the chance to play a romantic hero again that made you accept Tanu Weds Manu?

It was the character of Manu. If given a choice by God,before you are born,every person would like to be born as Manu. He is not innocent or naive,but is supremely strong and you cannot mess with him. He is the sort of person you feel far more comfortable with when he is on your side. And the best part is he is on everybody’s side.

How similar is Madhavan to Manu?

I wish I were like Manu. I am very shallow compared to him. Also,he is patient in love and will allow it to blossom. Maddy has no time for that. He will get into it and kiss the girl.

You are one of the few actors who has struck a balance between big banners and debut directors. How did you manage that?

When I came into the industry there was a transition happening—from Main tera khoon pee jaaoonga kind of movies to romance and then meaningful cinema like Dil Chahta Hai and Lagaan. I came into the industry without a Godfather. I realised that I shouldn’t bank on one set of people and assume that would be my ticket to success. The audience was also changing. I did Tamil movies of big production houses knowing that what they were doing was outdated. That’s when I found solace in working with newcomers. That’s how a Rehna Hai and a Minnale happened.

First published on: 19-02-2011 at 04:17:40 am
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