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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

I don’t like to make any character a villain: Michael Madsen on Nishabdham

In a conversation with director Hemant Madhukar, Michael Madsen said he decided to say yes to Nishabdham as he thought of his character as someone "who has a bit of a hero in him even though he is a bad guy."

By: PTI | Mumbai |
Updated: October 6, 2020 8:43:44 pm
Hollywood star Michael MadsenMichael Madsen has made his Indian cinema debut with Nishabdham. (Photo: PR Handout)

Hollywood star Michael Madsen, who has ventured into Indian cinema with the thriller Nishabdham, may be known for playing layered, charming bad men on screen, but says he doesn’t like to portray any character as a “villain”.

The actor broke out with Ridley Scott’s 1991 hit Thelma & Louise and is known for his work in Quentin Tarantino movies such as Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill series and The Hateful Eight.

Also starring south stars Anushka Shetty and R Madhavan, Nishabdham is directed by Hemant Madhukar.

The film, which released on Amazon Prime Video last week, follows a speech and hearing impaired artist, named Sakshi (Shetty), who gets entangled in a criminal investigation when she unexpectedly witnesses a tragic incident that occurs in a villa with a reputation for being haunted.

Madsen plays Richard Dawkins, the captain of the police force, who is assigned to the case, along with Maha Lakshmi (Anjali).

In a conversation with Madhukar, the 63-year-old star said he decided to say yes to Nishabdham as he thought of his character as someone “who has a bit of a hero in him even though he is a bad guy”.

“… But I don’t like to make any character a villain; so I thought it’s an opportunity to play both sides of the coin with my character,” he said in a statement.

Another thing he was curious about was working within an industry with a different group of people he never knew, Madsen said.

The actor said he has seen Indian films in bits and pieces, adding he initially thought the film will be “some kind of a dance-off”.

“I was curious about Indian cinema and the actors… I thought I was going to be dancing around and initially I was terrified, I didn’t want to do it. I finally read the script and realised it was not at all like that. It was a story and I had a lot of reasons to look forward to it,” he added.

When Madhukar asked whether there is a difference between the working style of Hollywood directors and Indian directors, Madsen said everybody has their own signature.

“The mark of a great director is to recognise his style without having previous knowledge of who made the movie. You see a movie and you say ‘Oh that’s a Tarantino film’; that style is what makes all great directors. There’s a mysterious kind of signature in the process of making a movie that not everybody can do. It’s a special thing and I saw a little bit of footage of what we did for this movie and I know that you guys have gone through this to make it work.”

Madsen also said he was fortunate to have Shetty and Madhavan as his co-stars as they were “professional, kind and emotionally available”.

“… They really stood up to my expectations. They have a good sense of humour and were always spot on. In fact, in a lot of ways I thought they were a bit more approachable than some American actors I have worked with. I mean there is a lot of attitude in Hollywood my friend and it’s not always good; with them I have been very lucky, very fortunate,” he added.

Nishabdham also features Subbaraju, Shalini Pandey and Srinivas Avasarala in pivotal roles.

The film is available in Telugu and Tamil languages along with a dubbed Malayalam version on Amazon Prime Video.

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