He could well be termed as the longest surviving newcomer. Even though he has been around for close to a decade, Madhavan a.k.a. Maddy has been lapped up by both arms by Bollywood audience with every appearance of his.
Also, ‘yeh dil really maange more’ as he spends most of his time down South rather than working in Bollywood cinema. Joginder Tuteja catches up with Madhavan who is now gearing up for the release of 13B and tries to figure out what is it that makes the film exciting and worth a walk to the theaters.
The film was supposed to release some time back. So has it been delayed?
No, not at all. It is pretty much on time. See, in any case working on 13B was like working on two films since it’s a bilingual in Hindi and Tamil. Yes, we finished shooting some time back but post production itself has taken us close to 7 months. Since we had to release the film on the same day (it is coming on 6th March), we had to be extra careful to keep the speed right for both the films during post production. Overall, the film has taken us a year and 2 months to be completed and I guess it’s a fair amount of time being spent on making two films.
The film is said to be taking a cue from the reality shows that are dominating the entertainment channels today. Please elaborate.
It’s a known fact that today reality shows are the flavor of the season. Whenever people turn nasty or are thrown out in a particular episode, the popularity of a show increases. With such happenings around us, we (the makers) started wondering ki in sab mein aisi kya khaasiyat hai. What is it that forces us to watch such shows with more and more interest? The realization dawned upon us that TV is a powerful medium today because it’s not us but the TV that decides what we have to do. It has taken over our lives.
Talking about your Bollywood stint, your last sole release was ‘Ramji Londonwale’. Don’t you think that if it had performed better at the box office, you would have been able to establish yourself far earlier in Bollywood?
I guess I am still doing reasonably well for myself in Bollywood. If you look at my track record, I have been doing only one Hindi film a year. The list is there for you to see. ‘Rehnna Hai Terre Dil Mein’ , ‘Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar’ , ‘Ramji Londonwaale’ , ‘Rang De Basanti’ , ‘Guru’ , ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’  and now ’13B’ . I have decided what I want to do in my career in Hindi film industry while making sure that my decisions do not affect my Tamil market.
On the other hand, 2009 looks crowded though.
True, this is going to be an exceptional year as I have a bevy of Hindi films releases. There is 13B followed by ‘Sikandar’. Then there are also movies like ‘Teen Patti’ and ‘Three Idiots’. So yeah, a lot happening even though I wasn’t looking at making a comeback per se, a term which many out there are trying to coin for me (smiles).
By Joginder Tuteja