He’s certainly one of the most talented actors Bollywood shares with Tollywood. And now, we will have to share R Madhavan with Hollywood as well. Maddy, as he’s fondly called, has been recently cast as one of the leads in the 3D reboot of George A Romero’s 1968 horror classic: Night of the Living Dead, by director Simon West. The actor is excited, and looking forward to his Hollywood stint, but he’s not forgetting Hindi cinema in the bargain. There are a couple of Bollywood projects lined up, and maybe TV too. Madhavan, who’s in Los Angeles (LA) shooting for the film, spoke to SUNDAY MiD DAY about his future projects, among other things.
How did the Hollywood film role come your way?
Well, a friend of mine who had worked with the producer earlier, thought it would be a good idea to have an Indian as one of the leads in this film. He spoke of me to them. I was in Chicago then. I flew down and met Simon and his team, and I was on.
What’s your role in the film?
I am playing a US marine who is madly in love with his wife and caught in the attack. I play one of the three male leads.
Answer this question honestly. The reason you’re doing this particular film is that A) you liked the role and the director and the story and would have done it, even if it was not a Hollywood film or B) It’s Hollywood.
I answer all questions as honestly as I can (laughs). It’s Hollywood. Plus, it is Simon West. Plus it’s the latest tech on 3D animation. It’s a great opportunity to learn, meeting with the likes of actor-producer Tony Todd, and most importantly, it’s a remake of a cult iconic American film. Good deal, don’t you think?
You have been staying at George Harrison’s place. How did that happen?
This place now belongs to a dear friend of mine. He bought it from Charlize Theron recently. As I was staying here in Hollywood for a while, he insisted I stay in this house as he was away. So I am staying here alone and it’s fantastic. George Harrison actually composed the song Blue Jay in this house. It’s fun to see tourists come in bus loads, stand outside this house and take pictures and get all stunned to see this Indian guy walk coolly out of the house, get in his car and drive away. I sometimes allow them to come inside, take a look and take pictures. They are so moved. This Madrasi is in heaven (laughs). All thanks to my buddy.
How different is it shooting a Hollywood film, than say a Hindi or Tamil film?
Honestly, it’s all the same. The only difference with this film is that it is in 3D graphic. So, the novel way of performing and interacting is very new to me and exciting.
What’s happening about the biopic on Srinivas Ramanujam?
Unfortunately, that is not happening. It’s my loss. I was really looking forward to it. I’m disappointed. Plus, it’s tough to pull off a 22-year-old again, 3 Idiots was tough enough.
Will there be a sequel to Tanu Weds Manu?
I am told there will be and I hope it does happen. It will be so much fun. I am really happy for Anand Rai. He is rocking it with the release of Raanjhanaa.
You started your career with television, when the small screen wasn’t that big. Would you be interested in doing TV again?
I will definitely do TV again. It’s a huge challenge, so I will do it when I am ready for it. The talent there is immense and one has to be careful what you take on.
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