Madhavan comes with no image baggage. Predominantly why he is set, yet again, to go places, the Hollywood debut to begin with. The actor will be seen as one of the leads in the 3D reboot of George A Romero’s 1968 horror film ‘Night of the Living Dead’ by Simon West. Closer home, he will be showing a different side of his repertoire, as a retired boxer, in a bi-lingual film directed by Sudha Kongara. Self-effacing as he is, Madhavan has taken his Hollywood debut in his stride.
“It’s just an exciting thing, I don’t look at it as a huge break in Hollywood. But it is a new experience and I was very lucky to get the role. It was about being at the right place at the right time,’’ he says. Going deeper into the film, he adds, “The technology is futuristic, I learnt about facial capture techniques and working in stereoscopic 3D.”
Madhavan is playing a US marine in love with his wife. While shooting for ‘Night of....’ was educational, there were enriching moments off the set as well. “I was staying in Hollywood, where George Harrison lived. George Harrison actually composed the song ‘Blue Jay’ in this house. My friend had bought the house from Charlize Theron. And my neighbours were Leonardo DiCaprio and Keanu Reeves,” he informs. That apart, he also describes his meeting with actor-producer Tony Todd as significant.
He may be heading West, but his feet is still on ‘terra firma’. Madhavan minces no words while praising the kind of movies being made in Bollywood now. “I’m very proud to be working in Bollywood films. Bollywood has set a standard with films like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Kahaani. And Farhan has done exemplary work in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. I think even the public is accepting such kind of films,” he says.
Madhavan, whose work in ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ and the Tamil Alaipayuthey have left quite an impression with the audience, is excited about Sudha Kongara’s film. But it was no small job. To bring out the boxer in him, the actor had to undergo arduous training. To top it, he is sporting long locks and beard for the role. “I look like a monster now,” he jokes, then adds, “the film is being made in Hindi and Tamil and is directed by Mani Rathnam’s assistant Sudha.”
So he shifts from Hindi to Tamil with relative ease because he doesn’t think these two industries are world apart. “There is no difference while working in Hindi or Tamil. The only thing is that the films are made by different production houses,” he says. The actor, who made his debut from small screen to big, in a big way, has been regularly endorsing products for quite a while now. “I’m pretty comfortable doing advertisements. It’s also
another way of reaching the audience,” he says.