Madhavan On The Biggest Challenge Of His Career

“For me acting is rocket science these days,” chuckles Madhavan the Tamil-Hindi superstar who has completed 24 years as leading man.

Maddy, as he is universally known, is currently playing , the veteran space scientist Nambi Naraynan in Ananath Mahadevan’s bio-pic.

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Says Madhavan, “Nambi Narayanan could build a rocket.I’ve learnt to construct a rocket from scratch. In fact both my director Ananth and I can build a rocket if we need to,” says Maddy proudly .

Ananth and Maddy go back a long way. “Ananth and I worked together on the very successful serial Ghar Jamai way back in 1997 where I played Satish Shahji’s Tamilian son-in-law. And now here we are together again. Small world, isn’t it?”

The vibes between the actor and his favourite director is palpable. So is the determination to make an extraordinary film.

Says Maddy, “We are determined to do justice to the extraordinary life of Nambi Naryanan. He is one of the many unsung heroes of our country who deserves to be anointed with a worthy film. I can’t think of anyone more qualified than my friend Ananth Mahadevan to make this film. He has researched thoroughly into Nambi Narayanan’s life story before getting down to making the film.”

In 1994 Narayanan a space-research scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO) had been falsely accused of espionage.

Says Madhavan , “We are going into every aspect of Narayanan’s life without apology. There’s really no point in doing a bio-pic unless the complete truth is told.”

The Nambi Narayanan bio-pic is being made simultaneously into Hindi, Tamil and Emglish.

Some years ago Madhavan was signed to play another Tamil academic genius , the mathematician Ramanujan. But the deal fell through and the role finally went to Dev Patel who looked as Tamil as Shah Rukh Khan in Ra.One.

Says Madhavan gently, “It’s not important for an actor to be culture specific. I mean Meryl Streep was not Polish , was she, when she did Sophie’s Choice. And Ben Kingsley is hardly Gujarati . But he played Mahatma Gandhi flawlessly. It’s important to capture the essence , the soul of the character. I am trying to do that in the Nambi Narayanan bio-pic.”

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