Actor R Madhavan opens up about his new avatar in this exclusive chat with Indulge
The actor talks about his new avatar, his salt-and-pepper look, and what took him so long to explore character roles
One actor who seems to be getting better with age and with every film is R Madhavan aka Maddy. The actor celebrated his 48th birthday on June 1 on the sets of Zero which also stars Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma. What’s really caught the attention of his fans, critics and the film industry alike is the fact that among the league of actors in his age group, Madhavan seems to be getting the maximum attention for his new avatar. From his salt-and-pepper hair and chiseled body to a string of successful films and promising new projects, everything seems to be working in his favour. When we asked what’s the secret behind this, Maddy says, “I really wish I had a formula. I wish I could tell you this designer helped me out or so-and-so told me how to dress and look. But the truth is I have just embraced who I am and I am very amused by this attention all of a sudden.”
No matter how much the actor prefers to be low-key about his looks and about his recent films that have put him in the spotlight, Madhavan can’t escape the attention he is getting. For fans, he will always be the ‘chocolate boy’ from Tamil cinema. “This term ‘chocolate boy’ is something I never got used to. But I am very appreciative of that. I wanted to do roles that didn’t remind the audience of the ‘chocolate boy’ and it took a long time for that to happen, but now with all the attention I am getting, I am even more embarrassed,” he says.
Madhavan’s last hit was Vikram Vedha which has been winning accolades at various award functions. The actor has just wrapped up shoot for his Telugu debut film Savyasachi, and next, he begins shooting for Maara (Tamil). While it appears that everything has worked in his favour, there are certain things that the actor wishes could have happened earlier in his career for better growth.
“I wish I had the benefit of having mentors in the industry who would have told me what to do. I always went with my instinct. In-between, there was a time when I was wearing bright clothes and dancing in Switzerland. But then came a time when I realised that I am not that, there is so much more to who Maddy is,” says the actor. Madhavan is a certified RC pilot who can build planes, he does hydroponic farming, he is an animal lover, he plays golf and skis. “It was unfortunate that I wasn’t able to show these skills on screen. So I stepped back, took a sabbatical and started reinventing myself and now I play roles that are close to the real me,” he offers.
As the brand ambassador for Godrej Expert, the actor has been quite an influencer in the hair colour market in South India. While his contemporaries endorse more brands than one, Maddy is quite selective about the brands he chooses. “If the brand is not delivering, I get all the insults, angry tweets and trolling on social media. It’s very important for me to know which brand I am endorsing,” he says. When we ask him about his new look, he says, “You look most attractive when you are comfortable being who you are. Some people are happy being bald. Bruce Willis lost all his hair before he got to work in some fantastic films. He is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. That was a big motivation for me. People might say, ‘hey Maddy, you have a head full of hair so you talk like this’ but when I started going grey, I had no qualms about it and I embraced it.”