After stealing our hearts with his character Maddy in Rehna Hai Tere Dil Main, R. Madhavan is all set to impress us yet again by making his debut in the digital space. He is all geared up with Amazon Prime Video India’s original web series, Breathe. The trailer of the series looked intriguing and super thrilling! Breathe also stars Amit Sadh and Sapna Pabbi in the lead roles.
Recently, we caught up with the man himself and got chatty about his new web series which releases on January 26, 2018. Madhavan spoke about his new avatar, challenges he faced while portraying his character, digital medium, Vikram Vedha remake and much more!
Excerpts from the interview:
1. Tell us about your character in your web series Breathe.
My character’s name is Danny Mascarenhas. From the trailer it is evident that there is a problem with his son, his life is in danger and he will have to make choices that might not be morally or legally correct. What will you do in a situation where you have a choice to save somebody who is really close to you but you are restricted by laws and the society rules. Will you go ahead and what it takes to save him or will you stay quiet within the rules and let them die? That’s the choice that my character has to make in this series.
2. How challenging it was for you to portray this character?
Very challenging! If you have to do this for a 2-hour film, it is easier because you have to keep in track only 120 minutes about what you are doing. So if you reach the peak of an emotion in the first half, then you know you can sustain it throughout. But in this one, it has to be maintained over a period of 360 minutes which is almost close to four films. And shooting it for at the same time period as one movie which is 50 days. So all this was a big challenge which I never expected to be faced with when I accepted this web series.
3. You shot for Breathe simultaneously while shooting for Vikram Vedha and both of your characters were quite different. So was it difficult to switch between the characters?
Yes, it was overlapping. I would like to say it was but it wasn’t. In Vikram Vedha, I was coming from a straightforward place, he is the righteous guy and he sticks to the law. Here the character was so frightening in terms of things he had to face that I would never want to come back with the same character after the shoot was over. So as soon the shoot used to get over, I used to hang around with the guys, just play around and forget about him. So the withdrawal was very fast. So it was not really tough for me because it was totally different situations.
4. You started with television and you did some amazing work there. So how was the transformation with films?
When I was doing television, I didn’t take my career seriously. I was not even trained to be an actor (laughs). I didn’t even know how to act, what is dialogue delivery, what is screenplay…all that I have learnt while doing my job. And while I was doing this, I wasn’t punished for it. A lot of people’s careers got over because they made mistakes while learning. So, I am very grateful for that and also my life experiences prepared me as I went along. Most people when they enter the film industry, they give up a lot of other things in life which stops them from growing in their personal experiences. I was thankfully not one of those guys. So I didn’t fall into the trapping of being only within the industry.
5. Do you think online content will replace cinema in the future?
Online content is a different source of the medium of entertainment. It is not going to be the only source, it will definitely not going to be the impactful source but it will definitely be the biggest! The reason being you will never have any replacement for film stars. The film stars will always have that grandeur of being the glamorous and larger than life talent. And the digital medium involves a lot of involvement which is why I think it will be the largest medium.
6. Breathe is releasing with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat. If it was a film, would you still have had released at the same time?
A number of screens would have been an issue because its setup is bigger. But if Padmaavat was going to be a web series and they would have released with us, then I would have gone heads on with them (laughs).
7. Do you think any film of yours would have been made better if it was adapted to the digital series?
Rang De Basanti! Because so many things you could have said about it. For example my character was only for 9 minutes. But in those 9 minutes, I had to come across as a patriot- who the country loved, I had to come across as a good son- who the mother adored, I had to come across as a lover, I had to come across as a good friend… generally, people take the whole film to showcase all of these but I had to show all these in just 9 minutes. But by God’s grace, the film did wonders then. But I would have loved to have more time!
8. What is the update on the Hindi remake of Vikram Vedha? And is Shah Rukh Khan the part of the film?
The work is happening on it. I haven’t been approached for it. Once I see the script, then I will decide. You will have to ask Shah Rukh Khan about it, I haven’t asked him. I don’t know honestly speaking.