R Madhavan has carved his name in the industry, unlike any other actor. The 3 Idiots Star gained acknowledgement after working in several south films, he then gradually shifted to TV serials and then worked in several Bollywood films. In a recent interview, the actor opened up about how he convinced Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra to play his character in ‘Rang De Basanti’ naturally so that people start associating him with his real self.
The 2006 film went on to win the National Award for Best Popular Film and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film played a very crucial role in the actor’s life as the role was lauded so much from the audience as many felt real pain after the death of his character, Flight Lieutenant Rathod.
In an interview with Film Companion’s Baradwaj Rangan, R Madhavan revealed how his idea to experiment with his character worked and why he couldn’t play Siddharth’s role in the patriotic film, “In Rang De Basanti I had a nine-minute role. I was supposed to do Siddharth’s role but I couldn’t because I had long hair, and I ended up doing the pilot’s role. The big revelation in my life, because even now when they speak about Rang De Basanti, my name is synonymous with that film, for a nine-minute appearance. And these gentlemen, who worked so hard for one-and-a-half years, and I only worked for eight days, I think. And I realised that immortality in terms of being recognised as a character depends on how you play that character, and how that character is written and presented.”
Sharing more about the same, R Madhavan added, “I was supposed to do Siddharth’s role, but Aamir said, ‘Maddy, you have to do one role in this film. Please, can you do Flight Lieutenant Rathod?’ When I heard that narration from Rakeysh and Aamir, I was like, ‘Guys, you’re asking me to be a perfect boyfriend, a perfect son, a perfect patriot, a perfect friend with an almost legendary sort of reputation, for all these guys to go and give their lives up for him.’”
“Everyone knows you need one movie to show that you are a perfect boyfriend or a perfect son. You need an entire movie to show that! So, I was telling Rakeysh, ‘How do you expect me to do justice to this? I’ve only been doing films for five years.’ So, he said, ‘That’s why I’ve come to you, Maddy, what the hell.’” he said.
R Madhavan put forth his suggestion with director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra that how he should underplay his character so that Flight Lieutenant Rathod’s death feels more personal and the audience should feel somebody they knew had died. Interestingly his idea worked and to a certain extent, ‘people felt the loss.’
Apart from him, Rang De Basanti featured Aamir Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni.