It has been aptly said that if there is one Indian actor who has the ability to create a pan Indian appeal then it has got to be Madhavan Balaji Ranganathan who is better known as R. Madhavan. As of 2012, Madhavan has already appeared in movies pertaining to eight different languages.
Nick Name- Maddy
Date of Birth- 1 June, 1970
Place of Birth- Jamshedpur, India
Eye Color- Black
Hair Color- Black
Profession- Actor, Writer, Film Producer, TV host
Known Languages-Hindi, English, Tamil
Tamil Debut Film- Alaipayuthey
Hindi Debut Film- Rahna Hai Tere Dil Mein
Favorite Director- Mani Ratnam
Favorite Actor/Actors- Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Al Pacino, Sanjeev Kumar
Favorite Actress/Actresses-Manorama, Helen Hunt
Favorite Singer- K.J. Yesudas
Favorite Music Director- A.R. Rahman
Dream Role- Forrest Gump
Favorite Sport- Basketball
Favorite Dishes- Curd Rice, Pani Poori
Hobbies- Sleeping, Browsing the Internet and Chatting
Leisure time activities- Playing golf, flying remote controlled helicopters and aero planes.
Believes in the Philosophy- Living life to the fullest and relishing every moment of the existence
R. Madhavan was born as Madhavan Balaji Ranganathan at Jamshedpur, India to a Hindu Tamil Brahmin family. His father’s name is Ranganathan who worked as a management executive at Tata Steel. His mother Saroja worked as a manager in Bank of India. He also has a sister named Devika who is well settled in the United Kingdom.
After graduating in electronics from Rajaram College, Kolhapur, Madhavan was chosen as a cultural ambassador to represent India in Canada. When he was 22, he became the Maharashtra Best Cadet. This award presented before him a unique opportunity to travel to England as a NCC Cadet along with three other cadets. Being the best cadet in Maharashtra, Madhavan got the privilege of training with the Royal Army, the Navy and the Air Force of England.
Madhavan had the ambition of joining the Air Force (this dream of his later became true when he played the role of an Indian Air Force Pilot in the film Rang De Basanti). Due to problems with the age, Madhavan could not make it to the Air Force and diverted his attention to learn various courses on Public Speaking. In the year 1992, Madhavan was chosen to represent India at the Young Businessman Conference in Tokyo, Japan. The courses in public speaking later helped Madhavan try his luck in the film industry.
Entry in the world of acting (1996-2003)
Most of us might remember Madhavan from the 1996 serial named Sea Hawks where Madhavan aka Maddy played the role of a captain. He also appeared in the serials Banegi Apni Baat, Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum and as an anchor in Tol Mol. His first tryst with film was with Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin where he made a cameo appearance as a club singer.
Madhavan’s first major role in a film was that of an Indian Police Officer in the film Inferno along with Don Wilson. His first Indian film was Shanti Shanti Shanti, a Kannada film but the film did not create any impact. In 1999, Mani Ratnam called Madhavan (Madhavan had first auditioned for Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar but was unsuccessful) and cast him in his film Alaipayuthey (2000). Madhavan was paired opposite Shalini. The two played the role of a young couple having problems with their marriage. This film not only became a blockbuster but also became a cult hit. Saathiya, the Hindi remake of Alaipayuthey, featuring Rani Mukherjee and Vivek Oberoi was equally successful.
After the initial momentum, the second boost was added to Madhavan’s acting career when he starred in Gautham Menon’s Minnale (2001). In this movie he paired with Reemma Sen. Owing to the excellent soundtrack created by Harris Jayaraj, Minnale became a commercial success. That year itself Gautham Menon directed the Hindi version of Minnale which was titled as Rehnaa Hai Tere Dil Mein or RHTDM. This film starred Madhavan, Saif Ali Khan and debutant actress Dia Mirza. The original soundtrack from Minnale was used in RHTDM. When it was first released, RHTDM failed to create any impact but over the years RHTDM slowly developed a cult following among the Indian youths. This film gradually made Madhavan a known face in the Bollywood film industry.
At the same time Madhavan was experiencing an active acting career down south. He went on to appear in films like Dumm Dumm Dumm, Parthale Paravasam, Kannathil Muthamittal, Run, Anbe Sivam, Priyamana Thozhi, Lesa Lesa and Jay Jay. Some of these films got him critical acclaims while others did average business in box office.
Career changing years (2004-2008)
In 2004, Mani Ratnam made Aayutha Ezhuthu that consisted of an ensemble cast featuring Madhavan along with other actors like Surya, Siddharth, Meera Jasmine, Eesha Deol and Trisha Krishnan. Maddy essayed the role of a gangster. Maddy later described that the role of Inba, the gangster was his hardest role of his career and he enjoyed doing it the most. The Hindi version of this film was Yuvaa where Abhishek Bachchan essayed the role of dreaded gangster Lallan. Many critics said that Maddy’s character portrayal was far better than that of Junior Bachchan. He won the South Indian Filmfare Award for the Best Supporting Actor for this role.
Bollywood was just about to forget Maddy when he intervened with Ramji Londonwaley (2005). The story revolves around the life of a cook who gets lost in London but still is able to make it big. At the same time Maddy also made his presence felt in the TV screen when he started hosting a game show named “Deal Ya No Deal”. The year 2006 saw the biggest hit of Madhavan’s career with the release of Rang De Basanti, directed by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra. It was an ensemble cast that included Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor, Siddharth, Atul Kulkarni, Soha Ali Khan, Anupam Kher and Kiran Kher. Maddy got to play the role of a pilot in this film.
The following year i.e. 2007 saw the release of Guru, a biopic directed by Mani Ratnam. The lead pair included Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. It was based on the real life of industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani. The supporting actors included Madhavan, Vidya Balan, Mithun Chakraborty and Arjun Bajwa. Maddy essayed the role of a journalist. His role was based on real life journalist S, Gurumurthy. This film became a blockbuster and Maddy’s role was critically acclaimed thus giving him a solid footing in Bollywood.
Madhavan later went on to appear in Delhi Heights, Aarya, Evano Oruvan, Vaazhthukal and in Mumbai Meri Jaan, a docudrama that revolved around the Mumbai blasts of 2006. Of these Evano Oruvan was produced by Maddy’s production house Leukos Films and he won the ITFA Best Actor Award.
Present acting career (2009 onwards)
Madhavan first tryst with horror movies came with Vikram Kumar’s bilingual films Yavarum Nalam and 13B. But the biggest achievement of Maddy’s acting career came in 2009 with Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots. The 3 Idiots Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi and Madhavan were on a high as 3 Idiots went on to become the highest grossing Indian film of all time.
In 2010, Maddy appeared in Teen Patti and in Jhootha Hi Sahi. Both these films had an average run. In 2011, Maddy starred in a romantic film named Tanu Weds Manu where he paired opposite Kangana Ranaut. The film went on to become a huge success at the box office and once again “Manu” Madhavan won critical acclaims for his portrayal of the role. 2012 is waiting for the release of his film titled Jodi Breakers where he paired opposite Bipasha Basu.
Madhavan the humanitarian
Madhavan is a vegetarian and therefore endorses PETA. In 2006, he was voted as the cutest male vegetarian. He is also part of the charitable organization, The Banyan. In 2010, he and the entire cast and crew of 3 Idiots raised INR 25 lakhs to renovate a school in Leh that was damaged by flash floods. Incidentally this was the same school where a part of the movie was shot. He is one of the few actors who have been successful in establishing himself well both in the North as well as down South. He is also one of the few actors who do not have a six pack and are happy about it.
|Year||Film||Role||Awards and Nominations||Notes|
|1996||Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin||Singer in club||Hindi movie, Uncredited role|
|1998||Shanti Shanti Shanti||Siddharth||Kannada movie|
|2000||Alaipayuthey||Karthik Varadharajan||Tamil movie|
|Ennavale||James Vasanth||Tamil movie|
|2001||Minnale||Rajesh Shivakumar||Tamil movie|
|Dumm Dumm Dumm||Aditya||Tamil movie|
|Parthale Paravasam||Madhava||Tamil movie|
|Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein||Madhav Shastri||Nominated—Zee Cine Award Best Male Debut|
Nominated—Star Screen Award for Most Promising Male Newcomer
|2002||Kannathil Muthamittal||Thiruchelvan||Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor||Tamil movie|
|Dil Vil Pyar Vyar||Krish||Hindi movie|
|2003||Nala Damayanthi||Ramji||Tamil movie|
|Lesa Lesa||Deva Narayanan||Tamil movie, Guest appearance|
|Priyamana Thozhi||Ashok||Tamil movie|
|Jay Jay||Jegan||Tamil movie|
|Aayutha Ezhuthu||Inba Shekar||Filmfare Best Tamil Supporting Actor Award||Tamil movie|
|Nothing But Life||Thomas Roberts||English movie|
|2005||Made in USA||Thomas Roberts||Malayalam movie|
|Priyasakhi||Sandhana Krishnan||Tamil movie|
|Ramji Londonwaley||Ramji Tiwari||Hindi movie, also writer of the movie.|
|2006||Rang De Basanti||Ajay Rathod||Hindi movie,Guest appearance|
|Thambi||Velu Thondaiman||Tamil movie|
|2007||Guru||Shyam Saxena||Hindi movie|
|Delhii Heights||Himself||Hindi movie,Cameo appearance|
|That Four-Letter Word||Himself||English movie,Cameo appearance|
|Evano Oruvan||Sridhar Vasudevan||ITFA Best Actor Award|
Nominated—Vijay Award for Best Story, Screenplay Writer
Also producer and writer
|Mumbai Meri Jaan||Nikhil Agarwal||Hindi movie|
|Tipu Kanan Tipu Kiri||Himself||Malay movie,Cameo appearance|
|2009||Yavarum Nalam||Manohar||Nominated—Vijay Award for Best Actor||Tamil movie|
|Guru En Aalu||Guru||Tamil movie|
|Sikandar||Rajesh Rao||Hindi movie|
|3 Idiots||Farhan Qureshi||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor|
Nominated—IIFA Best Supporting Actor Award
|2010||Om Shanti||RJ Maddy||Telugu movie,Guest appearance|
|Teen Patti||Shantanu Biswas||Hindi movie|
|Jhootha Hi Sahi||Kabir||Hindi movie, Guest appearance|
|Manmadan Ambu||Madanagopal||Nominated—Filmfare Best Tamil Supporting Actor Award|
Nominated—Vijay Award for Best Supporting Actor
|2011||Tanu Weds Manu||Manoj Sharma (Manu)||Hindi movie|
|Jodi Breakers||Sid Khanna||Hindi movie|
|The Man Who Knew Infinity||Srinivasa Ramanujan||English movie. Yet to be released.|