Full Biography of Actor Madhavan
R. Madhavan (born: Madhavan Balaji Ranganathan) is an Indian actor, writer, film producer and television host. Madhavan has received a Filmfare Award, an award from the Tamil Nadu State Film Awards alongside recognition and nominations from other organisations. He has been described as one of the few actors in India who is able to achieve pan-Indian appeal, appearing in films from seven different languages.
Madhavan began his acting career with television guest appearances, including a role on the Zee TV prime-time soap opera Banegi Apni Baat in 1996. After appearing in commercials and in small roles, he later gained recognition as the husband going through the traumas of his marriage in Mani Ratnam\'s successful romantic film Alaipayuthey (2000). Madhavan soon developed an image as a romantic hero with notable roles in two of 2001\'s biggest grossers, Gautham Menon\'s directorial debut Minnale and Madras Talkies\' Dumm Dumm Dumm. He worked with Ratnam again in the critically acclaimed 2002 film Kannathil Muthamittal playing the father of an adopted girl, whilst he enjoyed commercial success with his role in Linguswamy\'s action film, Run (2002).
He was cast opposite Kamal Haasan in the 2003 drama Anbe Sivam, which earned him two notable awards for supporting actor. In 2004 he gave critically acclaimed performances in the multi-starring drama Aayutha Ezhuthu and the film secured him his first Filmfare Award for the intense portrayal of a rogue. In the mid-2000s Madhavan also pursued a career in Hindi films, writing the dialogues for the comedy Ramji Londonwaley, before appearing in supporting roles in two big-budget productions, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra\'s Rang De Basanti and Mani Ratnam\'s biopic Guru. He then won critical acclaim for his portrayal of angry man in his home production in 2007, Evano Oruvan, whilst two years later he appeared in the successful bilingual horror film Yavarum Nalam. He also played a critically acclaimed role in the 2009 blockbuster by Rajkumar Hirani, 3 Idiots, portraying a student with actors Aamir Khan and Sharman Joshi.
Madhavan has been a brand ambassador appearing in many commercials, whilst he has also played television hosts to Hindi television programmes, most notably Deal Ya No Deal in 2006. Before his breakthrough role as a romantic actor in 2000, he was married to Sarita Birje and has a young son. He has been a supporter of the PETA programme in India and has appeared in events organised for the group\'s promotion. Madhavan owns a production company named Leukos Films, who produced his 2007 film Evano Oruvan.
Madhavan was born on 1 June 1970 in Jamshedpur, India, to a Tamil family. His father Ranganathan was a management executive with Tata Steel whilst his mother, Saroja was a manager with the Bank of India. His sister, Devika, is a software engineer settled in the United Kingdom. He had a Tamil-speaking upbringing in Bihar.
In 1988, Madhavan was chosen to represent India as its cultural ambassador from Rajaram College, Kolhapur to Canada after his graduation in electronics. At 22, he was awarded the Maharashtra NCC Best Cadet, allowing him to make a trip with seven others as NCC Cadets to England. Because of this honour, he received training with the Royal Army, the Navy and the Air Force, which he previously planned to join. However he was rejected from the opportunity, as he missed the age cut-off by six months. After he lost out on the place, he began taking courses in public speaking which eventually helped him venture into the film industry. He won the Indian Championship for Public Speaking and was subsequently selected to represent India at the Young Businessmen Conference in Tokyo, Japan in 1992.
In early 1996, Madhavan did a sandalwood talc advertisement for Santosh Sivan, who later recommended him to Mani Ratnam for a screen test for a role in Iruvar. Later in the same year, Mani Ratnam called Madhavan for the screen test, but left him out of the project citing that he thought his eyes looked too young for a senior role. As his film career failed to take off, Madhavan went on to feature in Hindi television serials, appearing as a crook in his first venture Yule Love Stories. He appeared in a leading roles in Zee TV\'s Banegi Apni Baat, Ghar Jamai and later in Tol Mol Ke Bol. He gained popularity as Shakhar in Sony Entertainment Television\'s Show \'Saaya\'. He went on to as a captain in Sea Hawks, as a convict in Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum, and as an anchor in Tol Mol amongst others. His first feature film role came in Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin, where he appeared in an uncredited role.
In 1997, Madhavan appeared in his first film role as an Indian police officer in Fred Olen Ray\'s Inferno alongside Don Wilson. His first chance in Indian movies came in the form of Shanti Shanti Shanti, a Kannada film, in which he acted in the second lead role to Abbas, an established actor. However, the film failed to make an impact and went unnoticed. During the period, Hindi film director Vinod Pandey launched Madhavan as a Bollywood hero, with a project titled Lakheli, however the film was abandoned by the producers soon after production began and the film was cancelled.
In 1999, director Mani Ratnam called Madhavan back after his unsuccessful audition for Iruvar to feature in his Tamil romantic film, Alaipayuthey, which consequently went on to become a blockbuster, earning positive reviews from critics. In Alaipayuthey, Madhavan paired with actress Shalini and portrayed the role of Karthik, a young husband experiencing difficulties with his marriage. Madhavan\'s performance was well received by critics and the film became a cult hit, leaving way to several spoofs of his character. A critic from The Hindu, described that Madhavan \"sails through the litmus test with ease\", whilst another review cited that Madhavan was a promising debutant into the film industry.
After the success of his first Tamil film, the producers of his previous Kannada film, Shanti Shanti Shanti, dubbed the film into Tamil and released it as Relax, to capitalise on Madhavan\'s newfound success. Madhavan\'s second lead role was in the romantic film Ennavale featuring Sneha. The film garnered poor reviews, although Madhavan\'s portrayal was praised as the \"mainstay\" of the film, with claims that the film for him was a \"merely a prosaic exercise\".
In 2001, Madhavan enjoyed success starring opposite Reemma Sen in Gautham Menon\'s directorial debut, Minnale. The film opened well due to the popular soundtrack by Harris Jayaraj and the marketing as a Valentine\'s Day release, and won favourable reviews from critics which led to commercial success. He collaborated with Mani Ratnam for the second time by appearing in his production house, Madras Talkies\' romantic comedy Dumm Dumm Dumm alongside Jyothika. The film won positive acclaim and became a success, with Madhavan establishing himself as a bankable actor in South India.
Madhavan next starred in Parthale Paravasam, the hundredth venture of veteran director, K. Balachander. Madhavan, in the film, acted as a husband in a troubled marriage again after Alaipayuthey. Despite being highly anticipated, the film failed at the box-office, with critics citing that Madhavan looked \"rather bored\" with the proceedings. Similarly his first lead role in a Hindi film, Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, a remake of his Minnale, was also was unsuccessful at the box office, with the film and Madhavan\'s performance receiving mixed reviews.
Following Parthale Paravasam, Madhavan again starred opposite Simran Bagga in his third Mani Ratnam production, Kannathil Muthamittal. He portrayed the role of the father of an adopted child, who wishes to return to her native homeland amidst the Sri Lankan civil war. The film was critically acclaimed and went on to win six National Awards as well as over ten awards at various International Film Festivals around the world. Madhavan gained acclaim for his portrayal with a critic citing \"he lived the role of the character he portrays\".
Madhavan\'s next large success came in Run, a film recognised for its screenplay, with Madhavan appearing in an action film for the first time in his career. Despite another unsuccessful Hindi venture with Dil Vil Pyar Vyar, the success of his previous films helped him secure the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor for 2002, being jointly recognised for both films.
After the success of Run, several of Madhavan\'s films were critically acclaimed but failed to succeed at the box office. Anbe Sivam featuring and written by Kamal Haasan, won critical acclaim but failed to become a grosser. Portraying a young frustrated filmmaker with capitalist beliefs who travels with a handicapped communist played by Kamal Haasan, Madhavan\'s performance was described as a \"milestone in his career\" and that \"his portrayal will remain with the viewer for long\" by a critic from The Hindu.
During the period he went on to feature in Kamal Haasan\'s home production, Nala Damayanthi as a Brahmin cook lost in Australia and in Vikraman\'s Priyamana Thozhi as a budding cricketer, however both films were average grossers though Madhavan\'s performances were appreciated by reviewers.
He appeared in guest role as a teacher in Lesa Lesa directed by Priyadarshan, and then featured in Saran\'s Jay Jay alongside Priyanka Kothari and Pooja, where his performance won mixed reviews.
Madhavan played gangster in K. S. Ravikumar\'s comedy Aethiree before being selected to feature in his fourth Mani Ratnam production. Aayutha Ezhuthu featured an ensemble cast of Suriya, Siddharth, Meera Jasmine, Esha Deol and Trisha Krishnan and featured music from A. R. Rahman. Madhavan portrayed the character of Inba Sekhar, a hitman living in the slums of Chennai who eventually is taken under the wings of a politician. His role also featured him in a struggling marriage with Sasi, played by Meera Jasmine, who desperately tries to claw him away from his profession. Madhavan has since stated that the role was his hardest to date and the one which he enjoyed the most. He received praise from critics, claiming he outplayed Abhishek Bachchan\'s interpretation of the character in the Hindi version of the bilingual, Yuva. Madhavan won the South Indian Filmfare Award for the Best Supporting Actor, whilst a critic from The Hindu cited that he \"sparkles as an anti-hero\" and that the \"character ought to find a very special place in his repertoire\".
In 2005, Madhavan went on to feature in Rajiv Anchal\'s crossover film Nothing But Life, also filmed simultaneously in Malayalam as Made in USA with the film being shot in a single schedule in Las Vegas and Albuquerque. Portraying an orphaned youth with suicidal tendencies being treated by a Malayali psychiatrist in the USA, the film and his portrayal received mixed reviews.
He appeared in another marriage drama film, Priyasakhi, co-starring Sadha – with the pair playing an estranged husband and wife. The film received praise for the lead pair\'s performances with Madhavan being praised as \"top class\", while it also became the first Tamil film to be dubbed into Zulu.
Madhavan made a return to Hindi films by writing the dialogues and starring in the comedy Ramji Londonwaley, a remake of Nala Damayanthi. However despite critics describing his performance as \"a master stroke\", the film fared averagely at the box office due to other big budget films releasing during the period. Madhavan\'s three releases in 2006 were commercial successes with Rang De Basanti, Thambi and Rendu. His appearance in vital cameo role as a pilot in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra\'s Rang De Basanti earned him his first major hit in Hindi films, with the ensemble cast including Aamir Khan being described as \"near perfect\". Thambi directed by Seeman was shot for over a year and faced a delayed release, but became a major success in town and village centres. Madhavan\'s portrayal of a rustic do-gooder, received positive reviews from critics though it was claimed he was \"unable to shed off his classy looks\".In Rendu, a Sundar C comedy, Madhavan appeared in dual roles for the first time in his career and was cast opposite Reemma Sen and Anushka Shetty.
Madhavan appeared in his fifth film under Mani Ratnam\'s Hindi production, Guru in 2007 featuring in the biopic with Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Vidya Balan. His role of Shyam Saxena was inspired from the life of real-life journalist S. Gurumurthy, who was a challenger to business tycoon, Dhirubhai Ambani, whose role drew allusions with Bachchan\'s role.
The film became a blockbuster and won critical acclaim, with a reviewer citing that Madhavan acts with \"extreme, believable sincerity\" dubbing him as \"truly a poster boy for India\", whilst another claimed he performed \" a weak role with elan\". After appearing in guest roles as himself in the Hindi film Delhi Heights and in Sudhish Kamath\'s English film That Four-Letter Word, he featured in the long-delayed romantic comedy Aarya which gained poor reviews. Madhavan wrote the dialogues, produced and featured in the lead role in Nishikanth Kamat\'s Evano Oruvan, where he played a middle class bank employee, Sridhar Vasudevan, who becomes so disgusted with the corruption he faces in his day to day life that he loses it one day and become a vigilante. After setting up his production house, Leukos Films, he helped promote the film in international film festivals before the theatrical release in December 2007.
Though the film only became an average grosser, critics called the film a \"must watch\" with The Hindu dubbed the film as \"Madhavan\'s best performance\" and he went on to win the ITFA Best Actor Award. In January 2008, he appeared in the unsuccessful Vaazhthukal with Bhavana, although his performance was described as the \"only thing which kept the film engaging\" by a critic.
Madhavan\'s final release of the year was the docudrama Mumbai Meri Jaan, based upon the 2006 Mumbai Bombings. The film, which pitted him with Soha Ali Khan, Irrfan Khan and Kay Kay Menon became a critically acclaimed venture with Madhavan\'s portrayal of a man with a post-traumatic stress disorder being appreciated.
Madhavan won positive acclaim for playing the lead role of an engineer experiencing eerie events in Vikram Kumar\'s bilingual horror films, Yavarum Nalam and 13B. The film, which became a commercial and critical success upon release resulted in critics claiming \"he carried the film on his shoulders\" while he was nominated for the Vijay Award for Best Actor. His following two films, the romantic comedy Guru En Aalu and the action film Sikandar in which he played a supporting role of an army officer, both fetched average reviews and failed financially.
Madhavan went on to appear as Farhan Qureshi, the narrator, in Rajkumar Hirani\'s 3 Idiots alongside Aamir Khan and Sharman Joshi. The film, a critical and commercial blockbuster, went on to become the highest grossing Indian film of all time, with Madhavan\'s portrayal earning him nominations for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor and for the IIFA Best Supporting Actor Award. Critics described his performance as \"incredible\", and Madhavan claimed that the film changed how he was viewed as an actor in Hindi films for the better.
His role alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Ben Kingsley in Teen Patti as a young professor won him mixed reviews with critics citing he was \"excellent\" whilst other suggested his \"energy and zest from Guru is missing\", but the film went on to become a colossal failure at box office.
His two guest appearances in the year also received mixed feedback with his performance in the Telugu anthology film Om Shanti being praised, whilst a role in the John Abraham starrer Jhootha Hi Sahi drew him criticism. Madhavan then re-collaborated with Kamal Haasan and K. S. Ravikumar in the romantic comedy, Manmadan Ambu, playing a wealthy businessman whose suspicious nature makes him hire a spy to follow his actress girlfirend, played by Trisha Krishnan, on a European cruise tour. The film opened to rave reviews and became a profitable venture commercially, with Madhavan\'s performance being described as \"excellent\" and that he is the \"scene stealer\".
His only release in 2011 was the romantic drama film, Tanu Weds Manu alongside Kangana Ranaut, which saw him play the role of a sensible doctor hoping to get an arranged marriage with a girl who has as dramatically diverse personality to him. Prior to release, the film\'s promotion created anticipation and upon release, the film became a large success at the box office. Madhavan\'s portrayal of Manoj \"Manu\" Sharma won predominantly positive acclaim, with a reviewer citing that his performance was \"real, restrained, yet forceful\" and another claiming he was \"perfectly cast\".
Madhavan next appeared as a police officer in Linguswamy\'s Tamil film Vettai, an action entertainer featuring an ensemble cast of Arya, Amala Paul and Sameera Reddy. The film opened to positive reviews in January 2012 and went on to become a commercial success, with critics praising Madhavan\'s decision to accept the role of a timid cop, while a critic noted that he had \"an uncanny talent for comedy\".
He then featured in Jodi Breakers, a Hindi romantic comedy film shot in Greece alongside Bipasha Basu, but the film became a failure commercially. In 2012, Madhavan took a sabbatical and was based in Chicago resting his knee, which he injured during the making of Vettai, causing him to suffer from chondromalacia patellae.
In July 2013, Madhavan signed on to appear in his first Hollywood feature film Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3D, produced by Simon West, in which he will be appearing as an ex-marine personnel. Madhavan has also signed on for \"Irudhi Sutru\" (Final Round), a film directed by Sudha Kongara, where he will be portraying a retired boxer. The film is expected to enter production in December 2013.
Madhavan has appeared as host for television programmes on Hindi channels, while he has also been a host at film award functions. He was announced as the host of Sony Entertainment Television\'s Deal Ya No Deal, the Indian version of the American game show Deal Or No Deal, in October 2005. However, Madhavan quit as the lead anchor of the show in January 2006 claiming he was \"unhappy with the way the shoot schedules were handled by the production house\". According to the actor, when he took on the show, he had \"made it clear that he would continue with his South film assignments, and as the show was being filmed in Mumbai, he had found it hard to keep travelling throughout India from Chennai to film the ten days a month he had signed up for\". The ever-changing look of the show meant Madhavan had to constantly rehearse. Madhavan added that he was restricted by the producers to spend one day rehearsing technically, which left him with fatigue.
Mandira Bedi replaced Madhavan as the anchor in February for Series 2 of the game show. In June 2010, Madhavan made a comeback to the game show format by accepting a contract with Imagine TV\'s Big Money show, signing on to host a single season. Furthermore he has been a guest judge, in the Indian television show, Fame Gurukul. Madhavan has also hosted live events, notably the National Film Awards in 2013 with Huma Qureshi. He was also been the host of the 55th Filmfare Awards South in Chennai in 2008 alongside Sindhura Gadde and then also the Vijay Awards in 2013.
Madhavan secured the rights to remake his Tamil film Nala Damayanthi into Hindi as Ramji Londonwaley, and played an active role in determining the crew of the movie. Moreover, Madhavan also wrote the dialogues for the film. In October 2007, Madhavan founded the production company, Leukos Films, and consequently bought the rights of his film, Evano Oruvan from producers Abbas-Mustan and K. Sera Sera. Securing sponsorship deals with HSBC and Santoor, Madhavan premiered the film across North America and the Middle East before theatrical release which became the first of its kind promotion in Tamil cinema. However since the relative failure of the project, Madhavan has downplayed any future involvement in production ventures. The film which Madhavan referred to as a \"part of his life\", saw him write the dialogues for the film along with Seeman, translating lines from the original version in Marathi.
Madhavan has enjoyed considerable success as a brand ambassador for a wide range of products in India. His early work involved advertisements for prominent brands like Bajaj, Ponds, Fair and Lovely and TVS, before signing a major endorsing deal with Pepsi and marketing company, IMG. Madhavan signed a contract with mobile phone network, Airtel for promotions in South India before being promoted as the pan-Indian ambassador for it a year later. His advertisements with Vidya Balan for the brand won critical acclaim, and brought in film offers for the pair. In June 2010, marketers from Arun Excello promoted a housing project in Oragadam, Chennai as like a film would be promoted with Madhavan being featured as the face of the project. The teaser advertisement campaign attracted huge curiosity and the project became a success. His long-term work with jewellery, Joy Alukkas, led to the company creating life size wax models of him to place in their showrooms from January 2011.
Madhavan, who is a vegetarian, endorses the brand, PETA. Since joining them after starring in his first film, he has appeared voluntarily in several advertisements and released an E-Card for the brand. In July 2006, Madhavan was voted the \"cutest male vegetarian\" by an online poll conducted by the NGO, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), while Kareena Kapoor won the female award respectively. In turn he cited that his success in the competition was due to his \"healthy vegetarian diet\". In October 2010, he wrote a letter to the CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken, on behalf of PETA, urging them to stop mistreatment of birds by the fast-food industry outlets and the killing of animals. He requested the boycott of KFC in India over animal welfare and conditions and was joined by Raveena Tandon and Rakhi Sawant in supporting the work of PETA in India. In addition, Madhavan was named PETA India’s 2012 \"Person Of The Year.\"
He has lent his support for the Chennai-based charity, The Banyan, and appeared in the charity musical Netru, Indru, Naalai directed by Mani Ratnam for the cause. He appeared as a guest cook and newly launched restaurant in Chennai and cooked dosas for auction for the charity, helping raise forty five thousand rupees. He has been a part of an AIDS awareness programme initiated by Richard Gere in India and helped advertise the A Time for Heroes campaign appearing in a short film.
Similarly he featured in a four-minute film produced by Agaram Foundation, Herova? Zerova? campaigning for educational awareness alongside Surya, Vijay and Jyothika. In 2010, along with his cast and crew from 3 Idiots, he helped raise Rs. 2.5 million for the renovation of the school in Leh, which was damaged by flash floods. Madhavan laid bricks and tiles at the London Business School in July 2011, building a symbolic house to represent the 100,000 houses that will be built in India by 2015 as a part of Habitat for Humanity\'s campaign to improve substandard houses in India.
Madhavan is one of the few actors in India who receives pan-Indian appeal, with his success in establishing himself in the North and the South helping him receive offers as a brand ambassador. Furthermore, it has led to producers offering him lead roles in bilingual films with Nothing But Life and Made in USA being shot in Malayalam and English and 13B and Yavarum Nalam being shot in Hindi and Tamil. Moreover, most of his Tamil films are dubbed into Telugu, where he has created a box office market without appearing in a single straight Telugu film as a lead actor.
Madhavan has also been active in keeping in contact with fans, maintaining a fan email account, a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account as well as being one of the first actors of Tamil films to turn blogger with entries in the year 2000.
He has appeared at functions as a special guest, and has enjoyed particularly close links with technology company, Sify, who he signed on as his media partner for all his future releases after expressing satisfaction at the website they created for Rendu. Madhavan sat amongst a six-man jury for the selection of CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2006. He inaugurated the Chennai International Film Festival in 2007, taking the opportunity to deliver a message on preserving the environment.
A gaming company, Paradox Studios Limited, launched a new game compatible with mobile phones in July 2006, with Madhavan as the lead character. The company released two mobile game titles featuring Madhavan as their lead character. The first of the two games, Madhavan\'s MIG, featured the actor making a reprise of his Rang De Basanti pilot\'s role. In the other game titled Madhavan, the player had to help the actor get to the premiere of his latest movie evading the paparazzi. In 2007, prominent entrepreneur N. R. Narayana Murthy requested Madhavan to be his interviewer at the India-Singapore Exposition and Madhavan went on to claim that the experience was \"unforgettable\" as Murthy was an idol to him. Maruti Suzuki, for whom Madhavan is the brand ambassador, launched a special edition of the Suzuki Wagon R car calling it the Madhavan Signature Edition in September 2013.
Madhavan\'s parents are Ranganathan and Saroja. Despite Madhavan\'s ambition of wanting to join the army, his parents insisted he went to management school and pursue a degree in electronics. After completing the degree, he went on to teach communication and public speaking at workshops around India. At the Maharashtra workshop, he encountered his wife Sarita Birje in 1991, an air hostess, who attended his class. After completing the course, the pair began dating and married in 1999, before Madhavan entered mainstream films.
The pair\'s successful marriage has been covered by the media, with Madhavan citing that advise from his mentor Mani Ratnam was useful. Sarita has worked as a costume designer in a few of Madhavan\'s films, most notably for Guru En Aalu (2009) when she worked along with Erum Ali, the wife of Madhavan\'s co-star, Abbas, for their respective husbands. Their first son, Vedant was born in August 2005, which eventually led to relocating towards to the boat-club area in Chennai from Kilpauk. Madhavan\'s parents lived with him as did his parents-in-law. In 2009, he relocated to Kandivali, Mumbai with his wife and son, as he pursued a career in Hindi films ahead of films in the South Indian industries.
Madhavan, since his debut, has received significant following from female fans. Madhavan has maintained close links with fellow actors in the Hindi and Tamil film industry with his close links with director Mani Ratnam and actors Kamal Haasan, Aamir Khan and Surya. He has also helped out actresses Reemma Sen, Sadha and Nisha Kothari by signing them on for roles in his films, when they were going through a barren spell.
Madhavan took a sabbatical from films from September 2010 announcing an eight-month break from films citing he would take the time off to visit London, go on a European motorcycle ride, lose weight, play golf, take treatment for his knee injury and spend time with family. Though he kept away from starting new projects, during the period he was involved in heavy promotions of two of his releases, Manmadan Ambu and Tanu Weds Manu. He has been a keen golf player, appearing in a celebrity charity event in 2007 and has played alongside actor Amitabh Bachchan and director Mani Ratnam. His experiences flying Cessna planes when he was with National Cadet Corps, also led to a passion for aero-modelling, claiming it justified his decision to pursue a degree in electronics.