R Madhavan's directorial debut Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, which is based on Nambi Narayanan's life, follows the former ISRO scientist's exploits in rocket science and the false espionage charges leveled against him. But at the core of the film is the consequences of Narayanan's imprisonment, particularly on his family. RJ-turned-actor Shyam Renganathan, who plays R Madhavan's son in the film, opens up about his experience working with the actor-filmmaker, in a conversation with us.
Apart from collaborating with him on workshops, Madhavan also took the time to help Shyam rehearse lines. "Maddy sir sat with me for hours together making me do lines. Only when I rehearsed with him did I understand that I had a natural speech pattern. He told me how to take pauses for my character. When I saw Maddy sir for the first time, I was seeing a huge star, but he genuinely made me feel so comfortable and involved," the actor recalls.
Shyam also prepared for the role by spending time with Narayanan to understand his family members and their perspectives. "I completely trusted Maddy sir as the director. While I didn't get to personally interact with Nambi sir, I did get to spend time with him to understand what his family went through. Maddy sir also described to us what every character had gone through. I remained true to the script and my characterisation."
Shyam, who also comes from a theatre and stand-up background, adds that he hopes to explore more such roles in cinema. "If I ever feel settled, I will be the first one to move out. The whole point is to keep exploring as much as possible. Every medium is magical in its own way."
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, which also co-stars Simran, Ravi Raghavendra, and Suriya (in a special appearance), is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.