Between 2011 and 2015, actor Madhavan did something to get his mojo back. Excerpts from an interview:
Your career has seen its ups and downs. What has been the biggest reality check for you?
Before I signed Irudhi Suttru, there was this phase in my life where whatever I was doing was being met with a very general kind of success. There was no exceptional appreciation or great jump in my career, even though it looked like I did a Run, Rang De Basanti, Guru, 13B, 3 Idiots or Tanu Weds Manu. It does look good, but there were films in the middle where I lost the passion to rush out of the house, or think about the story at any given point of time. Now, when I am giving you this interview, one part of my brain is thinking about my next script and I feel that excitement. I had lost that, and my wife is the one who pointed it out to me.
So the reality check was, “how am I entering a cruise control phase in my early 40s”. That is not what I wanted. Then I realised that I was self-confident in a wrong sort of way. It was a comfort zone that was making me decay. So I made it a point to go out of that comfort zone. One of the essential points of that phase was that there was enough and more money. If that was not through films, it was through endorsements and if it was not through endorsements or appearances, it was through films. So, I first put a stop to it. I stopped doing films and endorsements and I started seeing if I could get that hunger and insecurity back.
Like a rediscovery?
I want to call it a controlled free fall. I was smart enough to do this before it happened inadvertently. So that controlled free fall was a state where I got rid of a layer that was covering my soul. I don’t mean it in a philosophical manner, but in a way that I needed to feel a sense of nervousness. Which, thankfully, happened. So I went around Chennai in auto rickshaws to meet producers to convince them to do Irudhi Suttru.
Not an easy subject to sell. But this film taught me to bite the bullet and produce it even if no one else came forward. That phase where I took off between 2011 and 2015, that was the reality check of my life. I wanted to get ahead of the curve and I feel I’m sort of there now.