The success of Maddy is that he started off doing Hindi television serials and then graduated to south Indian movies via Mani Ratnam’s Alaipayuthey
Though born a Tamil Brahmin, he grew up in Jamshedpur and learned to speak good Hindi without Tamil accent, which many feel, is his calling card in ‘desi’ heartland.
He has also been able to reach across to “North Indian audiences”, who are wary of other south Indian heroes.
Last week he drew a large audience when he was invited for a talk at the prestigious IIM Ahmedabad, the best business school in Asia.
First when he started doing Hindi films with south Indian directors or remakes of his Tamil films (Rehana Hai Tere Dil Mein, Ramji Londonwale), it didn’t work. But the moment he was doing films with mainstream Bollywood actors and directors ( Rang De Basanti, Mumbai Meri Jaan, 3 Idiots), he could reach across to the mass Hindi audiences.
Now Madhavan’s acid test is Tanu Weds Manu with total North Indian set up of Kangana Ranaut as heroine and directed by Anand L Raj. The film has been shot in Kanpur and Lucknow milieu and Maddy himself will have an Urdu Awadhi slant to his Hindi dialogues.
It is Maddy’s first ‘real solo hero’ film in Bollywood, and let us hope Tanu Weds Manu click with the audiences