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No Fear No Favour

R. Madhavan – I always believe that the elders in my family are the reason for my success: Birthday Special

Madhavan was born on 1 June 1970 in Jamshedpur, Bihar (now Jharkhand), India, into a Tamil family. His father Ranganathan was a management executive in Tata Steel and his mother, Saroja was a manager in the Bank of India. His younger sister, Devika, is a software engineer.

Before is debut in Bollywood Madhavan was living a life of extra ambitious guy. In 1988, he gained a scholarship to represent India as a cultural ambassador from Rajaram College, Kolhapur and spent a year in Shettler, Alberta, Canada as part of an exchange programme with Rotary International. During his graduation at Rajaram College he was recognised as amongst the leading NCC cadets in Maharashtra, which allowed him to make a trip with seven others as NCC cadets to England. As a result of this opportunity, he received training with the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, which he had, at a point, considered joining. However he missed the age cut-off by six months and was subsequently unable to join the programme.

He began teaching courses on public speaking and personality development skills in Kolhapur and the satisfaction he gained through teaching, prompted him to pursue a post-graduation in public speaking at Kishinchand Chellaram College in Mumbai. During the period, he also won the Indian Championship for Public Speaking and subsequently represented India at the Young Businessmen Conference in Tokyo, Japan in 1992.

During his stint in Mumbai, he opted to create a portfolio and submit it to a modeling agency. This was the turning point of his life. He joined the entertainment industry with a commercial for Santosh Sivan’s sandalwood talc advertisement. He appeared in leading roles in Zee TV‘s Banegi Apni Baat and Ghar Jamai, while he gained further popularity portraying the character of Shekhar in Saaya. He also went on to act as a ship’s captain in Sea Hawks, as a convict in Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum and worked as a television anchor in Tol Mol Ke Bol amongst other television appearances. His first appearance in a feature film role came through a small role in Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin (1996), where he portrayed a singer in a bar.

he later gained recognition in the Tamil film Industry through Mani Ratnam’s successful romance film Alaipayuthey(2000). Madhavan soon developed an image as a romantic hero with notable roles in two of 2001’s highest grossing Tamil films, Gautham Monon’s directorial debut Minnale and Madras Talkies’ Dumm Dumm Dumm Dumm. He worked with Mani Ratnam again in the critically acclaimed 2002 film Kannathil Muthamittal playing the father of an adopted girl, whilst he achieved commercial success with his role in N. Linguswamy’s action film, Run (2002). Madhavan was cast alongside Kamal Hassan in the 2003 drama Anbe Sivam, which earned him two notable awards for Best Supporting Actor. In 2004, he gave a critically acclaimed performance as the antagonist in the multi-starrer Aayutha Ezhuthu and the film secured him his first Filmfare Award for the intense portrayal of a rogue.

In the mid-2000s, Madhavan also actively pursued a career in Hindi Films, by appearing in supporting roles in three highly successful productions, Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti (2006), Mani Ratnam’s biopic Guru (2007), Rajkumar Hirani‘s 3 Idiots (2009), and Tanu Weds Manu franchise, which went on to become the highest grossing Indian film of all time upon release.

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