It wasn’t too difficult for R Madhavan to play a north Indian in Tanu Weds Manu. The actor, who is known to be a South Indian, who crossed over to Bollywood, is actually from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.
He reveals, “I was born in the North and the film has taken me back to my roots.” In the film, Madhavan plays Manu, a sober and calm young man from Uttar Pradesh.
Madhavan did his schooling in the steel city and can speak the local language very well. In fact director Imtiaz Ali (who is also from Jamshedpur) and Madhavan have known each other since their childhood days. The actor did a couple of Hindi television serials like Banegi Apni Baat and Sea Hawks before he bagged a role in Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film Alaipayuthey in the year 2000. Since most of initial hits were south Indian films, the media labelled him as a ‘South Indian’ actor.
However for Madhavan, his North Indian connection has been as strong as his Southern connection. He says the cultural connect in his forthcoming film Tanu Weds Manu was “effortless” for him. “When Anand Rai (director) mentioned that we will be shooting in Kanpur, I was super excited. I had a great time during the shoot. It was like coming back home.”
Reminiscing about his experience of working in the North, he adds, “People there are simple and have a down-to-earth lifestyle. The food served during our shoot was a feast every day. I just could not get enough. I will soon plan a vacation somewhere in the North.”
Madhavan reveals that he has a weakness for North Indian cuisine and requests his wife, Sarita, to make that food at least five days a week.