Happy birthday R. Madhavan: Chronicling the actor-director's amazing journey
R. Madhavan is not just good, chocolaty looks. He is a phenomenal actor, who stepped into showbiz because he wanted to be a "rich and famous actor." As he turns 51 today, looks like this highly-qualified individual has achieved much of it. But he still wants to spread his wings further. We explore his journey, and wish him a very happy birthday!
He was one of Maharashtra's leading NCC cadets
Madhavan, while in college, represented India in Canada as a cultural representative, for which he earned a scholarship. He pursued a degree in Electronics, while getting trained in the military. The actor also underwent practice in Royal Army, Navy and the Air Force. At 22, he was one of Maharashtra's leading NCC cadets. In fact, it's due to NCC he started pursuing public speaking.
Madhavan received an honorary D.Litt degree this year
He did a Masters in Public Speaking from Kishinchand Chellaram College, Bombay, and emerged victorious at the Indian Championship for Public Speaking. In 1992, Madhavan represented India at Young Businessmen Conference in Tokyo. Years later in 2021, he was invited back to Kolhapur by the DY Patil Education Society, and was accorded with an honorary D.Litt degree for his contribution to arts and cinema.
'3 Idiots': Arshad, John Abraham, Saif considered for Farhan's role
In the coming years, Madhavan did many Hindi films, but his role in 3 Idiots remains the most memorable one till date. However, we would not have got him as Farhan had Arshad Warsi, John Abraham or Saif Ali Khan signed on the dotted lines.
Mani Ratnam had rejected Madhavan because 'his eyes looked young'
Like many, Madhavan too was rejected in his first audition, which was for Mani Ratnam's Iruvar. "His eyes looked too young," was the reason. But fate had other plans. After several TV appearances, he got established in the film industry through Ratnam's Alaipayuthey, which was remade to Saathiya in 2002. That film made Madhavan an overnight sensation. There was no looking back since.
'Rocketry: The Nambi Effect' to mark his directorial debut
After many years of being in front of the camera, the skilled actor will now go behind it. Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, based on the life of scientist Nambi Narayanan, will mark his directorial debut. He'll play Nambi in it. Touted as an "arrogant genius" in the film's trailer, Nambi was falsely accused of espionage and arrested in 1994. SC cleared him in 1998.
The superstar married Sarita Birje in 1999 in Chennai
Now coming to his personal life. Madhavan married Sarita Birje in 1999. They reportedly met during one of his public speaking classes. Their son is all of 14 now. While Madhavan is Tamilian, Birje is a Maharashtrian. Their intimate ceremony, attended only by friends and family, followed Tamil rituals and was held in Chennai. The event was simple since Madhavan wasn't a superstar then.
Madhavan once turned a barren land into a farm
Last year, we got to learn of another side of Madhavan, when he turned an empty, barren land into a farm. He and his brother started this project and helped that place regain greenery within some months. "From preparing the land with the right mulch to putting the right kind of fish in the well— every bit of learning has been priceless," he shared.
The actor's current net worth is Rs. 120cr
He currently sits atop a net-worth of about Rs. 120cr. Recently, Madhavan shared glimpses of his Mumbai abode. The main USP of his living room is a Tanjore painting, while his bedroom has a kitchen garden attached. A perfect mix of traditional and modern style.