Movies

Queen of hearts: Interview with actor Madhoo

On May 12, 2017, Humara Movie uploaded Pocket Mummy, a short film about a mother and son, on YouTube. Starring Madhoo and Parzaan Dastur (the same child who once counted stars in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai), it has so far garnered more than 2,75,000 views.

Around the same time, Goldie Behl called Madhoo, who was in New York, and asked if she would like to come aboard a television project, Aarambh, written by Baahubali fame Vijayendra Prasad. She would play the queen of a matriarchal society, someone with both power and empathy. Madhoo immediately agreed.

“Life has a funny way of coming together. It’s strange how so many things are linked. I met Nitesh V Ranglani, the director of Pocket Mummy, at a screening of Varun Dhawan’s Dishoom. His father had produced Yeshwant, a film of mine I truly like. He offered me the short film, and I shot for it for just a day. I don’t know if Goldie saw the film and approached me, but Aarambh fell into my lap soon after. I thought I was doing Nitesh a favour by starring in his film, because I liked his spirit, but I now realise I was bestowing a great favour on myself,” smiles Madhoo.

The actress, who is set to start shooting for Aarambh, also starring Karthika Nair, says she has the rough script in hand, and is raring to see what the show is all about. “I watched Baahubali mainly because Ramya is a dear friend and because Goldie told me my role would have shades of Sivagami,” informs Madhoo, who will be shooting for five to seven days a month for six months for the series.

What impressed Madhoo the most was the scope of her character. “All the roles that have brought me a good name are those that see me as a strong woman. Be it Roja, Pehchaan or Ranna (Kannada), films where I fight for a cause have worked well,” she says.

All these years, Madhoo has gone slow on projects, because her children were growing up. This year, both of them are heading abroad for higher studies, and the actress has some time to spare. Which is why she is seriously considering producing short films. “Years ago, I worked with Anjali Menon on Waiting Women, which went to many film festivals. Then came Pocket Mummy. I have another short, Sab Theek Hai, by Raja Mukherji, coming up this month. I’m thinking of introducing new concepts in the shorts I produce. I love the quirkiness of this format,” she says.

Aarambh sees Madhoo go back to television after more than a decade and a half; her last outing was in Radaan’s Kaveri for Sun TV. This time around too, Madhoo focussed on the comfort factor with the production unit. “For me, the script is very important, but it does not overrule everything else. I get very nervous the first few days on a new set. When there is a prior connect, I do a much better job.”

In recent years, her role in Ranna came in for much appreciation, but Madhoo says that though the role was fantastic, she took a long time to warm up to it. “So, despite the fact that it is a superhit, I wonder if I’ve given it my best. But since I’d gone through that phase in Ranna, I fit in much better in Naanu Mathu Varalakshmi. And now, I have a good feeling about Aarambh.”

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 7:26:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/queen-of-hearts/article19114706.ece

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