If you’ve been missing R. Madhavan on the big screen, here’s some good news. The Tanu Weds Manu star has just announced his next project – Rocketry - The Nambi Effect, Ananth Mahadevan’s trilingual biopic based on veteran space scientist Nambi Narayanan.
Speaking about the exciting project and the research that’s gone into it, Maddy proudly says, “Nambi Narayanan could build a rocket. And I have also learnt how to construct a rocket from scratch. In fact, both my director, Ananth, and I can build a rocket if we need to.”
The actor also reveals that the past two years of his life have been consumed by the project. “My family has only seen only bits and pieces of me for the past two years,” he says.
Maddy and Ananth go back a long way. And given the kind of bond they share, we can expect an extraordinary film to come out of the collaboration.
“Ananth and I worked together on the hugely successful serial Ghar Jamai way back in 1997, and now, we’re here. Small world, isn’t it?” the actor says, adding, “We are determined to do justice to the extraordinary life of Nambi Narayanan. He is one of the many unsung heroes of our country who deserve to be anointed with a film. And I can’t think of anyone more qualified than my friend Ananth Mahadevan to make it. He has thoroughly researched Nambi Narayanan’s life story.”
In 1994, Narayanan, a space-research scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), was falsely accused of espionage. And his biopic will delve into that as well as other episodes from his life.
Says Madhavan, “We are looking into every aspect of Narayanan’s life without apology. There’s really no point in doing a bio-pic unless the complete truth is told.”
A few years ago, Madhavan was signed to play another Tamil academic genius – mathematician Ramanujan. But the deal fell through and the role was finally offered to Dev Patel, who looked as convincing a Tamilian as Shah Rukh Khan in Ra.One.
But Maddy seems to hold no grudges. He says, “It’s not important for the casting to be culture-specific. I mean, Meryl Streep was not Polish, was she, when she did Sophie’s Choice? And Ben Kingsley is hardly Gujarati. But he played Mahatma Gandhi flawlessly. It’s important to capture the essence, the soul of the character. And I am trying to do that in the Nambi Narayanan biopic.”