We have seen him kill it in different hit dance numbers in Malayalam films. We have also seen him doing comedy, romance and even portraying intense characters. The actor being referred to is not somebody who has been in the industry for many years, which has given him a chance to explore every genre.
Neeraj Madhav is only six years old in the Malayalam film industry. But this promising actor has taken a bold step and stepped out of his comfort zone at a time when most of the newcomers prefer not to take risks, afraid of going wrong and ending up in multiple flops which may lead to the end of his/her acting career. Neeraj, however, was extremely confident about taking this giant leap. He explains it as a conscious effort. “For me, the initial two years were all about going with the flow because it was then that I started understanding what cinema actually is. After my debut in 2013, I did various small roles that came my way as I wanted to explore the method of acting. But doing more or less the same kind of roles for two years started becoming a bit monotonous. It was like going to a job. This was like an alarm. I would say that Drishyam served as a game changer for me.
I was mostly approached for comic or supporting roles even after that, but director Jeethu Joseph gave me something new to try. He approched me for a character in Oozham. I realised it was the right time to take a risk and rule out the chances of being typecast. My new avatar was appreciated by the audience, which boosted my confidence. Movies like Oru Mexican Aparatha and Paipin Chuvattile Pranayam, too, worked in my favour and helped me cement my position in Mollywood as an actor,” he says.
According to the actor, for the past three years, he has been carefully choosing films and it helped him deliver quality content, which in turn brought him offers like a web series with Amazon Prime wherein he will be sharing screen space with ace actors like Manoj Bajpayee and Priyamani. Elaborating on his character in The Family Man, Neeraj says, “My character Moosa Rahman has many layers to his personality and is an intense one. It was my role in Oru Mexican Aparatha that prompted them to cast me. I am lucky enough to have experimented with a character that I feel Mollywood might not give me in the near future.” He adds that he feels more comfortable and confident to emote intense and serious characters, though the majority of roles he has handled in Mollywood were not like that. “However, I am happy with the way my career is taking shape.” Neeraj says. His next dream project is Ennile Villain, which will be directed by his brother Navaneeth Madhav.
“Being a person who has great affinity towards scriptwriting and direction, I try and think about various subjects that can be made into a story. Lava Kusha was an attempt at scriptwriting. However, I understood that it was too exhausting and required a lot of time. It might be one of the reasons why the experiment was not a great success. As of now, I am not in a position to do multitasking. Therefore, even though I had ideas, execution was a farfetched dream. I, then, started noticing that my brother has a taste in editing and direction. Moreover, he is technically skilled than I am and after the success of Njan Malayali, a music video that we shot during the floods, I decided to give Ennile Villain a try. The movie, which explores underground music, requires a fresh treatment and I think that Navaneeth is capable of doing it,” he says.
Neeraj has a slew of projects releasing this year, out of which he is a bit too much excited for Ka, an emotional thriller that is set against the backdrop of a colony. The actor, who says that his drive to prove himself gets stronger with each movie, adds that he is looking forward to associate with big directors in Mollywood as he feels it mandatory to shape an actor’s career in the industry.
Neeraj opines that the film industry is a platform that, if used wisely, can help bring out the best in one. Even though he feels that hard work is the key to success and that eventually it will pay off, helping you sustain in the industry for a longer period of time with some good characters to speak about, he adds, “It is the right opportunity that should happen in order for an actor to prove himself/herself. Without good opportunities, talent in abundance is of no use,” he concludes....