In this weekly series, we take a trip down memory lane with some of the biggest stars of the 80s and 90s, who continue to charm us even now
Actor Madhan Bob is still remembered for his trademark smile, that he carries in most of his films, irrespective of the character he plays. Though he managed to win people’s heart with his impeccable comic timings in the late 90s, he says that it was the musician in him that helped him to survive in this industry for years.
Ticket to silverscreen
“I was someone who rejected Balachander sir’s offer during the initial stages of my career to pursue music. Initially, I thought that he called me to compose music for his film. Only later I realised that it was for a role and told him that I am not interested. I came into the industry to become a musician but destiny had other plans,” Madhan Bob begins. Madhan Bob says that he is into music for the past 50 years and that craze for guitar has never decreased. “I was a guitarist then and had travelled across the globe with my troupe. I used to compose music for documentaries, TV serials and advertisements as it gave me a lot of money. That’s how I got in touch with actors like Y Gee and other celebrities, who asked me to act in their serials. That’s how Balachander sir asked me to do a small appearance in Neengal Kettavai , which released in 1984. Again, after almost 10 years, I acted in Balachander sir’s Vaanamae Ellai .”
Journey with Kamal Haasan
On sharing screenspace with Kamal Haasan, that too, in his third film, he says, “The actors who were part of Devar Magan were experienced and I was in the beginning stages of my career. I played a role of a lawyer and I had to apply an oil to look aged. Kamal sir, who was sitting next to me, started to adjust my hairstyle and make-up like a touch-up boy and helped me to prepare for the scene. That’s when I started to admire him. He wants all other artistes to score better than him on screen.”
One can never ignore talking to him about his trademark smile, which is still one of the favourites for voice artistes. “ Adhu en appa oda siruppu . (That’s how my father smiles) I am happy that I smile the same way as him. I think that smile gave me a lot of films than my performance itself,” he smiles again. Madhan Bob also says that he has faced a lot of problems in life but has always managed to keep that smile intact. “I lost crores of money investing in a TV show and went through a bad phase in life. That’s when I didn’t sign any movies for almost a year. Again, music helped me to revive from that situation and I am back with a bang.”
He adds, “Also, in 2011, while shooting for Dhanush’s Maapillai , I met with a huge accident. My car toppled and both driver and the assistant became unconscious. I broke the glass, pulled them out and made sure that they were safe. I can never forget that incident in my life.” Talking about his upcoming projects, he says, “I am currently working on some interesting films like 4g, Iruttu, Vandi, Walter and a few more.”