Madhavan you come fresh from the success of 13 B, you must be very excited about Sikandar?
Yes, I am very excited about Sikandar, as the role in play in the film is something that is very close to my heart. As far as the success of 13 B is concerned, it had a very shaky beginning but in the later weeks the collection of the film picked up very fast and in the subsequent weeks it was declared a hit.
Sikandar [see Photos | Videos]
Madhavan, the film was shot entirely in Kashmir, was it a novel experience for you, also did you encounter any threat perception over there?
We never felt a major threat in anyway while shooting over there. It had rivers and mountains which I had never seen earlier in my life and I am saying this with a sense of regret because the world has exotic locations in Switzerland and other places and the meadows and hills are very systematic but more than that the raw beauty of Kashmir makes it a lovely place. It′s very unfortunate that we have not been able to capitalize on the beauty of Kashmir.
Now army is something that is very close to your heart, though you are not part of the army, but you get to play a role in the film.
Whatever happens in life happens for the best. I am very happy that in this film I get to play my dream profession in different formats. I get to play the role of an army officer in this film and prior to this I have played an air force officer and also as a coast guard officer so I am not complaining. I have lots of friends in the army who helped me understand the role better.
Ok, which is the format of the Indian army that you enjoyed the most?
It′s very difficult to answer this question. It′s a very unfair question to me to answer that; what have I enjoyed the most. I just try doing it in the form of a film and the character and I enjoy doing it.
Maddy, tell us bit about your character and the role you play in the film?
Well he is an Army Officer who believes that peace should return to Kashmir at any cost and he is got a missionary zeal and he believes that peace can reign in Kashmir. And in order to achieve that he will do whatever is required to make that happen. But off course he is just a supporting guy. The main hero and heroine of the film are Parzaan who plays great football and also plays around with a gun which is much to our horror and then the beautiful Ayesha who is also playing his friend in the film. They are the actual hero and heroine of the film.
Can you recount any memorable experience you had while shooting for the film in Kashmir?
Well I would like to say this that during the shooting of the film we interacted with lots of Kashmiris who were very desperate to tell us the fact that how safe Kashmir is and how wonderful their state is and how we should come back with our families to spend our holidays and enjoy the scenic beauty of the place. They are so desperate to believe the fact that normalcy has returned in the valley but unfortunately that was not to be because after we left the shooting venue there were some explosions. It′s really sad and I think that Kashmir has kind of got a beauty that the world has not seen before and hopefully we can show it to the world in near future.
Does Sikandar have elements of patriotism or terrorism in it?
Sikandar is not terrorism or a patriotism based film. It′s a film about a boy who wants to play football and one day finds a gun. It′s not a social message oriented film on the contrary it′s more of a suspense thriller. It′s not necessary that every film based in Kashmir ought to have a backdrop or terrorism or patriotism in it. I have seen too many of such films myself and now I easily get bored. Piyush has tried to make a film, which will engage and involve you and tell you a story, which pertains to loss of innocence, and the regaining of that innocence as to how a child can be manipulated enough.
Will you please tell us a bit about the two lead characters of the film - played by Parzaan and Ayesha Kapoor?
The film revolves around a boy who wants to make it big in the field of football but later on, he strays from the right path to the wrong path after he discovers a gun accidentally. His innocence gets affected after he finds that gun and then people start influencing him to get to the wrong side of law. It′s basically a coin with two sides and how he keeps shifting between the both. At the same time there is also this story of Nasreen played by Ayesha Kapoor who meets Sikandar in school and they become good friends. Nasreen is her conscience keeper and she helps him out whenever he is trouble. Even though they are going through so much of trouble their bond of friendship becomes very strong in due course of time.
Finally what′s the status of Three Idiots?
Well, we have completed a major portion of the film and it was a fantastic experience working with Aamir Khan and Sharman. With Aamir it seemed like a continuation of Rang De Basanti. It′s great working with Rajkumar Hirani and I am eagerly looking forward to the release of the film.
Thanks a lot.