Madhavan, if you were to give few tips on playing Teen Patti what would they be?
The first tip is that you should know as to when you are supposed to walk out because you don′t want to end up selling your house or wife or stuff and the second tip would be that play the game only if you enjoy it and the focus should not be to gain money out of it. In that case it will become hell for you.
Did you research for your role in the film?
Well I would like to reiterate that the film is not about gambling. It is not about gambling at all and we are not glamorizing gambling in any way. The film is about Teen Patti, which is a form of gambling where Mr. Bachchan is able to come out with a formula that predicts the game. So it′s all about mathematics and because of these mathematical calculations, he starts winning the game of Teen Patti and then the whole focus then shift not to research or the formulae but on the repercussions of winning the game one after the other.
Please tell us a bit about the central idea of Teen Patti?
Well in today′s world everybody is looking for instant gratification. They are looking for material things and all the best things which life has to offer. I still remember when we were in college we used to see all those old men drive around in jazzy cars, and then thinking that what a waste this is as it should have been me having those cars and stuff so that I am able to take my girlfriends along on long drives. But now that whole feeling of regret has now turned into passion whereby now people say that they want them now as it′s become a necessity. We need to have the money and we need to see the good times that life has to offer. Sometimes in pursuit of this ambition you can land yourself into big problem and that′s the core of the film.
There is also this news that you sport six disguises in the film?
Well it′s not just only me in the film in several disguises; we all go out in the film to test out Mr. Bachchan′s theory at different places, which could be addas or small parties and stuff. So we all are wearing different attires and then passing off as different people through out the film.
In 3 Idiots you were a cute student and now in Teen Patti you are looking very lean, why is it so?
In fact the shooting for both Teen Patti and 3 Idiots happened simultaneously so I had to shift myself from one look to the other. In Teen Patti I am this guy who is very sharp and very edgy and one who enjoys every aspect of his life. My character in Teen Patti is physically very active and energetic which was very different from what I did in 3 Idiots, so it was all the demand of the character and I did my best to look the character for both the film. It was all about four weeks of painful workouts and no drinking and stuff. Since I am vegetarian, so my body shape changes very fast, if I have to really lose weight then my body takes some two months to do the same and to become what I want to be.
In 3 Idiots you played a student and now in Teen Patti you play a professor, how come this sudden transformation?
Well that′s the magic of cinema and that′s what cinema is all about. I am glad that this graduation has been really quick. From 3 Idiots to Teen Patti it′s been too much.
Are you a gambler in real life too?
I am a gambler in life, I always try finding my own path and working hard for it and that′s why I am a gambler.
Tell us about your chemistry with Saira Mohan in the film?
It′s very strange that some chemistry is always talked about my films whenever I have a heroine in a film of mine. I only do what is required of me from the director. I don′t think I share unfortunately a very special relationship off the screen as well with my heroines. It′s very bad that I don′t get into controversies. I should now start getting into controversies.
When 3 Idiots was released people said that it glorified ragging, do you think people will say the same thing about Teen Patti too vis a vis gambling?
Well people are mature enough to know that what we show is just a story and it′s got nothing to do with these things. These things die their own natural death. We are only making a movie at the end of the day. if you are not showing smoking then how will you show the bad effects of smoking in a film.
How was it working with Amitabh Bachchan and Ben Kingsley?
I was completely privileged to be working with these two stalwarts. Both of them are such amazing legends of our time that we tend to take them lightly because they are so easily accessible. But we will only know how lucky we are once we realize the time we had with them and the phase we worked with them later on. I just think that Mr. Bachchan is such an amazing professional that he never lets his aura of being a super star fall on any of the people on the sets. He just makes every one so special and treats them as equals.
Your next film is Tanu Weds Manu please tell us more?
Yes, the title has a very good ring to it. I have been very lucky in terms of title be it 13 B or 3 Idiots and now Tanu Weds Manu. It′s a film that Kangna and I are doing and the last schedule is on right now. Anand Rai is directing the film and we will talk more about that film when it′s on the verge of its release.
Did you manage to see My Name is Khan?
No not yet, I just got back from my trip of USA. I am dying to watch it, my wife saw the film and she thinks that it′s a spectacular film. I was supposed to do MNIK and the script was handed over to me. I was to play Jimmy Shergill′s character and I was looking forward to it but for some reasons I could not do the films. The dates of MNIK were clashing with those of 3 Idiots. I am very keen to see the film.
Lastly, why should audience go and watch the film?
If you are looking for wholesome and edgy entertainment and want to see legends like Mr. Bachchan and Ben Kinglsey and pretty women like Shraddha Kapoor and Saira Mohan then Teen Patti is the film for you.
Thanks a lot.