“I’d like to believe we made a smart, funny, urban show” – Entertainment News, Firstpost
“Decoupled is in English. But that does not mean that it is inaccessible to the non-metropolitan public, ”explains R Madhavan.
Decoupled starring R Madhavan and Surveen Chawla is the story of a couple stuck in a dysfunctional marriage for the sake of their daughter. The couple are unable to decide which direction their unstable marriage should take, and the story seems to take many twists and turns throughout their journey. In an interview, R Madhavan talks about the show, what success means to him at this point in his career, filming during the pandemic, and more. Extracts:
Hi Maddy, is it good to catch up?
Always a pleasure. We go back so far. You’ve been supporting me ever since I was doing TV and satellite shows like Sea-hawks and Banegi Apni Baat.
And look how far you’ve gone?
I should be okay with that. 26 years in the entertainment industry. I still haven’t lost my zeal. Making my new series for Netflix, I felt like a newcomer.
Also Read: Breathe R Star Madhavan Says It Gets More And More Difficult To Reinvent Yourself Every Year
Talk to me about Decoupled. I saw it and felt that you were completely reinvented in the role of the misanthropic writer?
It was a departure from everything I have done so far. I don’t think I’ve ever played a character like Arya in Decoupled. His marriage is a wreck and he writes pulp fiction.
Considering your marriage has been going smoothly for 22 years, must it have been difficult for you to be in such a crappy marriage?
(Laughs) My character Arya has a lot of me in him. There are so many things he feels and says that I will never be able to do in real life. He’s a guy without a filter. He says whatever comes to mind. He says things that make people uncomfortable. This is the guy you wouldn’t want to invite to your parties. And he constantly embarrasses his wife. But a lot of what he says is true.
I wouldn’t want to reveal the driving lyrics of your character. But is much of it politically incorrect?
I know. Our writer Manu Joseph wanted to show how we have normalized hypocrisy in urban culture. It is considered civilized to lie.
What do you mean?
As a responsible citizen, actor, son, husband and father, I must refrain from letting go. I know that every word I say can be held against me. Be a recognizable name …
Do you mean a celebrity?
I wouldn’t have the audacity to call myself that. But yes, I have a certain reach and a certain influence and I have to be constantly attentive to the effect of my action and my words. But this guy that I play with Decoupled has no filters. He says and does what he feels.
True. But can’t I hear Arya getting rude?
Funny you say that. Because that’s exactly the discussion I had with Manu and Hardik (screenwriter Manu Joseph, director Hardik Mehta). They thought my character should use the “F” words when he’s angry. I felt it was unnecessary. I believe only those who are unsure of what to say use foul language. I play a pulp-fiction writer in Decoupled. I wanted to express my character Arya’s sarcastic take on life and marriage without being rude.
What was it like shooting during the pandemic?
Unless you’re an actor filming with a mask on, you wouldn’t understand what that looks like. Normally, during filming, the actors look at each other and step into the scene. But now you only take off the mask when the camera is on. There is no way to get acquainted with your co-stars. Still, no complaints. God was great. We shot the whole series before and after confinement. Now it’s up to the public to embrace what we’ve done.
What do you think are the USPs of Decoupled?
It is a vision of urban weddings. I would like to believe that we made a smart, funny, urban show. And it’s in English. This does not mean that it is inaccessible to the non-metropolitan public. The divide between rural and urban audiences has disappeared thanks to the OTT platform. Everyone watches everything.
So is it your only wish right now, to see Decoupled to be universally appreciated?
Beyond that, I wish this pandemic would end, so that I can pull out my dream project Rocket, the bio-pic on NASA scientist Nambi Naraynan that I wrote, directed and produced, and played Naraynan. It is a great responsibility. And a dream that I nurtured for seven years.
Decoupled is streaming on Netflix.
Subhash K Jha is a journalist based in Patna. He’s been writing about Bollywood long enough to know the industry inside and out.