The actor says she is excited to do a “modern and contemporary” role in director Emcy Joseph’s second film
Madhoo Shah is delighted to make a comeback to Malayalam cinema after a period of six years. Her last outing was the bilingual comedy Vaayai Moodi Pesavum, featuring Dulquer Salmaan and Nazriya Nazim in the lead, which was simultaneously shot in Malayalam and released as Samsaaram Aarogyathinu Haanikaram. She is now set to don the greasepaint for filmmaker Emcy Joseph’s second directorial Ennittu Avasanam (And In the End), the announcement of which was made recently. Joseph’s début was the acclaimed Vikruthi, which released last year and starred Suraj Venjaramoodu and Soubin Shahir.
“I’m quite excited because my character (in Enittu Avasanam) is like a dream role for me. I have played the role of a wife, mother and so on many times, but this one is so contemporary and modern,” says Madhoo from Chennai, where she is shooting for the upcoming biographical film Thalaivi, based on the life of the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and yesteryear actor J Jayalalithaa. The actor is tight-lipped about her character in Ennittu Avasanam, also starring actors Anna Ben and Arjun Ashokan. The filming is slated to commence early next year.
Where it all started
Madhoo (born Madhubala) says she likes Malayalam movies a lot and catches them on OTT platforms. “I find some of the best stories and performances often come from there. I keep track of Malayalam films that are dubbed in Hindi. Sometimes I watch them in the original with subtitles,” she says.
She made her Mollywood début with Ottayal Pattalam in 1991. Some of her biggest hits include Neelagiri with Mammootty, Ennodu Ishtam Koodamo and Yodha with Mohanlal. She picks Yodha as perhaps her most memorable experience thus far. “It [Yodha] was fun and for about a month, we stayed in Nepal [where a major portion of the film was shot]. I was a newcomer and the cast and crew were very friendly and helpful,” she remembers.
Madhoo gained prominence in other languages, when Mani Ratnam’s Roja released in 1992. Her next appearance in Malayalam was in Samsaaram Aarogyathinu Haanikaram. “I was jam packed with my shooting schedule and then I got married [in 1999] and took a break from movies,” says Madhoo, about the long hiatus.
However, looking back, the actor has mixed memories of working in Malayalam in the ‘90s. “Back then, I was a new girl [in the industry] and was trying to cope with a busy work. I was therefore quite stressed out as well (laughs). But I’m more relaxed now. Even though I don’t know the language [Malayalam] well, I’m willing to put in extra effort for Ennittu Avasanam.”
So, what can we expect from her in Ennittu Avasanam? “In the ‘90s, I mostly played characters that were simple, and there were a lot of song and dance. But now, I’m eager to play meaty roles, perhaps even action roles. It is no longer about singing songs and dancing around the hero any more,” she says.
In all, Madhoo says she is looking forward to doing more roles in Malayalam. “As an actor, I feel one gets a lot more opportunities to do realistic roles here,” she adds.