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'It is considered civilised to lie'

By SUBHASH K JHA
December 21, 2021 11:30 IST
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'He is the guy you wouldn't want to invite to your parties, and he constantly embarrasses his wife.'

Photograph: Kind courtesy R Madhavan/Instagram

R Madhavan is getting rave reviews for his role as the motor-mouthed husband and father in Netflix's Web series Decoupled.

The actor Madhavan admits his character is unique.

"My character Arya Iyer was a departure from everything I've done so far," he tells Subhash K Jha.

 

IMAGE: Madhavan in Decoupled. Photograph: Kind courtesy R Madhavan/Instagram

"His marriage is a wreck and he writes pulp fiction. Actually, my character Arya has a lot of me in him. There are so many things he feels and says that I can never do in real life. He's a no-filter guy. He says anything that comes to his mind. He says things that make people uncomfortable. He 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.

Madhavan and Decoupled Creator Manu Joseph wanted to show how hypocrisy is normalised in urban culture.

"It is considered civilised to lie," he says. "As a responsible citizen, actor, son, husband and father, I have to restrain myself from letting myself go. I know every word that I speak may be held against me. Being a recognisable name, I have a certain reach and influence and I have to be constantly alert to the effect of my action and words. But this guy I play in Decoupled has no filters. He says and does whatever he feels."

Decoupled was shot through the pandemic, and Madhavan says it was not a pleasant experience.

"Unless you are an actor shooting with a mask on, you wouldn't understand what it is like. Normally when shooting, actors look at one another and get into the scene. But now you take off the mask only when the camera is running. There is no opportunity to get familiar with your co-stars. Still, no complaints."

"God has been great. We shot the whole serial before and after the lockdown. Now it's up to the audience to embrace what we've done."

 

IMAGE: Madhavan with wife Sarita. Photograph: Kind courtesy R Madhavan/Instagram

What according to Madhavan is the USP of Decoupled?

"It's a take on urban marriages. I'd like to be believe we've made a smart, funny, urbane show. And it's in English, which means it is accessible to the non-metropolitan audience. The divide between the rural and urban audiences has disappeared thanks to the OTT platform. Everyone watches everything."

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SUBHASH K JHA