25 Years of Maddy: From ‘Chocolate Boy’ To A Versatile Actor!


By Jayabhuvaneshwari B

The Kollywood film industry has had a ton of talented actors over the years who have proved themselves through their performances. Most of them are celebrated so much that they have separate fan clubs. And then there are also fans of one actor who are against another actor who is considered to be their Hero’s rival. Rajini-Kamal, Thala-Thalapathy, and so on.. But, the entire Tamil audience and even other Indian audiences love one actor unconditionally, irrespective of who’s fan they are. That actor is none other than R Madhavan also referred to as Maddy. 

With almost 50 plus films in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, Maddy is one actor whom we can’t take our eyes off, when on-screen. He has been in the industry for the past 25 years with his fair share of successes and failures. Over these 50 plus films, Maddy has acted as the Hero, the villain and has even done some supporting characters. Maddy is also fondly called ‘Chocolate Boy’ because of some of his romance movies. He got that nickname because of all the irresistible characters that he played as a Lover-boy in Tamil movies. Over the years however, Maddy has grown from just a Lover-Boy to a Versatile Actor. Here are 10 unforgettable movies of our dearest Maddy!


  • Alaipayuthey:

Mani Ratnam’s Alaipayuthey was the breakthrough movie for Madhavan. That was his debut into the Kollywood industry. He had acted in three movies before but had not gained much recognition for those performances. With Alaipayuthey, Maddy became the heartthrob of Tamil cinema. It is generally not easy for actors to nail their debut performances and find a place in the hearts of the audiences. But Madhavan did it with ease and made girls go crazy over him. Mani Ratnam’s direction also played a very important role in this character of Madhavan. It was during this time that boys started using the, “Naa unna virumbala, un mela aasai padala, nee azhaga iruka nu nenaikala aana ithellam nadanthidumo nu bayama iruku. Yosichu sollu.” dialogue to confess their love to their lovers. Till today, this dialogue and this movie stands as a classic in Tamil cinema.


  • Minnale:

Minnale was Gautham Vasudev Menon’s debut film as director and he chose Madhavan as the lead for obvious reasons. Minnale, another beautiful love story, became a success because of Maddy’s Rajesh Shivakumar. He played the antagonist and was portrayed like a stalker in the film and yet he made the audience yearn for a lover like him who would go at lengths to take risks. His charisma in the movie was just too good and the audience genuinely felt bad when Reena Joseph breaks-up with Rajesh on learning the truth. The songs in the movie were also a contributing factor for Maddy’s popularity after Minnale. One of the reasons Gautham Menon’s first film became a success is with no doubt Madhavan’s performance. 


  • Kannathil Muthamittal:

After establishing himself as a lover boy with the above movies and also movies like Dumm Dumm Dumm, Madhavan moved onto a movie that proved his acting brilliance. He collaborated yet again with Mani Ratnam just to give us another wonderful and warm movie. Although he acted as Amudha’s father in the movie, he made us crush on him with his performance. The risks he took and the lengths he went for Amudha made us all think of him as an amazing father one could get. Of course, Mani Ratnam’s storyline and direction played a key role, but the movie would not be what it is today without Maddy as Thiruchelvan.



  • Run:

Immediately after Kannathil Muthamittal, Madhavan starred in N Linguswamy’s Run along with Meera Jasmine. Yet another role that added the lover-boy feather to his cap. Madhavan’s Siva who would do anything for his Priya was such an unbelievably believable role and as usual Madhavan just became the darling of Tamil cinema. Run was a blockbuster hit and it was one of the first movies for Madhavan with a lot of action. Although the story is about the Hero winning-over the hand of his heroine, Maddy made it seem like something new and different. Well, that’s the magic of Maddy. 


  • Anbe Sivam:

Sundar C’s Anbe Sivam provided a great breakthrough for Madhavan, as he nailed his character as Anbarasu. For the first time, Madhavan acted as a commercial director with his own opinions and ideologies. He is someone who is critical of everything and not very fond of optimism. It is generally difficult to give a versatile performance alongside an actor who has defined versatility for Tamil cinema. Madhavan was appreciated for his role in Anbe Sivam because of the way in which he complimented Kamal Haasan’s performance as Nalla Sivam. His transformation from a self-centered ‘A Arasu’  to a selfless ‘Anbarasu’ is captured wonderfully in the movie. 


  • Nala Damayanthi:

Moulee’s Nala Damayanthi is one of the underrated movies of Maddy. This is the first movie where he nailed his performance as a comical character. Maddy’s Ramji Narayanaswamy Iyer, a naive Palakkad Brahmin who gets lost in Australia is just the character you will want to see on-screen on a dull day. Again, this movie is also of a romance genre, but the comical side of Maddy is more predominant in this movie. Through this movie Maddy showed that he could do justice to any kind of character and not only the romantic ones. The movie can be watched anytime of the day, and the audience will surely be left with tears from laughter. 



  • Ayutha Ezhuthu:

After quite a few romantic movies like Jay Jay and Priyamana Thozhi, Madhavan turned to a very different character with Ayutha Ezhuthu. For a change, Madhavan played the antagonist of the movie. With all his lover boy roles, Madhavan’s rowdy look in this movie was a refreshing change for the audience. However, till date, Inbasekar remains a role that not many would associate with the actor. He did more than needed to prove himself as the perfect villain. So much that it is almost as though the Darling Maddy and Rowdy Maddy are two different people altogether. Ayutha Ezhuthu proved that any Mani Ratnam and Madhavan combo would work because it became a Hat Trick hit for the actor. For all Maddy fans, Inbasekar remains one celebrated and praised role for the actor because of his unexpected and unconventional acting in the movie. 


  • 3 Idiots:

Based on Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone, Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots showed Madhavan as that loving friend everybody would want. The movie was a big hit in the Bollywood industry. But, that would not have been possible without Maddy’s Farhan Qureshi. As a matter of fact, Ranchhoddas is nothing without his Farhan and Raju. Madhavan, as a grateful and loving friend, is the character we need at all times. The scene where Farhan convinces his father about taking Photography as a career is just heart-warming and emotional. With equal parts comedy and sentiment, Maddy’s Farhan was one his cutest and most adorable characters. 


  • Irudhi Suttru:

After a few not very successful movies in Tamil, Sudha Kongara’s Irudhi Sutru acted as a comeback for the actor. As a character who is very serious about his sport and does not deal with crap, Maddy still managed to win our hearts. We were all head over heels in love with Prabhu Master, just like Mathi in the movie. The determination with which he trains Mathi and the things he does to ensure her victory made him super admirable, in spite of his serious nature. 


  • Vikram Vedha:

Madhavan’s badass cop character in Vikram Vedha was just a role that his fans needed to celebrate and cherish him even more. Madhavan along with actor Vijay Sethupathi (Vedha) gave an epic entertainer from start to finish. Maddy’s role as the ‘no-nonsense’ police officer in the chase to fight evil, even if it required putting bullets in one’s head, was unforgettable. Throughout the movie you’re made to believe that Vikram is the protagonist and Vedha is the Antagonist, until the very end. Only because of their respective character arcs and performances did we doubt their respective righteousness in the very end as well. Vikram’s love for Priya and the conflict they faced because of Vedha was also beautifully played by Maddy. The movie became a blockbuster hit only because of Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi’s performances. 


Over the years, Maddy has evolved as an actor. But he is one actor who has been impressing his fans from Day 1. Madhavan also entered the web-series world  with his performance in ‘Breathe’, which he also nailed. Now, Maddy has stepped into yet another venture; Direction, with Rocketry: The Nambi Effect. It is an upcoming Indian biographical drama film based on the life of Nambi Narayanan, a former scientist and aerospace engineer of the Indian Space Research Organisation who was accused of espionage. The movie is expected to release sometime this year. 

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