Actor R. Madhavan said on Monday that superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Suriya did not charge any fees for their participation in his upcoming directorial debut Rocket Game: The Nambi Effect.
“Whether it was Suriya or (Shah Rukh) Khan Sahab, none of them charged for the film. They took nothing even for caravans, costumes and helpers. Suriya flew out to shoot in Mumbai along with his crew using his own money. He didn’t even charge for a flight or for a dialogue writer who translated his lines into Tamil.
“There are a lot of good people in the film industry. But I’m outside. People helped me a lot. Just at my request, Amit Ji (Amitabh Bachchan) or Priyanka Chopra posted a tweet (in support of the film). I am grateful for their love and respect for me,” Madhavan told reporters at the film’s press conference here.
The 51-year-old actor has also acted, written and produced Missile technology, a biopic about Nambi Narayanan, a former Indian Space Research Organization scientist and aerospace engineer who was falsely accused of being a spy.
Madhavan said he discussed the idea of the film with Shah Rukh Khan while they were working on Zero (2018) in which he was a featured guest.
“Even when I was at his birthday, he remembered and said: “Maddie, I want to play a role in your film. Just make me go through the background.” I thanked him for the kind words and he said, “No, no. I’m serious,” he recalled.
Two days later, when Madhavan’s wife Sarita asked him to thank Shah Rukh for his gesture, the actor said he sent a message to the star’s manager asking him to convey his thanks.
“Soon, his manager called me and said, ‘Khan-sahab asks when do you need the dates?’ I said I don’t want to build castles in the air. But he was very serious. Then I said that he does not have a minor role, but an important role, ”he added.
While Shah Rukh Khan plays himself in the Hindi and English versions of the film, Suriya plays himself in the Tamil version.
Calling Rocketry a “superhero story” told in a commercial film, Madhavan said he hopes more films will be made that focus on the success stories of scientists, engineers and IT professionals.
Last month, the film premiered in the Marche du Film section of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in France, and Madhavan said he hopes the country is internationally proud of him.
When asked if films based on science and technology should receive government support, the actor said that any type of film should be promoted by the film industry itself.
“I don’t think the government should support[films set in science]. I think that we people in the film industry should take the initiative and make these films after some research. Where the government supports the film, it looks like a propaganda film. I don’t think this is correct. The government has to do its job, and so does the film industry.”
Madhavan also mentioned the rising popularity of films from south to north and said that a good film will work regardless of the language.
“Four films such as KGF, Baahubali, Pushpa and RRR from the south became hits. Not that all the films from there have become hits. Besides, it’s not that our Hindi films don’t work at all. Films like Kashmiri filesGangubai and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 also worked.
“The films that have worked have had clear storytelling and each actor has given years to these projects. Getting into the character, all that hard work, the audience is looking at all these things. If the film is good, it becomes a super hit, regardless of the language,” he added.
Rocketry, also dubbed in Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada, is due out on July 1st.