Madhavan Balaji Ranganathan famously know as R. Madhavan is an Indian actor who has appeared in Indian films in seven languages, predominantly Tamil and Hindi films. Unlike other prominent actors in India, Madhavan began to appear in films after marriage, at the age of twenty-nine, and his career has seen performances in diverse roles. He has received several Filmfare Awards in various categories. Madhavan's first major film appearance was in 2000s romantic film, Alaipayuthey, in which he played a husband going through the trauma of marriage. In Kannathil Muthamittal (2002), he portrayed a father of an orphaned child alongside Simran. He then played the role of an action hero, for the first time in the successful project, Run (2002) and, the year after, won critical acclaim as a henchman in Mani Ratnam's film, Aayutha Ezhuthu.
In 2007, Madhavan set up his own production company, Leukos Films, which will distribute several of his forthcoming films. In recent years, Madhavan has also appeared in Hindi films appearing in three blockbusters, Rang De Basanti, Guru and 3 Idiots amongst other critically acclaimed films. Madhavan, a Tamilian, has taken an activist role in supporting various political and social causes. He appeared in PETA advertising, campaigning against cruelty towards animals, and has promoted vegetarianism causes. He won the Indian Championship for Public Speaking and was subsequently selected to represent India at the Young Businessmen Conference in Tokyo, Japan in 1992.
In early 1996, Madhavan did a sandalwood talc advertisement for Santosh Sivan, who later recommended him to Mani Ratnam for a screen test for a role in Iruvar. Later in the same year, Mani Ratnam called Madhavan for the screen test, but left him out of the project citing that he thought his eyes looked too young for a senior role. As his film career, failed to take off, Madhavan reverted to act in Hindi television serials. He appeared in major roles in serials titled Saaya, Sea Hawks, Banegi Apni Baat, Tol Mol Ke Bol and Ghar Jamai. In 1998, Madhavan appeared in his first film role as an Indian police officer in Fred Olen Ray's Inferno alongside Don Wilson. His first chance in Indian movies came in the form of Shanti Shanti Shanti, a Kannada film, in which he acted in the second lead role to Abbas, an established actor. However, the film failed to make an impact, and went unnoticed. Alaipayuthey, Madhavan's second Indian film became a blockbuster upon release and earned positive reviews from critics. In Alaipayuthey, paired with Shalini Kumar, he portrayed to role of "Karthik", a husband experiencing difficulties with his marriage. Madhavan's performance was well-received by critics and the film became a cult hit, leaving way to several spoofs of his character.
Madhavan had more success starring opposite Reema Sen in Minnale, which was later remade into Hindi as Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein marking Madhavan's debut in Bollywood; he also played in Madras Talkies' Dumm Dumm Dumm with Jyothika Saravanan. Both films became successes and Madhavan became established as a bankable actor in South India. Following Parthale Paravasam, Madhavan starred opposite Simran Bagga in his third Mani Ratnam production, Kannathil Muthamittal. He portrayed the role of a father of an adopted child, who wishes to return to her native homeland amid a civil war. The film, became a trend-setting film in Tamil cinema and managed to win six National Awards as well as over ten awards at various International Film Festivals around the world. Madhavan gained a particular praise for putting in a mature display. Madhavan's next large success came in Run, a film recognized for its screenplay, Madhavan appeared as an action hero for the maiden time in his career. In 2006, Madhavan recorded three commercial successes with Rang De Basanti, Thambi and Rendu. Madhavan has five films in 2010 with the earliest being, the long-delayed Naan Aval Adhu, while he also plays a role in John Abraham's 1-800-Love. The third film, is another much delayed Hindi-Bengali bilingual Sunglass, directed by Rituparno Ghosh. Tanu Weds Manu with Kangana Ranaut was a box-office which was released in 2011.
The fifth being Manmadhan Ambu, alongside Kamal Hassan for the second time after Anbe Sivam. Several other long pending films have been announced by Madhavan, including a bio-pic of painter, Raja Ravi Varma; a sequel to his bilingual 13B and an English film with Deepa Mehta as director. After completing the degree, he went on to teach communication and public speaking at workshops around India. At the Maharashtra workshop, he encountered his wife, Sarita Birje, an air hostess, whom he married in 1999. Their first son, Vedant was born on 21st August 2005, which eventually led to relocating towards to the boat-club area in Chennai from Kilpauk. Madhavan's parents lived with him as did his parents-in-law.