Madhu Shalini
Interviewer : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar | Camera : Maran | Text : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar
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Bala’s Avan Ivan is ready to hit the marquee soon and Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar caught up with one of the heroines of the film, Madhu Shalini who strikes you with her uncanny resemblance to yester year Heera Rajagopal. Madhu Shalini opens up on Avan Ivan, Vishal, Arya and Bala in this exclusive conversation.

Why such a long gap in Tamil after your debut?

I was not in any rush and wanted to take it slow and steady doing sensible films. And that’s how I want to take my career ahead. I am glad that my waiting has paid now that I have done Avan Ivan. It is worth the wait.

Bala sir did not even audition me

How did Avan Ivan happen?

Avan Ivan happened by chance. I must say, it is mere luck. Bala sir had auditioned many girls for my role and was not happy because there were certain features that he wanted in his character Thenmozhi which he was yet to find in them. I was called for the audition when they had already started the shoot. When Bala sir met me in his office, he was very happy with the pictures I had sent and spoke to me for a very long time. He did not even audition me and said that I am in the project.

On director Bala

As everyone knows, Bala sir is a serious film maker. Before joining him, everyone scared me that he is very strict, never smiles at the sets and so on. But he proved everyone wrong. It was very comfortable working with him. Bala sir is cool headed and a funny person too. Each day during Avan Ivan shoot was a learning experience. Bala sir is just not a brilliant director but also a great artist. He used to explain each scene and enact it which was mind blowing. Bala sir is certainly multifaceted. I have learnt so much from him and have grown as an actor after Avan Ivan.

Bala sir is cool headed and a

funny person too

Arya took good care of me


Arya is my costar in Avan Ivan and is very good looking. He sports a completely tanned look in the film. He never treated me like a newcomer. He made me feel comfortable and made sure I did my best. When he realized that if I was hesitant to approach Bala sir, he would come to my rescue and explain things. Arya took good care of me as a co-artist. I am thankful to him as it is nice to have a good chemistry because it reflects well on screen. Arya has become a good friend to me now.


There is a lot to talk about Vishal as well. Vishal has done such a fantastic performance in this movie and I am sure after watching the movie, you will also say the same thing because no other actor has done such a role. His squint act is one and I used to wonder how difficult it is to hold like that and do several monitors, takes and retakes. Vishal is so hard working and I am sure he will get an award as he has done a commendable job.

Vishal is sure to get an award for

Avan Ivan

Janani Iyer

Janani is a model from Chennai and is a great co-star. All four of us had good fun but not while shooting because during shooting we used to keenly observe what’s happening. I don’t think, in my past, I have had such a young team to bond with and this is the first of its kind for me. I really enjoyed shooting for Avan Ivan.

Bala sir played lot of pranks

Any memorable event while shooting for Avan Ivan?

There were many such events. As you all know, it is a young team and each one was bullying the other. Vishal never played any prank on me. Arya used to make fun of me in a very sweet way. Bala sir also played lot of pranks. He used to imitate people who used to watch the shoot. It was very funny.

Have you dubbed in Avan Ivan?

I have dubbed for myself in Avan Ivan. It is an add-on for me in addition to the film being Bala sirs. To get an opportunity to work with Bala sir is something like a gift. For an artist, it is important to showcase one’s potential. Bala sir had the confidence in me; I am just picking my Tamil. He said that he would try my voice, if it goes well, otherwise he would use the services of a dubbing artist. Thankfully, it was fine and Bala sir used to correct me and give me tips while I was dubbing. And it went on very well.

Who has more screen space? You or Janani Iyer?

I cannot say who has more screen space really because I have not seen the movie fully. The title is Avan Ivan and it is majorly about Arya and Vishal. Apart from them, G M Kumar has done a phenomenal performance in the film. There are a lot of new faces in the film and I cannot say I am there in these many scenes or so many songs. All I can say is I have got a good role in Bala sir’s film and what more can I ask for?

Comparison between Telugu and Tamil film industry

Here I am only speaking for myself and not for anybody else. The roles I did in Telugu are way more different than in Tamil. Here it is more realistic and practical in terms of film making process. Technically Tamil is bigger than Telugu and the difference lies in this aspect.

Technically Tamil is bigger than


Future projects

Many projects have come my way but I have not signed any. And very soon, you will hear about my next project.

Yuvan’s music

I am really lucky because my earlier film Padhinaaru was also done by Yuvan and now Avan Ivan also is done by him. Lovely music in Avan Ivan and I just love the title track. Next to it is the Rasathe song which is picturized on me and Arya. The BGM has also come out very well.


AGS has done the production for Avan Ivan. They have given wonderful films like Madarasapattinam. I am really glad that I am part of such a big film with talented director and accomplished producer.

Cameraman Wilson

Cinematographer Wilson has made me look so nice even without a tinge of make-up. I was always tensed about my skin tone and dark circles and he would assure me that everything will be taken care of. And he has kept his word. I look good without make up and hope you would like me too. I am also thankful to the direction department who helped me well.

Tags : Madhu Shalini, Bala, Vishal, Avan Ivan, Arya
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