Madhoo opens up about why she did not work with Mani Ratnam after Roja, Iruvar; says ‘I did not give him credit’

In a recent interview, veteran actress Madhoo opened up about her first film with Mani Ratnam, Roja, and why she has not worked with the director in a full-fledged role since then.

S Devasankar
Written by S Devasankar , Journalist
Published on Feb 26, 2024 | 04:20 PM IST | 61.3K
Madhoo reveals reason behind not working with Mani Ratnam post Roja, Iruvar
Madhoo opens up about why she did not work with Mani Ratnam after Roja, Iruvar; says ‘I did not give him credit’

Mani Ratnam’s 1992 romantic thriller film Roja is etched in the minds of every cinephile across the country. The film featured two fairly new faces in the lead, Aravind Swamy and Madhoo, whose performances helped the movie gain the iconic status it has today.

Following the film, Mani Ratnam has worked with Aravind Swamy in several other films including Bombay, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, etc. However, in the case of Madhoo, she only made a special appearance in Mani Ratnam’s 1997 film Iruvar, and has not appeared in a full-fledged role since Roja. Opening up about the reason behind it, the veteran actress revealed in a recent interview that she did not give enough credit to Mani Ratnam at the time.

Madhoo reveals her attitude at that point of time was a hindrance

Talking in the interview, Madhoo answered the question that has been plaguing fans for close to three decades now - ‘why has Madhoo not worked with Mani Ratnam after Roja?’. The actress revealed that she did not give Mani Ratnam enough credit, and maintained a distance from everyone else during her initial days on set. 

She added that at that point of time she felt Mani Ratnam wanted to make Roja, and he felt Madhoo fit the character the best, and that she wasn’t doing him any favor. She said that this thought acted as the reason why she did not give the filmmaker enough credit. However, she further added that now that she looks back, three decades down the line, she is still recognized for the work that she did in the film, and regrets not giving Mani Ratnam credit for Roja. She also mentioned that she considers Roja a God’s gift today, and that the Ponniyin Selvan director gave her an identity. 


Madhoo also added that despite her trying to reach out to the filmmaker multiple times, it never fell into place. She said that she is quite fond of the filmmaker, however suggested that Mani Ratnam might have made bonds with other artists. 

More about Roja

Roja is a 1992 romantic thriller film, which features Aravind Swamy and Madhoo in the lead roles, and was helmed by Mani Ratnam. At the time of release, the film was a blockbuster hit, and was dubbed in Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu and Marathi languages as well. In fact, Roja is dubbed as the first pan-Indian film.

The film revolves around the central theme of war, and is considered to be the first of  Mani Ratnam’s trilogy which depicts human relationships against the background of Indian politics. The film was bankrolled by K Balachander under the banner of Kavithalayaa Productions, with AR Rahman making his debut as a music composer in the film. Santhosh Sivan cranked the film’s camera while Suresh Urs took care of the editing.

ALSO READ: Kamal Haasan to begin shooting for Mani Ratnam's Thug Life on THIS month, shoot location revealed

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A graduate in Economics, with heart made of cinema, Devasankar is vividly in love with world cinema! A true


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