Vidya Balan can sigh in relief. She finally has a leading man in Mani Rathnam's Guru. It's been one helluva musical chairs for Mani Ratnam. After casting Abhishek Bachchan in the title role in his Hindi film Guru, there was a flurry of names for the other male lead…. considered and discarded…Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham , Viveik Oberoi, Madhavan…
Madhavan had in fact been a hotly speculated name since he's been a favourite of Mani from the time the actor did his first Tamil film Alai Payuthe with the Tamilan maverick. "I'd happily do the part if Mani sir offered it to me," Maddy had said when rumours of his inclusion in Guru first did the rounds.
Maddy has indeed been roped in to play the desperately - vacant parallel part. Though Maddy isn't allowed to talk about it, the deal was signed just before he sneaked off to London to lose weight since the role requires the actor to match strides and personality with the sprightly Abhishek.
Says a source close to both Mani and Madhavan, "Maddy was over the moon when Mani sir finally asked him to do the role. In fact Maddy was wondering why Mani sir was hunting around when the ghar ka hero was in front of him. Don't forget they've done neo-classics like Alai Payuthe, Kannathil Muthamittal and the Tamil version of Yuva where Maddy played Abhishek's character. The two are almost like family. So it's no surprise if Maddy bailed Mani sir out."
Apparently the director gave his favourite hero a distress call. "Maddy didn't even want to hear the role. He immediately said yes," says the source. A further incentive for doing the film is Abhishek. Madhavan and Abhishek are genuinely fond of one another. If Maddy played Abhishek's role in Yuva, Abhishek was the original choice for the lead in Saathiya the Hindi remake of Mani Ratnam's Alai Payuthe. Incidentally Madhavan has been roped in for another Hindi film by none other than Sanjay Gupta.