R Madhavan, like other mainstream actors such as Vivek Oberoi, Rana Daggubati and Aishwarya Rajesh, makes his debut on the digital platform with Breathe – an Amazon Prime original directed by Mayank Sharma. The actor plays the role of Danny Mascarenhas, father of a six-year-old boy with a fatal lung disease. The series’ tagline ‘For someone to live…someone needs to die’ refers to Madhavan’s character embracing his dark side and murdering people, in the hope of saving his son.
Speaking at the Tamil trailer launch of the series in Chennai, Madhavan said that it was one of the most rewarding experiences he has had in career. “I thought the subject and the story were strong, and I was afraid of actually being in a situation like this in real life. It was a conflict that was phenomenal and very real,” he said.
In the trailer, Madhavan’s character is seen shooting people and indulging in other heinous acts for his child. But, there’s also an emotional side to this father, Madhavan notes, elaborating on the challenges in playing Danny Mascarenhas. “They say the heaviest coffin you carry is that of a child, and you know you would do whatever it takes in such a situation. To keep track of the character graph and to maintain that length, I used to maintain notes, something I have never done for any other role. I would keep note of where my character did in the last scene, because there were times when we were at different timelines, such as shooting the climax on the first day or shooting the beginning right at the end…so, all that was challenging,” he adds.
Kai Po Che actor Amit Sadh plays an alcoholic cop named Kabir Sawant who is tasked with finding the killer. The actor believes that the title of the series is a metaphor for survival.
“We all struggle to survive, and the series is about such people too. My character is that of a cop who is messed up with a lot of issues. You don’t understand why he behaves the way he does. During the episodes, you understand Kabir’s journey along that of other characters. What I really liked about this character is the mess he is in, and how he’s misunderstood. I think there’s beauty in such broken people,” he says.
Sapna Pabbi, best known for her performance in the TV show 24, plays an independent woman named Riya who happens to be married to Kabir.
“For me, Breathe was actually a breath of fresh air, not just in content but also in how it is a game changer in terms of digital content in India. Riya is nothing like me; she’s calm and collected. She’s sensible and much older than I am. She’s out there doing what she wants to do. Moreover, she’s someone who tries to move on despite being torn between her husband and mourning the loss of her daughter. Here, we have often seen emotional women being portrayed as weak. But, Riya gets her life and world together,” she says.
Director and writer Mayank Sharma emphasised on the effort and research he and the team put in for Breathe.
“The trailer is just 20 percent of what’s in the series. We spent 600 days writing and in pre- production so that we could engage the audience in a story narrated in over 320 minutes. Two-and-a-half years later, we have put together a story where we have focussed on every detail, played around with characters and screenplay, and packed in a lot of unpredictability and emotion,” he says.
The eight-episode psychological thriller will release on Amazon Prime on January 26 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Watch the trailer here: