With his hitherto offbeat roles, Arya stood out among his peers. With ‘Raja Rani’, Arya is set to capture mainstream audience.

We have seen many talented and good looking actors from Chennai and Kerala. Now, we have yet another one in Arya — a Malayali but a popular actor in Tamil cinema, who’s making brisk inroads into Telugu cinema with his dubbed films. Arya is frank, doesn’t mince words or waste time, when encapsulating his career in Telugu cinema. “Be it Madrasapattinam, Nenu Devudni, Vaadu Veedu or Varna, it is nice that all my films are dubbed in Telugu. I give the entire credit to my directors for giving me exciting and challenging roles.”

We seldom get to see Arya in a regular cinema made in a commercial format, there is always something unique and offbeat in the roles he plays — even if it borders on a masala drama. “I don’t get into too much of action and larger-than-life stories. I don’t personally relate to that kind of stuff. I’ve done minimal work on those subjects. Finally at the end of the day the satisfaction you derive and what you want to do matters more than what people want to see. Bringing that difference in your work and sticking to what you want is a challenge,” says Arya.

Arya was disappointed with Varna not working at the box office. It was shot with a huge budget, he says; at the end of it, if the screenplay doesn’t work one can’t blame anyone. He adds, “After taking up the project with full faith, one had to carry it till it reaches the audience.” Elaborating on his roles, Arya says, “I did Varudu with Allu Arjun, that film got me a lot of exposure. Whatever was the result of the film, the character I did made me stand out. Wherever I go, people call me ‘Kushmanda’, the name of my character in it. I also did small guest roles in films like Oru Kal Oru Kannadi, which I enjoyed a lot.”

As an actor, reeling out dialogues, giving a variety of expressions comes easily to Arya but notice carefully he isn’t too comfortable dancing. He quips, “Dances don’t come to me naturally. I somehow managed it for Raja Rani. From being a beginner I went a stage ahead. There are so many stars good at dance in Telugu and Tamil, and obviously you are compared with them. I always have the chance to get better.”

Arya says his brother Satya is growing to be a fine actor in Tamil cinema but he never discusses cinema with him at home. He likens cinema to any other 9 to 5 job and thinks too much talking on the subject spoils the spontaneity of the job.

Arya is producing a film called Amara Kaaviyam with his brother in the lead role. In fact Arya had produced three films earlier, the latest being Raja Rani. He believes turning producer gives him a chance to explore different areas of cinema and the flexibility of choosing subjects.

Raja Rani is his second film with Nayantara and admits they are considered a hot pair in Tamil cinema; “We worked in Boss - Engira Bhaskaran, soon after she quit films. When she announced her return to the industry, we pitched the script and she loved it and she lived the character. The hard work is definitely there but the whole combination, the chemistry became an asset. People don’t usually approve of a love story between husband and wife, and could think it is as boring. People tend to believe there is no love after marriage. But am sure this will strike a chord with the audience, says Arya with confidence.