Sundaylite | Movies

Bigg Boss Tamil 3 housemates are playing it safe,' says season one winner Arav

Arav Nafeez in a still from ‘Market Raja MBBS’

Arav Nafeez in a still from ‘Market Raja MBBS’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

more-in

Arav is also making his Kollywood debut as hero in Saran’s directorial ‘Market Raja MBBS’ slated for release next month

Arav Nafeez was the hottest thing going around in Tamil cinema after he won the inaugural season of Bigg Boss Tamil.

He evolved from being just another model-turned-actor with a single supporting actor credit to becoming a lead actor in the eyes of producers, courtesy the show.

Predictably, he was flooded with film offers. But here we are, nearly two years since, and Arav still has no film out.

All that is about to change because Market Raja MBBS is up for release. Expected to hit the screen sometime in September, the film directed by Saran (Gemini, Vasool Raja MBBS fame), has Arav play a don; it is speculated to be an action-comedy.

Arav, 28, says he has his hopes pinned on the film’s success considering the impact it could have on his career.

Excerpts from an interview:

Tell us about your role in ‘Market Raja MBBS’.

I play a don; he is one of the biggest dons in Chennai. He is a very eccentric character... psychic-eccentric I would say, and he has these problems that a don should never have. It is a fun film scene-to-scene, and it has the ‘mass’ element to it.

Arav Nafeez and Kavya Thapar in a promo still for ‘Market Raja MBBS’

Arav Nafeez and Kavya Thapar in a promo still for ‘Market Raja MBBS’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

I had to do a lot of homework for the character because he is totally different from what I am. And I speak my dialogues in Chennai slang. I was given four-five pages of dialogues for each scene (laughs).

Market Raja was the initial title for Kamal Haasan’s ‘Vasool Raja MBBS’. Do the similarities end there?

Yes, it is a totally different film. The teaser may have misguided the people, but that was a deliberate move to keep the audience guessing about the story. We’ll release the trailer soon, and it may reveal the actual one-liner of the story.

When reel life mixes with real
  • “We were shooting an action sequence at the SRM University campus in Kattankulathur. Classes were on at the time. We wanted to shoot discreetly, so we hid the cameras, and there were heli-cams to capture the natural crowd reaction. When the shot started, I came running out in a doctor’s coat, holding a knife in my hand, chasing after someone. Students noticed us, and they thought it was real and started running away. After a while, I stopped. Then students actually walked up to me to pacify me, and took the knife away from my hand. They were like, ‘Bro, what’s the problem... don’t fight...’ (laughs). Then the director and the crew had to intervene, and explain what was actually going on.”

Saran is a big name considering the stars he has worked with in the past...

It was a very good experience working with him. The best thing about Saran sir is that he will act and show exactly what he wants.

But he also lets the actor apply their thought process to enacting a scene. There was no senior director-applying-pressure-on-a-newcomer type of atmosphere. For a debut hero like me, he made it very comfortable.

What was the most difficult aspect of filming ‘Market Raja MBBS’?

The action sequences. I didn’t use dupes. I mean... if I want to be an action hero, I have to do heroic things (laughs). The point is, I need to put in effort for the money I’m getting.

It is difficult playing an action hero because the stunts are risky. I had cuts pretty much all over my body. I just want people to accept me. I have strived hard to get here, and I need to make a long career.

What would you say is your USP? You’ve had two years to assess the market well...

Generally, a newcomer has no pressure because he has no fan base.

Bigg Boss Tamil 3 housemates are playing it safe,' says season one winner Arav

But I already have one [courtesy: Bigg Boss]. I have this big pressure of having to deliver a debut movie like I’ve already done 10-15 films in the industry. It is one reason why I opted to do Saran sir’s film in the first place.

I think I will establish myself as an action star... for now. That’s what people are expecting of me as well. I want to be part of commercial films which will entertain the masses.

But it is a tricky proposition for newcomers to chart a path to stardom...

I know I have to select good scripts because the span of a movie is three days. It has to arrive with a bang. It must be a hit. It is one reason why I’m patient with my choices.

I don’t want to do films back-to-back. Something new is what the audience expects from us. To be able to give that, the team must be good.

So, what are the movies you have in hand at the moment?

Apart from Market Raja, there is Rajabheema. The shoot for it is complete, and I expect it to release by end of this year. It was delayed because of CGI work in post-production. I also have a film with Saravanan (of Silambattam fame).

Bigg Boss Tamil 3 housemates are playing it safe,' says season one winner Arav

I hope we will start filming by February 2020. (His Meendum Vaa Arugil Vaa is completed, but it is stuck due to financial issues, he clarifies). Otherwise, I’m just listening to scripts. I’m waiting for Market Raja and Rajabheema to release and see how audience receive them before making my next decision.

Since you are a Bigg Boss alumnus, there’s no way we were not going to ask you about this season. Whom would you bet on winning it?

I’m following season three keenly but no one has impressed me so far. I think that the housemates are pretty much playing it safe. They’re afraid of nominations. Someone has to step up, and stand out alone. I feel that Darshan, Mugen (Rao) and Sandy have done really well. Sandy is actually the right choice for the show. He once told me, ‘ayyo thalaiva naa po maaten’ (I wouldn’t go to Bigg Boss House), but look where he is now. (laughs)

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 12:53:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/bigg-boss-tamil-housemates-are-playing-it-safe/article28807512.ece

Next Story